Tour de France

Tour de France 2014 mapJuly 4-26 2015

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) took the race leader’s yellow jersey after a wet and windy stage two.

It looked as if the veteran Swiss rider had missed his chance to wear yellow after Rohan Dennis (BMC) won the opening time trial in Utrecht with an outstanding ride that established a new record for a Tour time trial average speed. However, crashes, wind and rain split the peloton on stage two and Cancellara seized the opportunity, finishing third behind Andre Greipel and Peter Sagan.

Of the principal GC contenders, Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick-Step), Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Chris Froome (Team Sky) are in the overall top 10. Alberto Contador lies in 14th, a minute off the lead, but all these riders have more than a minute’s advantage over Vincenzo Nibali, Thibault Pinot and Nairo Quintana, who all have work to do after a difficult first two days.

The 2015 Tour de France looks set to be one for the climbers with three mountainous days in the Pyrenees followed by two big days in the Alps at the end of the three weeks. The penultimate day of the race finishes at the top of Alpe d’Huez.

Reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali has skipped the Giro d’Italia in favour of defending his title, while Chris Froome, one of the strongest climbers in the pro peloton, will also line up with the aim of taking his second victory.

Nairo Quintana is also expected to challenge for the yellow jersey, particularly as this year’s route looks to favour him with only one short individual time trial and one team time trial.

In terms of experience, however, no-one can match two-time winner Alberto Contador, who will continue his quest for a Giro-Tour double when he takes the start in Utrecht.

The cobbles of northern France feature once again as will the famously steep Mur de Huy in Belgium. Following the start in Utrecht – the Tour’s 21st foreign start – the race makes its way across the north of France before the transfer to the Pyrenees.

Key info: 2015 Tour route | Contenders (video) | Route analysis | Start list | Tour videos | TV Guide | Past winners | Brief history | Jerseys | Brits in the Tours

Key riders: Vincenzo Nibali | Chris Froome | Alberto Contador | Nairo Quintana

Previous editions: 2014 TdF | 2013 TdF | 2012 TdF | 2011 TdF | 2010 TdF