TOUR DE FRANCE 2007: CONTENDERS UPDATE
We're mid-way through the first week of the 2007 Tour de France. So far, it's been an unpredictable and exciting mix of crashes, attacks and huge crowds.
What we wondered was: how are our pick of the favourites faring? Before the Tour started, we published our predictions for the top ten finishers. We are following their progress carefully to make sure that we didn't completely embarrass ourselves by picking a bunch of donkeys.
The race is still a long way from Paris, and we've barely had a sniff of a hill and no long time trials, so the overall contenders have been largely hidden in the peloton. Here's how they are doing (after stage three):
CYCLING WEEKLY'S TOP TEN PICK, AND HOW THEY'RE DOING
NB: Current race leader after stage three is Fabian Cancellara (CSC), 15 hours 12 minutes and 8 seconds
1 Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) at 50 secs (11th overall)
2 Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) at 1-03 (35th)
3 Frank Schleck (CSC) at 1-17 (91st)
4 Andreas Kloden (Astana) at 33 secs (2nd)
5 Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) at 56 secs (20th)
6 Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) at 1-00 (32nd)
7 Carlos Sastre (CSC) at 1-16 (89th)
8 Denis Menchov (Rabobank) at 1-00 (33rd)
9 Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) at 55 secs (18th)
10 Vladimir Karpets (Caisse d'Epargne) at 46 secs (8th)
After a stunning prologue ride, it's currently Andreas Kloden who is ruling the roost. Vladimir Karpets is second, and Alexandre Vinokourov third. However, any one of these time differences could be wiped out in a single mountain stage or time trial, so it's still wide open.
Who were we silly enough to miss out of our top ten? Tell us on the CW forum