The Virus Tour is here

The pandemic marks the 2020 Tour (August 29-September 20), a duel between Ineos (Bernal defends title) and Jumbo (Roglic aspires to yellow).

The-Virus-Tour-is-here

The 2020 Tour de France should have been played between June 27 and July 19, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it was postponed and will be held between August 29 and September 20. This atypical express season conditions everything, from deadlines and preparation to the presence or not of some riders, who opt for other races (Vincenzo Nibali and Simon Yates, for the Giro d'Italia), get injured (Steven Kruijswijk) or do not arrive in good conditions (due to their low level, Ineos will take Geraint Thomas, winner in 2018, to the Giro and Chris Froome, four-time champion, to the Vuelta). Despite the absences of Froome and Thomas in the Ineos line-up and that of Kruijswijk in the Jumbo, the fight for the yellow jersey is presented as a train clash between both squads, with Bernal, Carapaz and Sivakov on the one hand, and Roglic , Dumoulin and Bennett for another. Of course, with space for the brave to fish in troubled rivers: the Pinot, Landa, Buchmann, Nairo, Pogacar, Superman, Mas ... In these lines we go on to reel off some of the keys to the route and the protagonists of an appointment marked by the uncertainty, which will have very demanding security measures and health protocols (two positives for COVID-19 will mean the expulsion of any training) to protect the jewel in the crown of cycling.

Egan Bernal (Ineos, 23 years old, Bogotá). Best Tour: 1st, 2019

The Colombian defends title. He is one of the greatest jewels of the peloton, a great climber and also very solvent in the fight against the clock. He left the Dauphiné with back pain and his fitness will have to be checked. He took the Occitania Route after the break, although some voices suggest that he may have overtrained during confinement.

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo, 30 years old, Trbovlje). Best Tour: 4th, 2018

The Slovenian took the podium of the Giro (third) and conquered the Vuelta in 2019. In 2018 he finished fourth in the Tour and in 2020 he is dominating. He also left the Dauphiné when he was leading due to a fall. Powerful wheeler, his evolution in the mountains leads him to aspire to everything. He will be covered by Dumoulin, a winner of the Giro, but will not be Kruijswijk, third of 2019, injured.

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama, 30 years old, Melisey). Best Tour: 3rd, 2014

Stage winner in the big three and one of the best climbers in the peloton, and also one of those who suffer the most injuries and he has not been able to confirm all his talent. Third in the 2014 edition, since then he has not reached more podiums in three-week tests. In 2019 he was seen at the time of his life ... even a fibrillar tear. Reach out and highly motivated.

Nairo Quintana (Arkea, 30 years old, Tunja). Best Tour: 2nd, 2013 and 2015

The Colombian, Giro (2014) and Vuelta (2016) champion, has finished second and third in the Tour. Since his second place in the 2017 Giro, his performance in the majors has decreased, although leaving Movistar and leaving the captaincy has rejuvenated him. One of the most outstanding climbers in history, he retired from the Dauphiné for prevention, like Bernal and Roglic.

Mikel Landa (Bahrain, 30 years old, Murgia). Best Tour: 4th, 2017

Like Pinot, another who only has one box in a big one: third in the 2015 Giro. He was one second away from being third in the 2017 Tour and eight from the same place in the 2019 Giro. The chrono penalizes his performance in the mountains. This time it seems that he will have the leadership that he has claimed from the teams, although in the Dauphiné he ended up with back discomfort.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE, 21 years old, Komenda). Debutante

Another of the revelations of 2019, he finished third and scored three victories in his debut in a big one at the Vuelta. He has a shotgun nose and considerable ambition. He climbs very well, but he also counters the clock (he beat Roglic in the Slovenian National). It will be his first participation in the Tour, and he is not worried about anything: “It consists of competing better than the rest” .

Superman López (Astana, 26 years old, Fishing). The Colombian took a step back in 2019 after finishing third in Giro y Vuelta in 2018: seventh in Italy and fifth in Spain. It comes from a fifth place in the Dauphiné to debut in the Tour. Powerful climber, in recent times he has lost a bit of punch. In addition, the discipline of the chronos is torture for him and he often suffers from falls.

Romain Bardet (Ag2r, 29 years old, Brioude). Best Tour: 2nd, 2016

Second (2016) and third (2017) of the Tour, it seems that he achieved his best performance already in the Grand Tours, although his tenacity and quality as a climber cannot rule him out. He finished sixth in the Dauphiné, assures that he will go further in his pedal stroke and intends to say goodbye with joy to the squad he has been part of since 2012. In 2021 he will go to Sunweb.

Emanuel Buchmann (Bora, 27, Ravensburg). Best Tour: 4th, 2019

The German finished fourth in the 2019 edition, after breaking in with a third place and a beautiful victory in Arrate in the Tour of the Basque Country. He left the Dauphiné with deep abrasions from a fall, which affected the last phase of his preparation. However, both he and his team believe that he will be at an ideal and mature moment.

Enric Mas (Movistar, 25 years old, Artá). Best Tour: 22nd, 2019

Second in the 2018 Vuelta with Deceuninck, in 2019 he debuted in the French round with a 22nd position, at the service of the surprising Julian Alaphilippe. In his first course with Movistar he must take a step forward both in the squad and in the grand tour. Valverde has already confirmed that he will help him in everything he can and that he will only aspire to partial victories.

The 2020 Tour de France will not climb some of the ports that have forged its history: Galibier, Alpe d'Huez, Tourmalet or Aubisque. However, you will enter the five main mountain ranges of the country: the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Jura and the Vosges. On the second day there will already be 3,500 meters of elevation gain with Colmaine, Turini and Èze, and on the fourth there will be the first aloft at the Orcières Merlette station. In the sixth, finish in Mont Aigoual. The mid-mountain and the downhill finals will stand out, with just five clear chances for the sprinters throughout the 21 days.

Be very careful with the Atlantic day (and the wind blowing from the side) between the islands of Oléron and Ré, to open the second block of competition. The hardness will be concentrated from the second Sunday, with the Grand Colombier and the entry into the Alps in the third week: after the rest, Porte, Madeleine, Loze, Roselend or Glières will face each other. The mileage is drastically reduced (only the stage between Chauvigny and Sarran will exceed 200 km, 218), as is the time trial. In fact, there will only be 36 timed km, with a high finish at La Planche des Belles Filles on the penultimate day. Perhaps nothing will be decided until then and it will be essential before the traditional triumphal walk through the Champs-Elysées.



Photos from as.com
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