Many challenges later, a bunch of riders are still left unprofiled. We can't have that, can we? Cause, however will we know who's who? Luckily, I'm here to help.
PodiumCafé: meet the 198 cyclists in this year's Tour de France!
SAXO BANK SUNGARD (SBS) DEN
1 CONTADOR Alberto ESP
Maybe winner of last year's TdF, maybe winner of this year's TdF.
2 HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ Jesus ESP
Conta's trusty lieutenant.
3 NAVARRO Daniel ESP
Now, Navarro would not normally draw mire ire. For one thing, he’s Spanish. I just don’t have that much depth of knowledge regarding Spanish riders. Don’t get me wrong, I love Spanish riders, it’s just all the multiple sir names, I get confused.
4 NOVAL GONZALEZ Benjamin ESP
Man, how many trusty lieutenants can a guy need?
5 PORTE Richie AUS
Australian former white jersey winner and time trial dude.
6 SORENSEN Chris Anker DEN
Every ounce of pain is writ large on Sorensen’s face. It is like the peloton’s portrait of Dorian Gray; an ugly contorted spasm of torture that can barely contain the force of the agony inside.
7 SORENSEN Nicki DEN
How do you not love a guy who once rode for Team Chicky World?
8 TOSATTO Matteo ITA
First tour: 1997. Main job: help where needed.
9 VANDBORG Brian DEN
No wiki, telling me his role in the team is 'rider', is not helpful. You could've at least mentioned the time trial bike.
TEAM LEOPARD-TREK (LEO) LUX
11 SCHLECK Andy LUX
Youngest and bestest of the Schleckies. Most skinny.
12 CANCELLARA Fabian SUI
2% man, 98% time trial machine with strong feelings about plankets.
13 FUGLSANG Jakob DEN
Possibly hot Danish mountain man.
14 GERDEMANN Linus GER
Pretty boy dancer.
15 MONFORT Maxime BEL
Useful on the flat, useful on the uphill; oui, maxime est fort. Sorry. Bad joke.
16 O’GRADY Stuart AUS
Aussie veteran. Will work hard for squad. Useful too if your team leader looks like he still gets carded.
17 POSTHUMA Joost NED
For someone who used to do track and field, he is actually a pretty useful cyclist.
18 SCHLECK Frank LUX
Oldest Schleck. Even skinnier than his brother. Has a Herculanean love affair with asphalt.
19 VOIGT Jens GER
Jens! All round hard man.
EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI (EUS) ESP
21 SANCHEZ Samuel ESP
ZOMG, a non-Basque at Euskaltel. Someone call the carrot police!
22 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka ESP
Gorka, why did you forsake the field? CX is awesome.
23 MARTINEZ Egoi ESP
Now here's someone who really likes KoM-competitions.
24 PEREZ LEZAUN Alan ESP
There are seriously Euskies who climb so bad they OTT in the Tour? WTF?
25 PEREZ MORENO Ruben ESP
He's a sprinter. At Euskaltel. That's just weird.
26 TXURRUKA Amets ESP
The most attacking vegetable in the peloton.
27 URTASUN PEREZ Pablo ESP
Hey Albertina, why is this RVV DNF'er going to France?
28 VELASCO Ivan ESP
Remember when he won that stage in... oh, right. Velasco's never won anything.
29 VERDUGO Gorka ESP
I wish Marcotegui were his first name, not his middle name. Marcotegui is a great name.
OMEGA PHARMA - LOTTO (OLO) BEL
31 VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen BEL
I hope the JVDB fella doesn’t go all Samuel L Jackson on someone at a bar.
32 GILBERT Philippe BEL
He's blonde now. I don't think I'll ever get used to that. But his new bike is pretty, so there's that.
33 GREIPEL André GER
The Gorilla is finally freed from his non-TdF Cav-imposed cage.
34 LANG Sebastian GER
"There's a TTT in this race? We gotta bring Lang."
35 ROELANDTS Jurgen BEL
Former Belgian champ. These things happen when everyone else crashes.
36 SIEBERG Marcel GER
Marcel Sieberg, of the Greipel possé.
37 VAN DE WALLE Jurgen BEL
Jurgen - work is the only mode I know - Van de Walle
38 VANENDERT Jelle BEL
Jelle's fate in this year's Tour de France is just that: invisibility. Quiet, dependable, bottle-fetching invisibility.
