Crashing our of the Giro will have hurt Purito. The GC is no goal for the Tour and his (deliberate?) loss in stage 2 frees the little Catalan up for stage victories. From a break or even from the main bunch, Rodriguez has the necessary acceleration to ride away on the final climb.
When it comes to big escapes in big races, Westra can turn on a masterclass, most recently witnessed in the Queen stage of the Dauphine. The Dutchman is a good climber, has an eye for a breakaway and most importantly, knows how to win when the opportunity presents itself. If Nibali and the team allow him up the road, he could reward them with the stage win.
Christophe Riblon (image)
The 33-year-old Frenchman has two mountain stages to his name, including the double ascent to Alpe d’Huez last year. He’s a rider that always seems to peak for the Tour and as a climber with no GC ambition, he could climb away to a stage win today.
Ten years younger than his teammate Riblon, Bardet may well be his successor when it comes to crowning spectacular escapes in the Tour. The 23-year-old climber was 5th in Dauphine, a sure sign that he can mix it with the best on the climbs in the Tour. If he is is to succeed he has to deal with his GC contendors however, since he is fourth in the overall.
After his outstanding performance in the Pierre Rolland is in the Tour to celebrate day victories. He lost time in the overall – or probably lost time on purpose to be free to roam. Whatever the reason, other than Bardet no GC man will watch him when he takes of at one of the Alps. Twice stage winner in the Tour de France, he definitely knows how to close the deal once underway.
Tour de France 2014 stage 13: Images and more
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