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Tour journalists offer Ventoux and GC predictions

Alberto Contador seems a lock for yellow in Paris, but what about stage 20 and the other GC positions?

Alberto Contador seems a lock for yellow in Paris, but what about stage 20 and the other GC positions? (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tour Director Christian Prudhomme's dream has come to fruition regarding a showdown for GC supremacy on Mont Ventoux, one day prior to the Tour's finish in Paris. "The stage is set for a dream of a landmark finale, exactly twenty years after the most extraordinary final in the history of the Tour. Never, in over one hundred years, has a mountain been so close to Paris," said Prudhomme at the 2009 Tour's unveiling last October in reference to stage 20.

While Cyclingnews' crack crew of journalists has been hard at work each day at the Tour, we've found the time to ask our colleagues in the press room for predictions regarding the Tour de France's penultimate day showdown on Mont Ventoux and final GC in Paris. While the choice is unanimous regarding who's wearing yellow on Sunday, there's differing opinions regarding Saturday's stage and the final two GC positions.

Read what nine of our fellow journalists and one surprise prognosticator had to say.

Bonnie D. Ford (ESPN - USA)

"Not Menchov. My instinct says that it could be quite anti-climactic. I don't think anyone will try and go for a kamikaze move. People will be protecting their place within the peloton. I know Armstrong would very much like to win the stage and he'll go if he's got the legs but not if it's going to jeopardise his podium place. I think the podium will stay as it is. I know 11 seconds doesn't sound like a lot between Armstrong and Wiggins but on Mont Ventoux it will all come down to team support and I'm not sure Wiggins can make up that time."

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Alberto Contador
3. Andy Schleck

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Lance Armstrong


Peter Cossins (Freelancer and former editor of Procycling magazine - UK)

"I'm going to be different and spice it up a bit and go for Denis Menchov for tomorrow’s stage. He's won twice on the Ventoux in the Dauphiné. Wiggins won't get ahead of Armstrong but he'll be close to him. Both of them will be dropped by the leaders and Menchov, obviously."

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Denis Menchov
2. Alberto Contador
3. Andy Schleck

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Fränk Schleck


Justin Davis (AFP - International)

"I can't see the overall changing and I think someone like Klöden has more chance of getting on the podium than Wiggins. The climb is going be too difficult for him to be honest. He's a good climber but Mont Ventoux is a different story and it's right at the end of the week when there's been a lot of climbs and the time trial. I think it's one for guys who have a lot of experience on the climbs."


Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Lance Armstrong

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Lance Armstrong


Juliet Macur (New York Times - USA)

"I don't want to be boring but I think Alberto will win both the stage and the yellow jersey. I'd like Bradley to win tomorrow so that it’s more exciting with Lance but I think he'll get the final podium place."

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Bradley Wiggins

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Bradley Wiggins


Phil Sheehan (BBC - UK)

"Contador will win again. He’s on another planet with some unbelievable performances. Andy Schleck will come second and third will go to Wiggins. Those top three with take the podium places. As for Armstrong: I think we'll have a situation similar to Verbier where Wiggins got the better of him and Klöden as well."

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Bradley Wiggins

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Bradley Wiggins


Shiho Dohi (Yokohama Media crew - Japan)

"I think they'll stay together tomorrow and it's going to be very hard for Wiggins. It's amazing that a former track rider has done so well but I don't think he has the experience to get onto the podium."

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Fränk Schleck

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Lance Armstrong


Vincent Hube (L'Equipe - France)

"Armstrong might lose a lot of time tomorrow. Klöden will probably wait for him which will be good for Wiggins, who won't be too far off the Schlecks."

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Andy Schleck
2. Alberto Contador
3. Fränk Schleck

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Bradley Wiggins


Mogens Jacobsen (Politiken - Denmark)

"It all comes down to tactics on the climb but if the two [Schleck] brothers are together they could do something to outmaneuver Contador."

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Andy Schleck
2. Alberto Contador
3. Fränk Schleck


Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Fränk Schleck


Rocco Minelli (Sud Presse - Belgium)

"I don't think Armstrong will get on the podium because those three riders, the Schlecks and Contador, are stronger on the climbs and Contador will help Fränk get on the podium at the cost of Armstrong."

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Alberto Contador
2. Fränk Schleck
3. Andy Schleck

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Andy Schleck
3. Fränk Schleck


And now for something completely different...

Serge Borlée (Cadel Evans' bodyguard - Belgium)

Stage 20 to Mont Ventoux
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Alberto Contador
3. Cadel Evans

Top three in Paris
1. Alberto Contador
2. Lance Armstrong
3. Andy Schleck
 

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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.