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Gerdemann tips climbers for Tour

Linus Gerdemann (Team Columbia) won this year's Deutschland Tour

Linus Gerdemann (Team Columbia) won this year's Deutschland Tour (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Tour de France will be a close one, with the advantage going to climbers with strong teams, according to Linus Gerdemann of Team Columbia. "Without any extremely difficult stages and without time bonuses, I think it will be a very close race."

The opening stage, a 15km time trial in the city of Monaco, "could be very interesting," the 2007 Tour de France stage winner told Radsport-news.com. "It is not an easy warm-up like a short prologue, where you can't lose more than three to five seconds."

The hardest day will be the next to last stage up the Mont Ventoux in Provence, according to the 26 year-old, who has been hailed as Germany's next overall Tour contender. "Everyone will be exhausted by then and there will be major time differences. I have never ridden the Ventoux but it is supposed to be a very special climb."

The question remains as for which team Gerdemann will ride the Tour in the coming year, Columbia or Milram. "The decision will be made in the next few weeks," he said. "Naturally I would like to ride for a German team, but Columbia is also a very good team."

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