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There are just ten days until the start of the 2013 Tour de France, and the 100th edition of the great race promises to write another rich chapter in the history of La Grande Boucle.
Over the next ten days, Cyclingnews will count down to the 2013 Tour de France with up-to-the-minute news, race and stage previews, exclusive interviews, pre-race analysis and press conference coverage.
The absence of defending champion Bradley Wiggins means that Team Sky’s efforts are all channelled towards Chris Froome. Backed by Richie Porte, Froome lines up in Corsica as the favourite for final overall victory but he is sure to face a stiff challenge from Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), Cadel Evans (BMC) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
After a troubled twelve months, Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard) is hoping to fight his way back to the upper echelons of the sport, while young talents such as Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) could illuminate the race. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) will duel for the green jersey at the head of one of the strongest sprint fields ever assembled at the Tour, with André Greipel (Lotto Belilsol), Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) also on hand.
During the race Cyclingnews will provide live coverage of every stage as well as expert opinion from Robert Millar and rider blogs from inside the peloton. There will be complete coverage with race reports, stunning photography, video interviews and news from every stage of the Tour.
To kick off our countdown here’s a race preview looking at the race route and the riders competing at the 2013 Tour de France.