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Video: Roche still ranks Contador as Tour de France favourite

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
July 03, 2011, 19:23 BST,
Updated:
July 03, 2011, 20:31 BST
Edition:
Third Edition Cycling News, Sunday, July 3, 2011
Race:
Tour de France, Stage 2
Ireland's Stephen Roche is one of four new appointees to the UCI ProTour Council.

Ireland's Stephen Roche is one of four new appointees to the UCI ProTour Council.

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Former winner tips Van Den Broeck and Martin to do well

1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche still ranks Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank SunGard) as the favourite for this year's race.

The Spaniard lost over a minute on his rivals on stage one and slipped even further down the overall standing after the stage two team time trial. He now lies 1:38 behind on arch rival Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) and 1:41 behind Cadel Evans (BMC).

Taking both a long term and optimistic view, Roche believes that Contador will come good and that with 19 stages still remaining in the race, he has ample opportunities to eliminate any time gaps. According to Roche, if Contador starts the final time trial in Grenoble with even a deficit of 1:45 to 2 minutes on Schleck, he can still win his fourth Tour de France.

Roche also picks Jurgen Van Den Broeck as the candidate for the podium while Tony Martin may surprise with a strong performance in the Pyrenees and the Alps. As for Nicholas Roche, his son, Stephen is optimistic that he can make the top ten by Paris.

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