Top Riders to Watch (Besides Lance)

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2009 11:00 AM CDT
Alberto Contador of Spain.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Tour de France got under way today, and the BBC runs down some of the cyclists to watch. It all starts with Lance Armstrong, of course, who, "for better or worse," will grab most of the attention. Others:

  • Alberto Contador: The 2007 winner is the favorite this year, though he may be battling teammate Armstrong.
  • Mark Cavendish: After a strong showing at the Giro d'Italia, the rider could become the first Brit to win the Tour since 1987.

  • Carlos Sastre: The defending champion's return "has been overshadowed by Armstrong."
  • Bradley Wiggins: With a gold in Olympic pursuit, Wiggins will be shooting for small victories in the time trials.
  • Cadel Evans: The Australian has come in second in two Tours, and is hoping for a yellow jersey this year.
  • Denis Menchov: The Russian will try to become only the eighth man to win both the Giro and the Tour in the same year, but the mountains could lay him low.
For the complete list, click the link below.