Tour de France: The Great British hopes

Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Mark Cavendish
Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Mark Cavendish
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Great Britain will be well represented when the Tour de France wheels its way to Sheffield, indeed ‘our boys’ are expected to perform well with Chris Froome, particularly, tipped as one of the main contenders.

Here we have a run down of the great Brit hopes.

Peter Kennaugh

Peter Kennaugh

CHRIS FROOME

Age: 29

Team: Team Sky

Previous Appearances (finishes in brackets): 2008 (84th), 2012 (2nd), 2013 (1st).

Alex Dowsett of Movistar

Alex Dowsett of Movistar

Stage wins: Four (2012 - stage seven; 2013 - stages eight, 15 and 17).

Unstoppable in 2013 after a brilliant performance which he promised would “stand the test of time”. Froome is the undisputed leader of Team Sky, with 2012 Tour winner Sir Bradley Wiggins conceding the role, but has had a less than flawless season. He won the Tour of Oman, but has been afflicted by illness and injury and was a lowly 12th in defence of his Criterium du Dauphine title despite winning the opening two stages after a heavy crash.

MARK CAVENDISH

Age: 29

Garmin Sharp's David Millar

Garmin Sharp's David Millar

Team: Omega Pharma-Quick Step

Previous appearances (finishes in brackets): 2007 (withdrawn after stage eight), 2008 (withdrawn after stage 14), 2009 (131), 2010 (154), 2011 (130), 2012 (142), 2013 (148).

Stage wins: 23 (2008 - stages five, eight, 12 and 13; 2009 - stages two, three, 10, 11, 19 and 21; 2010 - stages five, six, 11, 18 and 20; 2011 - stages five, seven, 11, 15 and 21; 2012 - stages two, 18 and 20; 2013 - stages five and 13).

Cavendish’s year is geared towards winning in Harrogate - his mother’s hometown - and taking the Tour’s yellow jersey for the first time. Historically a slow starter in the Grand Tours, the Manx Missile will have to reclaim his status as the world’s leading sprinter from Marcel Kittel in Yorkshire - and that one stage could be enough to satisfy the winning machine.

DAVID MILLAR

Age: 37

Team: Team Garmin-Sharp

Previous appearances (finishes in brackets): 2000 (62), 2001 (withdrawn after stage 10), 2002 (68), 2003 (55 - while doping), 2006 (59), 2007 (69), 2008 (68), 2009 (85), 2010 (158), 2011 (76), 2012 (106), 2013 (113).

Stage wins: Three (2000 - stage one; 2002 - stage 13; 2012 - stage 12).

One of only six Britons to wear the maillot jaune - after Tom Simpson, Sean Yates and Chris Boardman, and before Bradley Wiggins and Froome - Millar has transformed himself from drug abuser to anti-doping campaigner. His 2003 victory on stage 19 was erased following an admission he used blood booster EPO. He has announced this season will be his last, but it is still to be determined if he will be awarded a farewell Tour appearance.

GERAINT THOMAS

Age: 28

Team: Team Sky

Previous appearances (finishes in brackets): 2007 (140), 2010 (67), 2011 (31), 2013 (140).

Stage wins: None

It seems like an age since Thomas made his Tour debut in 2007 as a fresh-faced 21-year-old in London. He completed the 2013 Tour as Team Sky road captain despite fracturing his pelvis in Corsica at the start of the race. Thomas is a man of all talents with his full potential to be determined; for now he is happy in a team role, supporting Froome.

ALEX DOWSETT

Age: 25

Team: Movistar

Previous appearances: None

Stage wins: None

Dowsett left Team Sky at the end of 2012 eager to ride in Grand Tours and immediately delivered with a surprise time-trial win at the 2013 Giro d’Italia. The indications are Dowsett will ride the Tour, which travels through his native Essex, and he will have a key role as lieutenant to Alejandro Valverde, one of Froome’s main rivals.

PETER KENNAUGH

Age: 25

Team: Team Sky

Previous appearances (finishes in brackets): 2013 (77).

Stage wins: None

Kennaugh, a London 2012 team pursuit champion alongside Thomas, made a strong performance on his debut in 2013, playing a key role in Froome’s mountain train and demonstrating his potential to one day follow his team-mate to the Tour podium. The Manxman has had a mixed season, but can be relied upon on the big occasion.

ends