39 WILLEMS Frederik BEL
I do hope they told the dogs not to visit TdF this year.
RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM (RAB) NED
41 GESINK Robert NED
The main thing that is gonna scupper his chances this year is the same thing that drags him down every year at the Tour, Rabobank. Rabo just does not win big races.
42 BARREDO Carlos ESP
Quick, someone, hide the wheels!
43 BOOM Lars NED
Lars used to like it dirty.
44 GARATE Juan Manuel ESP
Spanish mountain helperman.
45 MOLLEMA Bauke NED
The Dutch Rabobanker from Groningen finished 12th in his first Grand Tour finish; let it be hoped that this is not the peak of his illustrious career. & A young man who is definitely having his break out season, with a string of top ten overall's, with two particular near misses.
46 NIERMANN Grischa Jan GER
The Germinator really is one of the worst nicknames ever.
47 SANCHEZ Luis-Leon ESP
Some time not so long ago, Lulu was actually a good cyclist.
48 TEN DAM Laurens NED
Oh man of flowing hair, is there any gt stagetype you're not good at?
49 TJALLINGII Maarten NED
Somebody is going to snap this guy away from Rabobank at some point, because he not only drives the pace at the front, but can even drag his leader up a good-sized Col.
TEAM GARMIN - CERVELO (GRM) USA
51 HUSHOVD Thor NOR
Protagonist in one of the best cycling moments ever - sprinter goes on queen stage rampage.
52 DANIELSON Tom USA
This year, confidence seems to be increasing inside him. Maybe he couldn't deal with the pressure of coming 7th in a GT in his early 20's, just as the search for the next Armstrong was getting into swing.
53 DEAN Julian NZL
Unlike Eisel he probably won't have his nose in the wind because, well, when there's a break to be chased HTC will be doing that...
54 FARRAR Tyler USA
Surely, one of these days he's going to beat Cav, right?
55 HESJEDAL Ryder CAN
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most surprising of them all? & Starting as a mountain biker then a domestique he's yet another rider who has bloomed under Vaughters' wing relatively late in his career.
56 MILLAR David GBR
No, David, Cavendish isn't on your team. And neither is Steegmans. Stop leading them out!
57 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas LTU
The seed was planted in a Peter Stetina diary where Ramunas was described as more machine than man. & With a few good attacks and his finishing speed he could, in one fell swoop, dethrone Brutt in the 1 pointer race AND displace Ryder and / or Tyler as the first GarMan to win a stage.
58 VANDE VELDE Christian USA
Personal aim: get fourth. The fourth stage that is. Just, get there. I hear it's nice.
59 ZABRISKIE David USA
Captain America has nuts. Or is nuts. Or sells nuts. Possibly all three.
TEAM ASTANA (AST) KAZ
61 VINOKOUROV Alexandre KAZ
62 DI GREGORIO Rémy FRA
Might just be the first Frenchman to abandon a French team.
63 FOFONOV Dmitriy KAZ
A three month suspension is punishment too you know.
64 GRIVKO Andriy UKR
Ukranian TTT pack fodder.
65 IGLINSKIY Maxim KAZ
Hey, whatever happened to Maxim Iglinskiy this year? He used to be good! He won Strade Bianchi, remember.
66 KREUZIGER Roman CZE
But in this fickle spot he risks a reputation as a nearly man, like Evans, or a not quite nearly man, like Kloden. & His finishes in the three previous Tours were not enough to overcome the now aging Andy Schleck; now, without competition from Schlecklet and Sharkboy the [white] jersey will be his!
67 TIRALONGO Paolo ITA
Tiralongo all' aria va!
68 VAITKUS Tomas LTU
The reigning wheelie world champion.
69 ZEITS Andrey KAZ
Two races in 2011 is plenty as prep right?
TEAM RADIOSHACK (RSH) USA
71 BRAJKOVIC Janez SLO
One of the many Shack guys bound for places 5 to 15.
72 HORNER Christopher USA
He's already got one gt in 2011 - snort - can he make it a double?
73 IRIZAR Markel ESP
"There's no Irizar in team, Markel."
74 KLÖDEN Andréas GER
Designated Shack sprinter.
