30 Jun 2017

Who to watch at the Tour de France

The 2017 Tour de France begins in Germany on Saturday 1 July with FSA and Vision represented by an incredible seven out of the 22 teams. From the WorldTour circuit, we have Astana, Bahrain-Merida, Cannondale-Drapac, LottoNL-Jumbo and Quick-Step Floors. FSA and Vision also power two ProContinental teams who’ve received wildcards at this year’s Tour – Direct Energie and Cofidis Solutions Crédits.

The 3,540km ultimate test of endurance begins with a 14km individual time trial around the streets of Dusseldorf, before heading into Belgium (Liege) on Sunday and starting from Luxembourg on Monday’s stage three before finishing in France later in the day… and remaining in France until the Champs Elysées finish on Sunday 23 July.

How will the FSA- and Vision-sponsored riders fare? If you look at recent form, very well indeed…


Fabio Aru and Jakob Fuglsang will share team leadership with both men riding into form. The knee injury that held back Aru’s spring seems to have recovered after a dominant victory at last weekend’s Italian national championships. Fugslang didn’t race the Danish national championships after becoming a father, but he showed his class in France just a couple weeks back with arguably the biggest victory of his career to date at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Who’ll become sole leader at the Tour remains to be seen but Aru and Fugslang will be ably supported by a solid squad that includes Michael Valgren and Andrey Zeits. Astana will use wheels, crankset and aerobars from Vision. They’ll also employ FSA’s cockpit (bars, stem and seatpost), as well as groupset, powermeter, chainrings and brakes.

Astana 2017 Tour squad

Fabio Aru (Ita)
Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
Michael Valgren (Den)
Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz)
Andriy Grivko (Ukr)
Andrey Zeits (Kaz)
Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz)
Dario Cataldo (Ita)
Bakhtyar Kozhatayev (Kaz)


After Vincenzo Nibali focused his energies on the Giro d’Italia, finishing on the podium once again, the team will focus heavily on the talents of Spain’s Ion Izagirre and Italy’s Sonny Colbrelli. After so many years supporting Quintana and Valverde at Movistar, Izagirre finally has the chance to shine at the Tour – and he’ll line up with strong form behind him after finishing sixth at the recent Tour de Suisse as well as taking third at the Spanish national championships. Izagirre’s stated his GC ambitions, though don’t bet against him challenging for stage victories on stage one and 20’s time trials. Colbrelli enjoyed a strong spring and will take on joint GC duties with Izagirre.

Bahrain-Merida will use FSA’s cockpit (bars, stem and seatpost), as well as aerobars from Vision.

Bahrain-Merida 2017 Tour squad

Ion Izagirre (Esp)
Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn)
Grega Bole (Slo)
Borut Bozic (Slo)
Janez Brajkovic (Slo)
Ondrej Cink (Cze)
Sonny Colbrelli (Ita)
Tsgabu Grmay (Eri)
Javier Moreno (Esp)


Cannondale-Drapac also go into the Tour with joint leaders in the form of Andrew Talansky and Rigoberto Uran. American Talansky recently finished third overall at the Tour of California, has finished 10th at the Tour in the past and came fifth at last year’s Vuelta. Uran’s racked up a series of top-10 finishes this year including eighth overall at Tirreno-Adriatico. The Colombian’s also twice finished runner-up at the Giro d’Italia. You can also bet Pierre Rolland will be hunting stage victories after claiming a memorable stage win at the Giro d’Italia, while Taylor Phinney could surprise many at the opening time trial.

Cannondale-Drapac will use FSA’s cockpit (bars, stem and seatpost) and chainrings, as well as aerobars from Vision.

