Roche: Froome could shine in mountains
July 10, 2012 11:04 am
Stephen Roche predicts Alpine fireworks over the coming days as Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France lead is set to come under attack - and anticipates the race leader's Team Sky colleague and fellow Briton Chris Froome could be the major threat.
Victory in the stage nine time-trial saw Team Sky's Wiggins take a commanding lead of one minute 53 seconds in the yellow jersey over defending champion Cadel Evans into Tuesday's rest day ahead of Wednesday's resumption on the 194.5-kilometre 10th stage from Macon to Bellegard-sur-Valserine, the first Alpine stage.
Evans is 14 seconds ahead of Froome, with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 2mins 23secs adrift in fourth.
Hotchillee ambassador Roche, the 1987 Tour winner, told Press Association Sport: "The Tour's not over yet for anybody - it's going to be very interesting. Guys like Nibali and Cadel Evans are going to have to attack now if they're going to get time back."
Roche predicts Froome could triumph ahead of odds-on favourite Wiggins in the Tour, with the pair relatively equal in the time-trial format - a 53.3km test awaits on the penultimate stage - but Froome a more dynamic climber.
"The Alps and Pyrenees are going to have fireworks," he added. "Froome has a little bit of an upper hand on Bradley in the mountains. If (Frank) Schleck, for example, or Nibali attack in the mountains, Froome could go with them.
"Bradley has a very strong, thick elastic and it stretches on the attacks on the climbs.
"He's a diesel climber and he can go with attacks by keeping the tempo high and clawing it back.
"I don't know how many blows Bradley could take without cracking, but Froome can go with them."
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