Freeman Cebu Sports

It's the Tour de France!!!

ALLEZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  For the next three weeks, it’ll be the biggest show on earth. With Europe starting to get back to its feet from the pandemic, the fans are back on the sides of the road. Some are so enthusiastic and some just plain stupid that one fan with a cardboard sign caused a crash that ended the race of one domestique even before the first stage.

Unfortunately, its bike racing and for the premier event, you cant put it in a bubble like the NBA. The race has to be contested on public roads for the public to see for free.

While there are lots of pretenders to the throne, I think only two people are capable of dethroning the defending champion, Tadej Pogacar. They are last year’s first runner up, Primoz Roglic and Richard Carapaz.

Roglic is the hungriest and the way he lost the race was the most heartbreaking since Greg Lemond rip the heart of the France when he beat Laurent Fignon by 8 seconds in the final stage. Roglic was leading in the penultimate stage, a time trial, when he choked in the most dramatic of fashion- literally and figuratively, and lost to Pogacar. He had the face of a man accepting fate, forlorn and hopeless, an ill-fitting helmet askew, and sweat dripping from his face like life leaking from his body. But the way he accepted his loss, in front of the world, was just so pitiful and admirable at the same time.

While Roglic won the the Vuelta a Espana a few weeks later, it was a small consolation.

Richard Carapaz is from Uruguay and the first cyclist from his country to win a grand tour, the Giro d’Italia in 2019. The 28yo has been so strong in the build up to the Tour. He can explode during the climbs but he cant time trial, unlike Roglic and Pogacar, who excelled in that discipline. However, Carapz is a better climber than both and it would very compelling how the trio will balance their forte for the yellow jersey.

Interestingly, Roglic and Pogacar are both Slovenians although the former is 10 years older than the latter. Its my observation that the run in the Tour victory is by nationality. From 1990-95, it was Spain. Then from 99-05, it was the Americans, then followed by the Brits. Now it’s the Sloveninans who are starting to roll.

While Ineos has four possible winners in the team, I would put my money on Carapaz as he is the strongest overall and has the best chance of getting into the podium.

Here’s my prediction: 1- Pgacar, 2- Roglic 3- Carapaz.

Also, at this point, we’ll know if Mathiue van Der Poel has honored his grandfather by taking the yellow jersey. You see his grandpa is Raymond Polidour, dub as the, “Eternal Second” for placing second three times and third place 5 time. His career was unfortunate for it started when the great Jaques Anquetil was at the second half of this career and ended when the GOAT Eddy Merckx was starting his. GO MVDP!!!

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