Cycling

Tour de France disappoints without Froome & Contador

Has Nibali had it easy so far? (©GettyImages)
Has Nibali had it easy so far? (©GettyImages).

After the loss of so many general classification contenders in the Tour de France this year, has the prestigious race been a bit of disappointment so far?

I think it has. With the success of Team Sky and British riders over the past couple of years it is safe to say most people including myself were waiting for another brilliant Brit dominated Tour. Team Sky were attempting to win it for a third time in a row, but for me the Tour hasn't really got going.

British disappointment

This is probably because from a British point of view many riders have had to go home through injury. First to go was Mark Cavendish at the end of stage one and this was extremely disappointing to see as he had prepared well for the Tour and I thought he would be back to his best.

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Then the defending champion Chris Froome had to retire due to injuries, which was a major disappointment not only for British fans but for all cycling fans as everyone likes to see all the main contenders racing each other.

Contador collapse

Soon after Froome quit it was Alberto Contador's turn which was another major shock. The Briton and the Spaniard were the favourites going into the Tour and with them gone it has opened the door for Nibali.

It has also meant that the mountainous stages haven't been as interesting to watch as Nibali doesn't have the competition from the other riders. There is no one who can really challenge him in the absence of Froome and Contador. His closest rival is Alejandro Valverde but he was blown away by Nibali's speed on some of the climbs.

Nibali certainly hasn't had it easy so far at this Tour de France but he isn't being pushed. The Italian has worn the yellow jersey for most of the stages and I believe if Froome and Contador were in the race he wouldn't be in yellow now.

Nibali's to lose

The absence of these top riders has made the race a bit of a disappointment for me so far as the toughest climbs haven't been as good as last year and the sprints aren't as close as they should be.

It is probably fair to say that my disappointment is heightened due to the fact that there are now very few British riders left in the race but I do think the 2014 event hasn't lived up to the expectations I had for it.

Topics:
Vincenzo Nibali
Alberto Contador
Cycling
Tour De France
Mark Cavendish

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