Featured Features

British Riders of the Tour de France

22 teams, 219 riders, 21 stages and 3,404km of road, hill and mountain. Wiggins may be missing this year, but the British riders of the Tour de France 2013 are more than worth getting to know better. With 22 TdF appearances between them, an impressive amount of Giro and Vuelta experience plus an Olympic medal or two, the six Brits tackling the historic 100th edition of the Tour will help keep patriotic hearts in the mouth…


Chris FroomeName: Chris Froome

DoB: May 20, 1985

Team: Team Sky

TdF Appearances: 2008 and 2012

Top TdF Placing: 2nd in 2012

TdF Stage Wins: 1

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @chrisfroome



Need to Know: Snapping at the heels of Wiggins last year and likely only team tactics that held him back. Unencumbered and leading Team Sky for 2013, it’s going to be interesting to see what he can pull out of the bag, especially after such an impressive build to the TdF with wins including the Tour of Oman and the Critérium du Dauphiné.



Geraint ThomasName: Geraint Thomas

DoB: May 25, 1986

Team: Team Sky

TdF Appearances: 2007, 2010 and 2011

Top TdF Placing: 31st in 2011

TdF Stage Wins: None

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @geraintthomas86



Need to Know: Thomas has his full attention back on the road following Olympic glory on the track in the Team Pursuit in 2012. Despite often being tagged a Time Trial specialist, he is rapidly proving himself a dependable all-rounder and he’s already proved his climbing legs during the 2011 TdF. Thomas will be lending strong support to Froome on this one.



Peter KennaughName: Peter Kennaugh

DoB: June 15, 1989

Team: Team Sky

TdF appearances: 0

Top TdF Placing: NA

Stage Wins: NA

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @petekennaugh



Need to Know: Another rider who focused much of 2012 on the track, bagging Gold as part of GB Team Pursuit, but making his TdF debut. Despite his lack of experience through France, Kennaugh brings experience of the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia and with four podium positions in his last four National Championships he is a massively well respected member of Team Sky. At just 24, Kennaugh is the youngest Brit taking on the TdF this year.



Ian StannardName: Ian Stannard

DoB: May 25, 1987

Team: Team Sky

TdF Appearances: 0

Top TdF Placing: NA

Stage wins: NA

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @istannard



Need to Know: The fourth Brit riding for Sky, like Kennaugh Stannard is making his Tour de France debut but as the 2012 British Road Race Champion and his reputation as a solid domestique he will be bringing plenty to the mix. Both his TT skills and climbing ability are improving year on year, making Stannard a cliché-making ‘one to watch’.



Mark CavendishName: Mark Cavendish

DoB: May 21, 1985

Team: Omega Pharma-Quick Step

TdF Appearances: 2007 (withdrawn), 2008 (withdrawn), 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012

Top TdF Placing: 130th in 2011

Stage wins: 23

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @markcavendish


Need to Know: With six TdF appearances to his name, despite the 2007/8 withdrawals, Cav has an impressive number of stage wins to his name and with excellent looking form going into the 2013 Tour he will surely add to them to close in on the legendary Eddy Merckx’s tally of 34. Clearly frustrated at Sky, he now effectively has a team assembled around him hell-bent on making his ambitions come to fruition. It’s hard to imagine the Champs-Elysees without Cavendish launching himself hell for leather on the final day…



David MillarName: David Millar

DoB: January 4, 1977

Team: Team Garmin-Sharp

TdF Appearances: 2000, 2001 (withdrawn), 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Top TdF Placing: 59th in 2006 (2003’s 55th place was achieved doping)

Stage wins: 3

Team Website:

Personal Website: NA

Follow on Twitter: @millarmind


Need to Know: At 36 Millar is the oldest Brit in this year’s Tour, but just look at the experience he brings – 11 TdF appearances and one of the very few British riders (and youngest of any nationality) to have worn the leader’s maillot jaune. A dark past – despite plenty of penance – make Millar a controversial figure but his time trialing skills and general work ethic always make him worth watching.


Want to know how the Tour de France began? Read the Cyclo feature Origins of the Tour de France here.


In the mood for more TdF? Tour de France 100th Race Anniversary Edition book review here.



Team Sky Announce Tour de France Squad

Team Sky Tour de France 2013 SquadTeam Sky has announced its line-up for the 100th edition of the Tour de France, which starts in Corsica on June 29. The team brings together riders from five different nations with leader Chris Froome one of four British riders in the line-up.


