Ah, refreshing! De Clercq, Cavgana, Gaviria and Serry enjoy some icy refreshmemts
Image credit: Getty Images
AG2R La Citroën
- Star Rider: Golden Greg van Avermaet
- Memorable Moment: Bardet’s breakthrough in 2016 when he notched second overall. In retrospect, it was all downhill from there but at the time it all felt so hopeful.
- Racing Style: These days they’re a classics team good at getting top tens but not-winning. Hard to see much success for them this year in Le Tour.
- Icy Refreshment: Cherry Coke – always sort of ‘there’ in the off-license chiller cabinet, but you never choose it.
- SR: Mighty Mathieu van der Poel
- MM: This is their debut year, would you believe. They are auto-invited as the top-ranked ProTeam.
- RS: Bag a few stage wins with van der Poel then, when he bails early for the Olympics, who knows!
- IR: Fizzy Vimto – not an immediate top tier choice, but a reliable winner.
Highlights: Dominant Van der Poel powers to Strade Bianche victory
- SR: Jakob Fuglsang, on paper at least.
- MM: Contador dropping his own teammate Lance Armstrong in 2009. If you haven’t seen The Armstrong Lie, go watch this immediately.
- RS: The sooner they abandon their GC hopes this year, the more productive their Tour will be. Lutsenko, Fraile and even Aranburu can all deliver stage wins.
- IR: Pepsi Max – you think it’s bad but actually it’s quite good.
- SR: Mikel Landa
- MM: Landa’s panicked face last year as he realised his last domestique was about to pull off and he was about to have to try and drop Pog & Rog.
- RS: They’ve started winning, recently. A lot, actually. It all depends how Landa’s GC goes, but there are a lot of stage wins in this for them.
- IR: Original Magnum – dependable but ultimately a little disappointing.
- SR: Peter Sagan. You know, Peter Sagan.
- MM: Sagan’s seven swashbuckling green jersey wins on Tinkoff, which then morphed into Bora.
- RS: Win the green jersey in the mountains. Intermediate sprint points for days. Also, Wilco Keldermann?
- IR: Lilt – used to be totally dominant in the summer time, but now a slightly fading force?
B&B Hotels p/b KTM
- SR: Pierre Rolland / Bryan Coquard
- MM: Last year at the height of ‘the BLM summer’ Kevin Reza became the focus of cycling’s own grapple with racial inequality.
- RS: Breakaway fodder, with Bryan Coquard for the sprints.
- IR: Appletiser – dark green, kinda tasty, but you’re never going to pick it as part of your meal deal.
‘Look at your belly button less’ – Kevin Reza calls on white riders to address racism
Cofidis, Solutions Credits
- SR: Guillaume Martin, philosopher, athlete, sneaky GC candidate.
- MM: They are and always will be the team after which the sport’s most notorious doping scandal was named.
- RS: Prove we’re 100% clean now by absolutely never winning anything.
- IR: Fab lolly – old school, low-budget, red and white.
- SR: Julian Alaphilippe, but also, maybe – whisper it – Mark Cavendish!
- MM: They’ve had some corkers, but Mark Cavendish crashing out of the grand départ in Yorkshire during his first stint with the team takes some topping.
- RS: Stage wins, the green jersey, but also at least six days in yellow with Julian ‘The Last Musketeer’ Alaphilippe.
- IR: Cornetto - various flavours, but all reliable winners
EF Education First NIPPO
- SR: Rigoberto Uran, coming in hot for a GC tilt after strong Suisse showing.
- MM: That time in 2017 when Rigo won a stage despite only having two gears for the last 10km.
- RS: Super-strong Colombians backed by a phalanx of cheerful North Americans. Fun!
- IR: Panda Pop Cherry flavour – bright pink, absolutely buzzing with EF numbers.
- SR: Fastman Arnaud Démare, good shot at the green jersey.
- MM: Thibaut Pinot climbing off in 2019, when he was absolutely 100% gonna win – what a sickener…
- RS: Latterly GC, but this year without Pinot you’d imagine sprintin’ and stage huntin’.
- IR: Orangina – bicycle racing teams simply don’t get Frencher than this..
- SR: Throw a stone in the team bus and you’ll hit one. Richie Porte, Richard Carapaz, Geraint Thomas… even Tao Geoghegan Hart could win.
- MM: Gosh. Wiggins in ’12, or one of the other six years they’ve won the bloody thing?
- RS: Crush. Kill. Destroy.
- IR: Feast Ice Cream – your dad’s favourite.
Intermarché Wanty Gobert
- SR: Louis Mientjes, South African former starlet who has struggled to reach his potential.
- MM: Guillaume van Keirsbulck’s solo, 190km breakaway in 2017. Memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.
- RS: Since stepping up to WorldTour, they might be less inclined to act as pack-filler, but it’s hard to see where a win will come from.
