Four Colombian riders currently sit in the top 10 of the Tour de France, and two of those have raised the possibility of teaming up to stop Primoz Roglic.
Slovenian Roglic sits top of the General Classification and looks the clear favourite to win the Tour at this early stage. But both Miguel Angel Lopez and Nairo Quintana have suggested the Colombians could work together to knock him off his perch, despite all being from different teams.
“We all ride for different teams, we all have different interests, maybe there could be a collaboration on the road,” Lopez said, referring to Egan Bernal, Rigoberto Uran, Quintana and himself. “Maybe it’s something that could happen later in the Tour and once things are clearer in the race. Right now everything is more open.
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“I would have nothing against this idea of an alliance with the Colombian riders. Maybe if I lose all options, maybe there could be alternative, I personally think about it like this.”
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Quintana has reportedly privately suggested a similar arrangement, but Bernal is not impressed, telling reporters:
“How strange that Nairo talks about alliances when I have attacked many times and I have gone with him, I have asked him for the change and he does not happen to help me. It catches my attention.”
It’s not just Colombians who could form an alliance, with another Slovenian Tadej Pogacar also looking extremely strong in the opening mountain stages of the Tour. And Lopez says it’s an indication that Colombians no longer should consider themselves a dominant force in the mountains.
“These two [Roglic and Pogacar] are doing very well. Everyone talks about the Colombians being the best climbers, but cycling is changing, and teams are always very strong.
We are seeing Roglič is very strong in the mountains but also very strong in the time trial. That will be a big advantage for him against the pure climbers.
“The teams today are so strong, especially Jumbo and Ineos, this really limits the ability to make longer attacks,” Lopez continued. “No one is going to attack with two climbs to go. Now it’s so controlled it comes down to a mano-a-mano fight on the upper parts of the final climbs. Believe me, it’s hard enough to stay there. The leaders are equally strong at the top. You have to hang on as long as you can.
“Until now, this is just a preview of what lies ahead. The Tour is still very open, and there is a lot of battle ahead of us,” he added. “Rigo and Egan are among the favourites, they can be on the podium, we see Roglic and Pogacar as the strongest right now. We’ll see how things turn out.”
Where can I watch the Tour de France?
The will be available to watch live and in full on Eurosport 1 and online as a live stream on the Eurosport Player streaming platform.
The coverage will feature Bradley Wiggins as an expert analyst throughout the Tour de France, and a new addition to Eurosport’s cycling coverage will be interviews and analysis from Bernie Eisel.
The Breakaway, a post-stage review show will be available to watch online after each Tour de France stage on the Eurosport Player streaming platform and the GCN App.
The Bradley Wiggins Show podcast will continue throughout the Tour, with 10 full episodes released across the three weeks.
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