Who will win the Tour de France 2009?

In the next week we will prepare ourselves for the Tour de France.
In this part we will focus on the potential winners and their odds. I will also try to explain why a rider can win it or why not.

The biggest problem is the length of the tour de France. It lasts 3 weeks in which a lot can happen (sickness, falls, etc…). Also we may not underestimate the doping ghost!

In all my posts I’m using the odds of Unibet.

First let’s take a look at the top5.
Contador (Astana) – 1,85
Armstrong (Astana) – 4,50
Schleck A. (Saxo) – 9,00
Evans (Silence – Lotto) – 13,00
Menchov (Rabobank) – 16,00

Why will he win?
At the moment he is maybe the talented rider of the pack. Winning 2 years ago. Last year due to the team doping policy his team was not allowed to participate at the Tour.
He is riding for the best team and probably he of one of his teammates will take yellow after the team time trial. If so it will be though to get him out of the yellow.
Another reason why he will win is that the combined total of kilometer against the clock (not including the team time trial) is reduced to 56 km. I consider for instance Evans and Armstrong better riders against the clock.

Why not?
At Astana he leads the team, but there are also others in the team, who already have won the tour of finished in the top 5. So, it is not sure that if he is having a bad day, the complete team will help him, because others will go for their own chances.
Armstrong will ride a better a better opening time trial and therefore will have a bonus on Contador.

Why will he win?
Well it is simple; he won his last 7 tours. (Still incredible)
He is a better rider against the clock than Contador. He is one of the best friends of Johan Bruyneel. He did ride the Giro as preparation and was getting better and better by the day. And last but not least he has the most tour experience of them all.

Why not?
His preparation was disturbed by a big crash, breaking his collar bone.
He is already 38 years old. If he wins, he will be the oldest rider to win the tour.
He is not the number one in the team, which is Contador.
He was out of competition for 3 years!

Schleck A.
Why will he win?
Well to be honest I don’t see Andy Schleck winning the tour. I do see him within the top 5. He did great last year, winning the white jersey and ending in 12th place overall. He could however profit from Cancellara in the TTT.
Probably he will win the Tour de France eventually, but I don’t expect it to be this year. Maybe in 2011.

Why not?
There are not enough finishes on the top of the mountains. Only 3.
He is a good time rider but not good enough.

Why will he win?
He is in good shape and after so many places this could his year. A good example of this is that he did beat Contador in the Dauphine.
No question about it, every one within the team has to ride for Cadel.

Why not?
His team. Pff, such a good rider but almost always alone in the mountains. Also he will loose a lot of time in the TTT. Probably too much to make up.

Why will he won?
He did win the Giro so he is in good shape.

Why not?
He did win the Giro
Just like Evans he will loose time in the TTT.
He is not an attacking rider and will have to do this to capture the yellow jersey after the TTT.

My verdict:
Everybody thinks that Contador will win the Tour (look at the odds), but I think that there is bigger chance that he won’t. Better value bets will be Evans of even A. Schleck.
My buck will be one Evans, with a return of 13 to 1.


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