Cannondale-Drapac 2017 Tour squad

Alberto Bettiol (Ita)
Patrick Bevin (NZl)
Nathan Brown (USA)
Simon Clarke (Aus)
Taylor Phinney (USA)
Pierre Rolland (Fra)
Andrew Talansky (USA)
Rigoberto Uran (Col)
Dylan Van Baarle (Ned)


The Belgian team will be searching for stage victories, primarily from the powerful Kiwi legs of George Bennett. Bennett began 2017 slowly after a bout of glandular fever put paid to his off-season, but a series of top-15 finishes saw him arrive at the Tour of California in buoyant mood. That optimism proved warranted as the New Zealander grabbed the overall victory. Bennett’s cited stages 9, 13 and 18 as potential targets, though if victory’s not forthcoming, LottoNL-Jumbo will also have a good chance in the sprint stages thanks to Dylan Groenewegen. The experienced Robert Gesink is also one to look out for.

LottoNL-Jumbo will use FSA’s cockpit (bars, stem and seatpost), as well as aerobars from Vision.

LottoNL-Jumbo 2017 Tour squad

Tom Leezer (Ned)
George Bennett (NZl)
Primoz Roglic (Slo)
Dylan Groenewegen (Ned)
Robert Gesink (Ned)
Jos van Emden (Ned)
Paul Martens (Ger)
Timo Roosen (Ned)
Robert Wagner (Ger)


German sprinter Marcel Kittel will once again dominate proceedings as he aims to become just the third rider in the peloton to rack up at least 10 Tour de France stage victories. The 29-year-old will be looking to make his mark in the first week, starting with stage two’s relatively flat 203.5km from Dusseldorf to Liege. Ronde van Vlaanderen and Amstel Gold Race champion Philippe Gilbert returns for the first time in fourth years, looking to add to his sole Tour stage win in 2011. Dan Martin will aim to improve upon his best-ever result of ninth at last year’s Tour de France.

Quick-Step Floors will use FSA’s cockpit (bars, stem and seatpost),

Quick-Step Floors 2017 Tour squad

Jack Bauer (NZl)
Gianluca Brambilla (Ita)
Philippe Gilbert (Bel)
Marcel Kittel (Ger)
Daniel Martin (Irl)
Fabio Sabatini (Ita)
Zdenek Stybar (Cze)
Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Julien Vermote (Bel)


The hopes of the French team rest on the shoulders of Nacer Bouhanni. Twenty-six-year-old Bouhanni has enjoyed an impressive season so far with one-day wins at Nokere Koerse and Paris-Camembert and stage wins in the Volta a Catlunya and Tour of Yorkshire. A crash set him back, but second at last weekend’s French national championships bodes well for Bouhanni to finally add a Tour de France stage win to past stage victories at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

Cofidis Solutions Crédits will use wheels, crankset and aerobars from Vision. They’ll also employ FSA’s cockpit (bars, stem and seatpost), as well as groupset, powermeter, chainrings and brakes.

Cofidis Solutions Crédits 2017 Tour squad

Nacer Bouhanni (Fra)
Geoffrey Soupe (Fra)
Dimitri Claeys (Bel)
Julien Simon (Fra)
Christophe Laporte (Fra)
Cyril Lemoine (Fra)
Luis Ángel Maté (Esp)
Daniel Navarro (Esp)
Florian Sénéchal (Fra)


The surprise omission of sprinter Bryan Coquard means that the spotlight will shine even brighter on Thomas Voeckler, who is making his final appearance at the Tour de France before retiring. The 38-year-old’s been with the team since turning professional in 2000 and, in that time, has won four stages plus the mountains classification in 2012. Don’t bet against a famous Voeckler solo breakaway triumph. And keep an eye on 24-year-old Lilian Calmejane, who’s making his Tour debut. The Frenchman’s already won several times this season including winning the mountains classification at Paris-Nice.

Direct Energie will use wheels, crankset and aerobars from Vision. They’ll also employ FSA’s cockpit (bars, stem and seatpost), as well as groupset, powermeter, chainrings and brakes.

Direct Energie 2017 Tour squad

Thomas Voeckler (Fra)
Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)
Lilian Calmejane (Fra)
Adrien Petit (Fra)
Romain Sicard (Fra)
Perrig Quéméneur (Fra)
Angelo Tulik (Fra)
Thomas Boudat (Fra)
Yohann Gène (Fra)