Jul 6nd, 12. Auckland coach Karl Murray - shares his personal views on this year's Tour de France.
Karl Murray testing the medal he won at the 2012 Club Nationals ©RoadCycling.co.nz
Top 3 General Classification picks
Cadel Evans, Bradley Wiggins, Vincenzo Nibali are my top 3 but it’s hard to rule out Jurgen Van Den Broek, Robert Gesink, Ryder Hesjedal, Frank Schleck, Pierre Rolland, Alejandro Valverde, Denis Menchov and even Samuel Sánchez all are capable of stepping onto that podium but not winning the 2012 tour in my view.
Who do you want to win the Tour?
I don't have a favourite like when I was a kid and wanted Big Mig to win, now I just enjoy the show, but if I had to pick one I'd go with the guy riding the same bike as me....Nibali, he just needs to pull finger in the TT as he sure can climb!
How will the Tour be won?
I think it will be won by not having bad luck or making mistakes.
So many times you see riders who could podium in the TDF end up pulling out due to a crash or the lose time because of something silly.
Otherwise clearly the Time Trial is where it is often won and lost....ask Lemond!.
Who will be the best sprinter (not necessarily the green jersey)
Winning stages and winning the green jersey are 2 different things as Zabel could explain.
I think Cav is the fastest but due to not having a team he may find himself alone more often and this is where other Sprinters could have an advantage later in the tour as they are looked after better.
If Cav is allowed to push his way into leadouts he can't be beaten!
Renshaw, Gripel, Kittel, Goss, Sagan, Petacchi, Veelers, Juan José Haedo, Farrar and Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil are Cav's stage win competition but if Cav rides the whole tour he will win the Green but I think he is just after stage wins and will pull out of the tour before stage 16 due to the Olympics. So Sagan is my pick for green if Cav pulls out.
Who is your favourite rider to watch?
As Mentioned above I don't really have favourites like when I was a young lad but Jens is an old man repping it so I'll say Voigt. He is often in a breakaway and I like his style of riding.
What do you love best about the Tour de France?
I luv the atmosphere, ambience and "tour fever" that comes from being there. Even watching it on TV brings back memories of the years I was there. For those that have never been I suggest you go as there is no show on earth like it!
Sad to see Andy unable to start the Tour and I would luv to have seen Julz, Bauer and Roly all get a start but let’s hope Hendy shines.
The key mountain stages I see are 11, 16 and 17 and I’m sure some riders will struggle to meet the time cut on these stages. It will be great to watch the GC contenders fight it out on the high mountain stages.
Stage 8 will be interesting as it’s hilly enough to break the bunch up but not the GC contenders who will be saving their legs for stage 9 TT. Cat 2 climbs will suit an early breakaway so Imagine the pace will be hot at the start of this stage and if the break sticks until the final climb called the Col de LaCroix you will see the winner attacking and going solo into Porrentruy.
If you would like a coach to get your training on track, find Karl's details on RoadCycling.co.nz's Cycling Directory.
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