Aside Froome, the GB riders comprise Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh, with Australia’s Richie Potre, Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, Spain’s David López and Vasil Kiryienka and Kanstantsin Siutsou, both from Belarus, completing the squad. Eight of the team were together at the Criterium du Dauphine, where Froome came first and Richie Porte second.


Confirming the final selection for the Tour de France team, Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said, ‘Making the final selection of riders has been especially tough this year but we believe that we’ve found the right combination for the Tour de France.  We have a group of nine riders that are all in great form and ready for the challenge ahead… The Tour de France has been the main goal for Chris this season and he goes into the race in great shape. With four stage-race wins this year Chris has not only grown as a rider but also importantly as a leader.’


On the selection of the wider squad, Brailsford added, Around him (Froome) are eight quality riders who have each earned their place in the team. They will add the climbing ability and the engines to provide the perfect support for Chris, especially in the crucial mountain stages. We’ve seen what this group are capable of at the Dauphine and all have raced with Chris successfully at some stage this year.


Commenting further on the squad Chris Froome said, ‘I’m delighted with the balance in this team and every one of these riders is going to play a pivotal role once the racing begins. Most of us were at the Criterium du Dauphine and I was hugely impressed there with the way the team came together in control of the leader’s jersey. It gave me huge faith and I could not be happier with the selection.’



Chris Froome Wins Criterium du Dauphine

Chris Froome Wins Criterium du DauphineChris Froome and Richie Porte took two of the top four positions – second and fourth respectively – on the mountainous final stage (155.5km, Sisteron to Risoul) at the Criterium du Dauphine yesterday (Sunday, June 9). Even more significantly the placing secured Froome the overall win of the week-long stage race, emulating Sir Bradley Wiggins, who triumphed in 2011 and 2012; Porte took second place just 58seconds adrift of his teammate with Katusha’s Daniel Moreno on +2:12 over Froome’s total time of 29hr 28’46”.


Speaking after yesterday’s stage Froome said, ‘This win is a massive achievement for me. I was using the Dauphine as build up to the Tour de France, but to have come away with the victory here, I couldn’t have asked for any more, and to have my best friend in second place is the perfect scenario. It would have been great to win the stage as well but we have already won two of those this week and it just proved impossible to reel in De Marchi in the end.’


Nicolas Portal, Team Sky Sports Director, added, ‘It was nice to finish with such a fantastic performance. The team were super strong and then Froomey and Richie rounded it off in style. Those two have ticked off every goal they’ve set this season, raced hard, and enjoyed a lot of success. That breeds massive confidence within the rest of team because they know their efforts won’t be wasted and that Richie and Froomey can deliver the results.’


Froome is now clearly one to watch at the Tour de France which begins on June 29 in Corsica.



Chris Froome Shines at Criterium du Dauphine

Chris Froome Shines at Criterium du DauphineTeam Sky have made an emphatic statement at the Criterium du Dauphine with Chris Froome winning Stage 5 – 139km, Gresy-sur-Aix to Valmorel – and moving into overall lead. On the Valmorel summit finish Froome reacted to an attack from rival Alberto Contador, shutting down him before riding clear to win in a time of 3hr 28’39”, four seconds ahead of the Spaniard. Garmin-Sharp’s Rohan Dennis took third place on +54.


Speaking after his victory, Froome (now surely a favourite for the Tour de France) said, ‘It’s definitely a good gauge for me to be able to test myself against someone like Alberto who has won multiple Grand Tours. To be able to finish in front of someone like him definitely gives me a lot of confidence, especially three weeks out from the Tour de France… Yesterday was a big test in the time trial to see where the other guys were. I’m happy with the result in that stage and today was a different kind of test in the mountains. Coming away with a stage win wasn’t really the plan, but I’m really happy that I can reward my team-mates with a stage victory because they did a super job looking after me. Especially in the final, Pete Kennaugh and Richie Porte were fantastic.’


With Sky’s Richie Porte currently enjoying second in the overall standings too, a clearly delighted Nicolas Portal, Team Sky Sports Director, added, ‘It was a great performance today. The plan was to try and take the jersey on the stage and open out an advantage on the GC if possible. Everything worked perfectly.’



Bradley Wiggins vs Chris Froome?

Bradley Wiggins and Chris FroomeCould a storm be brewing? Bradley Wiggins, very much man of the year in 2012, has again stated his intention of defending his historic Tour de France title, whilst team mate Chris Froome – hot off his win of the Tour de Romandie – insists he will be the man to lead out the squad come June 29, commenting, ‘I have been reassured by the management at Team Sky that I have their full backing.’ Wiggins had initially been expected to concentrate his efforts on the Giro d’Italia, which starts this Saturday (May 4), but has told reporters he will be looking for a double victory rather than playing any supporting role.


