Tour de France

Froome favourite for ITT

2013-07-17 11:08
Chris Froome (Getty Images)

Peter Sagan wheelie

2013-07-15 12:54

Watch Peter Sagan show off on the toughest stage of the Tour de France.

Embrun - Wednesday's 17th stage of the Tour de France is a short but challenging individual time-trial that could prove to be another very significant day in the general classification.

The 32km time-trial takes the riders from the town of Embrun, at the eastern end of the artificial Lake Serre-Poncon in the Alps, to the village of Chorges via two second-category climbs, the Cote de Puy-Sanieres and the Cote de Reallon.

Germany's Tony Martin, the two-time world time-trial champion, has dominated the discipline recently, with his stunning time at Mont-Saint-Michel in last week's 11th stage recorded as the third-fastest in Tour history.

Only overall race leader Chris Froome came anywhere close to Martin on that occasion, but this time around the nature of the route means the Team Sky rider is the clear favourite to record his third stage win so far.

The two challenging climbs are likely to rule out Martin and present Froome with another chance to show off his ascending skills following his dominant wins at Ax-Trois-Domaines and on Mont Ventoux.

Alberto Contador will expect to feature strongly too, while Colombian expert climber Nairo Quintana may also be a decent bet to do well.

However, the weather could have a significant role to play too, with fine and dry conditions early in the day expected to give way to heavy rain and thunderstorms as the afternoon progresses.

That means the late starters' chances could be severely compromised if they are not comfortable on the downhills.

The first rider off the ramp on Wednesday will be the Canadian Svein Tuft, last in the general classification, at 10:17 SA time, with yellow jersey wearer Froome last to go at 16:33.

Read more on:    tdf  |  chris froome  |  cycling

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