Tour de France 2014 Favourites stage 2 : (Hilly) Classic specialists

Peter Sagan Tour de France favouriteSunday July 6th 2014 – Numerous short and steep hills separate York from Sheffield in teh 2nd stage of the 2014 Tour de France. The profile is a kind of mix between Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Amstel Gold Race. With a 33% ascent Jenkins Road will detonate the fireworks in the deep finale. (Slideshow route/profile)

Today’s stage winner will likely take the yellow jersey, with the difficult source not suited to the sprinters who contested the 1st stage.

Favourites:

Simon Gerrans
Getting better with age, at 34 Simon Gerrans is Australian champion as well as the 2014 Tour Down Under and Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner. His punchy style is tailor made for the hilly classics, so this English version should suit the Aussie.

Peter Sagan
Still only 24 years of age, the Terminator’s palmares already is quite impressive – with four stage wins and two green jerseys in the Tour along with a host of other victories. Combines his sprinting talent with powerful riding on short climbs. He will see this as an opportunity for a win given the faster sprinters will be left behind. Recently impressively strong in the Tour de Suisse.

Alejandro Valverde
The ‘Unbeaten’ still burns with ambition. Now 34, the Spaniard won a string of small races in his home country this year and gave some strong performances in the hilly classics, winning La Flèche Wallonne and coming 2nd in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and 4th in Amstel Gold Race.

Outsiders:
Michal Kwiatkowski
Winner of Strade Bianche and always at the front in the Ardennes with 3rd in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 3rd in Fleche Wallone and 5th in Amstel Gold. The 24-year old Pole will be looking for a good GC performance but stage 2 provides him with a chance of a first Tour stage win.

Tom-Jelte Slagter
Garmin’s young Dutchman made a name for himself in Paris-Nice by winning two stages with a similar profile as today’s. Not a man for the high Mountains, the 25-year old Slagter is at his best on short steeps hills like Jenkins Road.

Favourites:

Peter Sagan
Simon Gerrans
Alejandro Valverde

Outsiders:
Michal Kwiatkowski
Tom-Jelte Slagter

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