- IR: Twister ice lolly – green and white, surprisingly good
Israel StartUp Nation
- SR: Until quite extremely recently, Chris Froome.
- MM: They signed Froome on a mahoosive contract to help them try and be competitive at Le Tour, and that has not gone well for them.
- RS: Up until this year, stage hunting, but the team says they are putting their weight behind Mike Woods for the GC, after Froome failed to make the grade in time.
- IR: Tap water – plain, functional, ultimately uninspiring.
- SR: Primož Roglič, he used to be a ski jumper.
- MM: Losing the Tour in 2020 on the very last day may just become this generations unforgettable ‘Lemond-Fignon’ moment.
- RS: Tenderise the enemy with Wout, obliterate them with Primož. Big money, serious faces.
- IR: Fruit Pastilles lolly – simple, effective, conservative, gets the job done.
‘This is happening!’ - The moment Pogacar overhauled Roglic
- SR: Caleb Ewan, the pocket rocket.
- MM: Thomas De Gendt on the Ventoux in 2016, and Thomas De Gendt in every Le Tour breakaway since.
- RS: This is fundamentally a sprinting team that’ll try and take opportunities when not protecting Ewan.
- IR: Diet Coke – a zippy caffeine hit, always in and around the top three.
- SR: Marc Soler, finally emerges from the shadow of the infamous ‘trident’.
- MM: Big Mig Indurain won five Tours in a row when this team was called Banesto. That was in the ‘90s.
- RS: Internecine leadership squabbles. Dominate the team classification.
- IR: Bitter Kas – very popular in Spain but not appreciated much elsewhere, very bitter aftertaste.
Team Arkea Samsic
- SR: Somehow, inexplicably, Nairo Quintana…
- MM: 2020’s odd couple pairing of flatland bodyguard Brit, Conor Swift, and diminutive Colombian climber, Quintana, really warmed the heart. Beyond that, there aren’t many memories to choose from.
- RS: Top names like Warren Barguil and Quintana might be able to deliver a result in the mountains. It’ll be interesting to see if Nacer Bouhanni is selected given his travails this year.
- IR: Fanta Lemon – ignore at your peril, it low-key slaps but never gets the plaudits.
- SR: Simon Yates.
- MM: Back when the Aussie franchise was known as Orica, they got their team bus stuck under a finish gantry. Also that time an inflatable kite fell on Adam Yates.
- RS: We’re led to believe Simon Yates will be stage hunting as he prepares for the Olympics, while Michael Matthews might have a shout at the green jersey.
- IR: A good old 99 ice cream – tasty, but can be a bit flaky.
- SR: Romain Bardet, but they have a real gaggle of strongmen to pick from.
- MM: Had a purple patch in 2013 and 2014 when Marcel Kittel won eight stages of Le Tour, including two wins on the Champs Elysees.
- RS: One of the standout teams of 2020 with their voracious attacking style, which garnered eight podiums, of which three were stage wins.
- IR: McFlurry – one pot, but filled with many swirling and delicious flavours.
- SR: Anthony Turgis, a fierce competitor who could thrive on the toughest classics-style days.
- MM: Way back when they were known as Europcar, Thomas Voeckler’s unbelievable ten-day stint in the maillot jaune in 2011 sent France into raptures. It’s never got as good since.
- RS: Put a man in the breakaway, erry damn day. Change the kit right before the race and annoy some print journalists.
- IR: Irn Bru – a little bit nostalgic, and passionately loved by its devotees.
Team Qhubeka Assos
- SR: Have been very coy about exactly who they’re sending, but Fabio Aru is on their team roster and who could forget his iconic, short-lived surprise attacks of yesteryear?
- MM: Hard to look past Steve Cummings on Mandela Day in 2015. Pure goosebumps, the very best of sport.
- RS: Operating on a fraction of the other WorldTeams’ budgets, they continuously manage to deliver the results.
- IR: Mini Milk – they don’t cost much and everybody loves ‘em.
- SR: Vincenzo Nibali, one of four past-winners of Le Tour on the start list.
- MM: After John Degenkolb’s win on the Roubaix stage in 2018 there weren’t many dry eyes in the house.
- RS: After a magical year in which Richie Porte rode to the podium, the team is now Porte-less – and looking down the barrel of a threadbare month in France unless they can magic up some reduced-bunch finishes for Stuyven & Theuns.
- IR: Amaretto & Coke – classic American, with a big slug of Italian flavour.
A Coca-Cola support vehicle in the 2002 Tour de France. Amaretto not pictured.
Image credit: Getty Images
UAE Team Emirates
- SR: Tadej Pogačar, the champ.
- MM: Oh I don’t know, how about winning the Tour de France?
- RS: Last year Pogačar kinda snuck under the radar a little, but he won’t get the chance to do that twice. They’ve spent big to bolster their Tour squad.
- IR: San Pellegrino Aranciata flavour – more money than they know what to do with.