Velo’s official 2015 Tour de France guide

Gear up for the Grande Boucle with Velo's official guide, including info on favorites, route details, and an interview with Vincenzo Nibali

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Velo’s official Tour de France guide is back and includes everything you’ll need for 2015’s event. With breakdowns of each stage, jersey competitions, contenders, and teams, the official guide provides the info you’ll need to know to be ready for the biggest road race in the world — well, to watch it, of course, not ride it.

This year’s race includes no shortage of favorites, as the “fantastic four” of Chris Froome (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) are all toeing the start line for the Grand Départ. In the official guide, these riders, among others, are scored and ranked on their abilities to climb, time trial, their tactical sense, and strength of team.

The Grand Départ of this year’s Tour de France has ventured abroad for the second consecutive year and will start on July 4 in Utrecht, Netherlands and finish on July 26 on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the race finishing on the famous boulevard.

Froome and Contador will renew their battle on the roads of France after both crashed and abandoned last year in separate incidents. Quintana returns to the Tour this year, after winning the 2014 Giro, and hopes to become the first Colombian to win the Tour. Nibali talks about earning achievements the old-fashioned way and how winning the second time is more difficult.

Other features focus on America’s best chances for Tour glory. Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) returns after a rough and tumble 2014 Tour, looking for redemption. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) achieved a top-five placing last year, but still searches for the “perfect race.”

Peter Sagan won the green jersey competition the last three years running. The Slovakian’s versatility to sprint and climb well has made winning the green jersey seem all too easy. Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) look to change the script, as the French also get in on the action with a few sprinters of their own, such as Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

The king of the mountains jersey may be the hardest competition to predict, as the mountains favor opportunists; 2015 is no different, though we can think of a few names who might wear polka dots in Paris.

The white jersey, reserved for riders age 25 and under, serves as a look into the future of who will be contending for the podium in the years to come. The last two years have seen the white jersey winner stand on the overall GC podium in Paris, in FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot (third overall 2014) and Quintana (second overall 2013). There is no shortage of young talent at this year’s Tour, as Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) is back after an impressive sixth overall last year, and don’t count out Orica-GreenEdge’s twin Yates brothers, Adam or Simon, who may have stints in the white jersey.

The 102nd Tour de France is sure to have ample excitement, so pick up your copy of Velo’s official Tour de France guide today. Follow along day by day and make your predictions for the stage winners, the contenders for the green, polka-dot, and white jerseys, as well as who will stand upon the final podium in Paris.

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