Tour de France: Froome looks imperious but it’s all to play for

Chris Froome
Chris Froome
Mike Williams on his way to second place in the veteran 50 race last month. Picture: Neil Marshall (171322-123)

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Fareham Wheelers coach Gareth Peters gives his verdict on the race so far.

I’m feeling a little smug right now.

Chris Froome is looking imperious.

Before the start my heart was with the Team Sky man but my head said Alberto Contador.

The Spaniard has been pulling a few faces, though, and I wonder whether the Giro has taken a little bit out of him.

His Tinkoff Saxo team also had the huge knock yesterday with Ivan Basso withdrawing from the race after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

That is bound to affect them and he would have been a key guy in the mountains for Contador.

With all that in mind, I can see Froome putting a marker down as the race enters the Pyrenees today.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he has a huge dig at the end.

And by this time next week, he may well have extended the lead over his rivals.

He has to capitalise on his form.

But make no mistake, we are still in a position where anything can happen.

And you only need to take a look at the events of last week to underline that.

I felt worn out just watching the opening nine stages. It has been breathtaking stuff.

Rohan Dennis breaking the Tour time trial record in stage one was a little unexpected.

But it showed just what a stunning ride it was. It was a Champagne ride.

His team-mate Tejay van Garderen has impressed but I think Froome suggesting the American is his number-one rival is a bit of kidology.

I don’t think they have the strength in depth in their team to carry it all the way to Paris.

The Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot becoming the first African to wear the climbers’ polka-dot jersey at the Tour was a lovely story.

And what about the sprints? I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them and seeing André Greipel doing the business.

As his nickname suggests, he is a Gorilla on the bike but seems like a lovely guy off it.