A little later than originally planned, this year's Tour de France is due to get underway on August 29 in Nice, with Tom Dumoulin among those due to be on the start line as a contender for the yellow jersey. The Dutchman is among those interviewed exclusively by Procycling as part of the magazine's 2020 Tour preview edition.
Having finished second overall when he last raced the Tour in 2018, this year will see Dumoulin co-lead a fearsome Jumbo-Visma line up for the first time. While the Dutchman has won the Giro d'Italia, the 29-year-old has yet to fully target the yellow jersey, without the Giro d'Italia or his other goals getting in the way.
Injury forced him to miss last year's race, and the year before he raced in Italy at the Giro, before starting at the Tour. Still, Dumoulin tells Procycling's editor Edward Pickering that he's confident it's not too late for him to win the Tour.
"I'm convinced that if everything falls into place that I could win it," he says. "It's a question whether it will ever happen, but I hope so and I'm working hard on it."
The 2020 race has been billed as a clash between super teams Jumbo-Visma and Ineos, the seven-times champions in the race. Among Dumoulin and co's rivals will be 2018 Tour winner and last year's runner-up Geraint Thomas, who is expected to start as co-leader with defending champion Egan Bernal.
Procycling speaks to Thomas and his Welsh teammate and fellow podcaster Luke Rowe about the competitiveness at Tour training camps, being long-standing Ineos stalwarts and their entertaining podcast, 'Watts Occurring'.
"I'm a bit different to Luke. I don't mind training on my own, but in lockdown it just felt like we were getting the efforts done, whereas now, the competitiveness comes out. You're not racing each other but we're all racers, aren't we?" Thomas says.
"We have a great bunch of lads but essentially if you want to be brutally honest about it, there are 10 people and eight are going to go to the Tour. There's potentially three leaders so there's that competitive edge which I don't think is a bad thing," Rowe says.
After being part of three Tour-winning teams at Sky, Richie Porte has endured a frustrating relationship with the race ever since as a leader in his own right. Crashes and bad luck have hampered his GC challenges over the years, all at times he felt he was in the form to challenge for a podium spot. The Australian talks to Sophie Hurcom about missed opportunities along the way and why he's taking a different approach in the future.
The Israel Start-Up Nation team will make history at this year's Tour, for being the first Israeli team to start at the race. It's also expected that an Israeli rider will start the Tour for the first time in history. Just five years after their launch, the team have progressed rapidly to the WorldTour and made a statement of their future intent by signing Chris Froome for next season. Procycling speaks to the general manager Kjell Carlström about their ethos and aims.
The history books mark Emma Pooley as the last winner of the Grande Boucle in 2009, the race historically known as the women's Tour de France even though its final edition consisted of just four stages. Years later, the Briton was one of the pivotal figures whose campaigning led to the creation of La Course. Sophie Hurcom speaks to Pooley about her memories of the Grande Boucle, and why women are yet to see true parity at the Tour de France.
In this month's Retro, William Fotheringham goes back to 1995 and the last of Miguel Indurain's five consecutive Tour victories and explains why the race was more varied and unpredictable than most of the Spaniard's wins, but also ended in tragedy.
Elsewhere, Procycling previews all 21 stages of the race and analyses the tactics of every team to see which riders to watch, while we feature all our regulars, including this month's catch-up with our diarists and thoughts from our columnist Laurens ten Dam.
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