Who We Had:
|Peter Sagan, photo via Cannondale Pro Cycling|
We were way off. Nibali heard we were calling him a favorite and then he decided to skip the event altogether.
It's hard to call the green jersey a failure—but we admittedly expected Sagan to win more stages than he did. Last year he won three, this year just the one. Even so, he held onto the green jersey with a remarkable lead.
|Chris Froome, photo via Team Sky|
It was pretty easy to be right about Froome. He was a big favorite after his performance last year and, as we all saw, he did not disappoint. Even so we pat ourselves on the back for our accuracy in this prediction.
In all honesty, we sort of figured the Tour would be between Contador and Froome, but Contador wasn't even on the podium. He was a strong contender in many of the stages, but he faded badly in the last week. After three times standing on the top step—though one was wiped from his record for the whole "Spanish Beef" thing—the Spaniard probably pretty disappointed with the outcome.
Tejay van Garderen
Aside from Nibali, van Garderen was probably our least successful pick. He crashed early in the race and ended up finishing 45th—and he narrowly missed winning the Alpe d'Huez stage (though he did get Team BMC's first top three finish). We expected much, much more from the American, what with his fifth overall placing in last year's Tour and his win at the Tour of California this year.
Hesjedal went down in a crash in the race's first stage and was dogged won the rest of the Tour with a broken rib. An overall finish of 70th, it wasn't the performance we expected to see from the Garmin-Sharp rider.
|Mark Cavendish at the Giro d'Italia|
Looks like Cav finally found his rival. Two stage wins isn't what we'd call a failure, but with an overall finish of 148th and four stages lost to Marcel Kittel, we can admit the Brit wasn't as remarkable as we thought he'd be.
Evans seems to be going the wrong way. He won yellow in 2011, was 7th last year and came in a dismal 39th this year after a tough, exhausting race. He's credited his poor performance at the Tour to his last-minute enter in the Giro d'Italia, where he was 3rd, but perhaps it's time for the Australian to find a different focus?
We have to admit, 20th place is a disappointment for a man who, by default, took first in 2010. A broken pelvis takes time to heal, apparently.
Who We Missed:
|Nairo Quintana, photo via Movistar|
Not including Quintana in our list was a huge oversight. The Colombian rider for Movistar kicked ass at his Tour de France debut, coming in 2nd overall and scoring both the white and polka dot jerseys. Oh, and he won stage 20, so it's pretty easy to say Quintana is a powerhouse. We look forward to seeing his career develop.
Another big oversight, since Rodríguez, a Spanish climber for Katusha was 3rd overall. We should've known he'd do well, what with his 4th place finish at this year's Tour of Oman, his 2nd place finishes at both the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Volta a Catalunya, and last year's 2nd place standing in the Giro d'Italia and points classification win.
We're also kicking ourselves for forgetting Kittel. After dropping out during his Tour de France debut last year due to illness, the 25-year-old German stole the show with four stage wins this year, including the finale.