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Video: Roche still ranks Contador as Tour de France favourite

Ireland's Stephen Roche is one of four new appointees to the UCI ProTour Council.

Ireland's Stephen Roche is one of four new appointees to the UCI ProTour Council. (Image credit: Ken Farrar)

1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche still ranks Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank SunGard) as the favourite for this year's race.

The Spaniard lost over a minute on his rivals on stage one and slipped even further down the overall standing after the stage two team time trial. He now lies 1:38 behind on arch rival Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) and 1:41 behind Cadel Evans (BMC).

Taking both a long term and optimistic view, Roche believes that Contador will come good and that with 19 stages still remaining in the race, he has ample opportunities to eliminate any time gaps. According to Roche, if Contador starts the final time trial in Grenoble with even a deficit of 1:45 to 2 minutes on Schleck, he can still win his fourth Tour de France.

Roche also picks Jurgen Van Den Broeck as the candidate for the podium while Tony Martin may surprise with a strong performance in the Pyrenees and the Alps. As for Nicholas Roche, his son, Stephen is optimistic that he can make the top ten by Paris.

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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.