Kenya-born Froome, runner-up to Wiggins at last year’s TdF, insists that, ‘at no time has the leadership of the Tour (de France) team been in question’, yet Team Sky Principal, Sir David Brailsford, continues to maintain that a final decision is unlikely to be made until just days before the start.


In response to Brailsford’s pragmatic ‘I think whoever is in the best shape should be really’ pronouncement, Froome released a statement saying, ‘There has been much speculation regarding the leadership for Team Sky at the Tour de France this year. I have made it clear that winning the Tour would be my main objective for 2013… Attempting to win the Tour de France, is a massive undertaking and will take total commitment from each and every team member.’ Adding the rather pointed (barbed?) conclusion, ‘I have no doubt that the strongest and most willing riders will be there to support me.’


Inter-team rivalry rarely ends well; without resolution the situation could easily result in two losers, not one clear winner…



Chris Froome wins Tour de Romandie

Chris Froome wins Tour de RomandieTeam Sky’s Chris Froome put in a solid final time trial at yesterday’s Tour de Romandie for a third place (34 seconds behind winner Tony Martin, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) to secure an overall victory. With a winning time of 19h 24’51”, Froome clinched the win ahead of Katusha’s Simon Spilak in second and Movistar’s Rui Costa in third. The result ensured a second consecutive victory in the Swiss WorldTour event following the success of Sir Bradley Wiggins last year; holding yellow since the opening prologue on Tuesday, it also represented the first time Team Sky have led a stage race from start to finish.


Commenting on his win, Froome said, ‘It has been a really good week for us I am really happy with my condition now in the build-up to the Tour de France,” said the race winner. This week I couldn’t have done it without the help of a really strong team around me. Every day since the prologue, they have protected me and kept me at the front of the race. I owe it to them this week.’ And on his Tour de France prospects he cautiously added, ‘It is definitely a good omen, but the Tour is still two months away and I need to do a lot of hard training before then.’



Vincenzo Nibali Wins Tirreno-Adriatico

Vincenzo Nibali Wins Tirreno-Adriatico After seven days of action – including some apocalyptic weather and that hill which proved too steep for many – Astana rider Vincenzo Nibali has won the Tirreno-Adriatico. Nibali took only 12th place on the final 9.2km Individual Time Trrial stage in San Benedetto del Tronto (won, almost inevitably by Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Tony Martin in 10’25”) but it was more than enough to hold off Sky’s contender for CG Chris Froome who took sixth on the stage, on +15, forcing him to settle for second on the overall podium. Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador filled out the third place, 52 seconds adrift of Nibali’s total time of 28h, 8minutes and 17seconds.


Organisers of the event had been strongly criticised for the tear-inducing climb of the Muro di Sant’Elpidio that dominated Monday’s stage; the 27% incline caused the retirement of a huge proportion of the field including Andy Schleck and Mark Cavendish and reshaped the field to such an extent it effectively lost Froome his chances of victory. Race Director Michele Acquarone took to twitter to say, ‘If riders are not happy, fans are not happy and I’m not happy too. Sometimes it’s not easy to find the right balance.’



Chris Froome Leads in Tour of Oman

Chris Froome takes the lead in Tour of OmanChris Froome, superbly set up by his Team Sky teammates, has scored a second place on today’s Stage 4 of the Tour of Oman – the 152.5km mountainous route from Al Satiyah to Jabal Al Akhdar – to take the overall lead. With two days of action left, Froome took the second position 4seconds adrift of winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha, in a time of 3h 35’ 00”) after an epic battle on the Tour’s trademark climb on the Green Mountain summit finish, which saw BMC Racing’s Cadel Evans finish in third. Froome, now on a total time of 16hr 35’ 05”, sits reasonably comfortably 24seconds ahead of Evans in second overall and 25seconds over Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) in third; the Spaniard later tweeted ‘Already back to the hotel from stage 4. Today uphill finish, sensations were not the best, but I’m improving.’


Today’s stage – known as the ‘Queen Stage’ – was crucial to Froome staying in contention having started it in 13th overall place after two consecutive days or victory from Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Peter Sagan left the Sky rider some 36seconds behind. If Froome, who has previously taken second place at both the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, can maintain his composure over the next two days he could take the first major stage race of his career.