Weather to dampen start of 104th Tour de France this weekend

But the Launceston rider admits the situation is far from clear and would like to put it beyond all doubt by claiming a stage in this year's Tour, which begins with a time trial in Dusseldorf on Saturday.

In May, Quintana missed out on a second Giro d'Italia crown by 31 seconds to time-trial specialist Tom Dumoulin.

For cycling diehards, no race even comes close than the annual Tour de France, held (almost) every summer, mostly in France, since 1903.

Former world champion Mark Cavendish has confirmed he will be racing in this year's Tour, following a bout of glandular fever, and will hope to add to his record tally of 30 stage wins in the race.

"This year at the Tour de France I will live a new experience, because I'll have the freedom of taking my opportunities", said Swift, 29.

Two teams of seven cyclists will be setting off with their own Grand Depart tomorrow, July 1, for the Le Tour Team Spin Challenge at Benton Hall Golf and Country Club in Witham.

The Tour de France is one of the world's most prestigious sporting events, followed by millions of people in Europe and around the globe, both on the ground and via broadcast media.

I have taken a much more relaxed start to the year. Crack a Kronenbourg, order up some frites and tune in because Tour de France season starts now.

"In the past, I worked for the team, now I'm happy that the team has entrusted me with trying to be as competitive as possible in the stages that suite me most".

The elite GIGN unit specialises in hostage rescue and counter-terrorism and will be deployed during the race, The Local said. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.

XPO's preparation for the Tour de France has taken five months to complete and involves a team of experts dedicated to ensuring that all 21 stages of the race run smoothly. "So right now I feel good and ready to race".

Yes, there's only three mountain stages, and two mountain finishes and two time trials but it's a hard course.

"The UK now has some serious strength in depth across all types of terrain, so expect to see GB riders contesting daily wins, especially in the medium mountain stages".

"Chris has won three Tours and there's no reason he can't win a fourth", Porte argued.

The green jersey is awarded to the rider with the most points - the first riders across the line at the end of each stage and in intermediate sprints earn a set number of points and the rider (usually a sprinter) with the most points wears the green jersey.

"They often become more out of control and aggressive because guys are willing to go out and attack earlier in stages, which makes it a lot more complicated [for the riders]", he said.

  • Aubrey Nash