Simon Yates: Right now, the Tour de France isn't doing anything for me

When talking to most Grand Tour contenders, past and present, the Tour de France almost invariably appears somewhere in the conversation as their big dream race – the event that drives them on in training and racing. After all, the Tour's the race that everyone – riders and public alike – considers the centrepiece of the cycling calendar. To quote Spain's first Tour de France winner, Federico Martin Bahamontes, back in 1959, "The Tour is the Tour."

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.