Video: Kroon proud of Saxo Bank's Tour performance

Despite the outstanding form of Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky here at the 2012 Tour de France, there is little doubt that, had he lined up, Alberto Contador would have been the pre-race favourite and the man to beat. He always is - the two-time winner is widely recognised as the best Grand Tour rider of his generation. The Spanish superstar was ruled out of this year's race in February – and stripped of his 2010 Tour title and the 2011 Giro d'Italia crown – following a six-month ban for a positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour.

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Mark joined the Cyclingnews team in October 2011 and has a strong background in journalism across numerous sports. His interest in cycling dates back to Greg LeMond's victories in the 1989 and 1990 Tours, and he has a self-confessed obsession with the career and life of Fausto Coppi.