75 LEIPHEIMER Levi USA
Only gets better with age. Like wine. Yeah, that's gotta be it. Wine.
76 MURAVYEV Dmitriy KAZ
Kazakh worker bee.
77 PAULINHO Sergio POR
He's got three gt stages already, maybe fourth this year in a nice mid-mountain stage?
78 POPOVYCH Yaroslav UKR
Hey you, never refer to the Ukrainian as "Popo;" that word is the equivalent of "shit" in some languages.
79 ZUBELDIA Haimar ESP
TRAITOR. Sorry. I think I just channelled my inner Albertina.
MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) ESP
81 ARROYO David ESP
Remember when he wore pink in the Giro? That was awesome.
82 AMADOR Andrey CRC
Young Costa Rican climbing sensation.
83 FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto POR
The boy can climb, but he hasn't shown the high-mountain ability on the big stage, so his maillot blanc propsects are behind a few of the pure climber types like Bauke Mollema.
84 ERVITI Imanol ESP
One of Movistar's designated worker bees.
85 GUTIERREZ José Ivan ESP
Another worker bee, ready for his eighth tour.
86 INTXAUSTI Benat ESP
Next we have young Benat Intaxusti, a man we all know the name of (and not through Albertina's need for a fainting couch when he's on TV), but for his good progression over the last few seasons.
87 KIRYIENKA Vasil BLR
Very strong attacking climby dude. One to watch for the stagewin if the big guns aren't up to it on the day.
88 ROJAS Jose Joaquin ESP
The new Spanish champ: a sprinter who can climb a bit.
89 VENTOSO Francisco ESP
Look for Ventoso in the bunch sprints. To come in about seventh.
LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE (LIQ) ITA
91 BASSO Ivan ITA
The cherub-faced, sweet-smiling climber Ivan the Terrible has not ridden the Grand Boucle since 2005 due to, say, troubles occurring after his 2006 Giro d'Italia domination.
92 BODNAR Maciej POL
93 KOREN Kristjan SLO
Will come in handy in the hilly stages and the early mountain roads.
94 LONGO BORGHINI Paolo ITA
Paolo is the son of three time cross country skiing Olympian Guidina dal Sasso. Or so wiki says.
95 OSS Daniel ITA
Best hair in the peloton. Sorry Laurens.
96 PATERSKI Maciej POL
Young climby talent, won two stages in the 2007 GiroBio.
97 SABATINI Fabio ITA
One of those crazies going for the Giro-Tour double.
98 SZMYD Sylvester POL
We should ask Ciara and Cath, but I would not be shocked to find out their husbands sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, muttering "Szmyd was moving to the front of the bunch again."
99 VANOTTI Alessandro ITA
Another one for the ItaloFranco double. But at least this one has done that twice before already.
AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM) FRA
101 ROCHE Nicolas IRL
Quick, someone, hide Gadret.
102 BOUET Maxime FRA
Will most likely choose a midmountain stage to go in a break, will sprint to tenth spot on flatter days.
103 DUPONT Hubert FRA
Excellent Giro usually means crappy Tour, unless you're Conta.
104 GADRET John FRA
Quick, someone, hide Roche.
105 HINAULT Sébastien FRA
Attacker. Semi-decent sprinter.
106 KADRI Blel FRA
107 MINARD Sébastien FRA
In 2010, he won Paris-Camembert, which makes me smile. Is that cheesy. (Sorry. That was worse than the Monfort joke!)
108 PERAUD Jean-Christophe FRA
Why is JCP in Tour de France? Well, cause he's French mostly. That's all the reason they need. I'm French, this race is French, let's go.
109 RIBLON Christophe FRA
Will be very hard to repeat his quite excellent 2010 - remember Ax-3 Domaines? - but that doesn't mean he'll be completely invisible this Tour.
SKY PROCYCLING (SKY) GBR
111 WIGGINS Bradley GBR
British trackie turned time trialist turned climber hanging on to the back of the best.
112 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio ESP
Jan Antoon Pijl has a great smile and good cobbles skills. Not that there are cobbles in this Tour.
113 GERRANS Simon AUS
One of the few guys with stage wins in the Giro, Tour and Vuelta had a thoroughly invisible 2010. Will be reappear in 2011?
114 HAGEN Edvald Boasson NOR
'Mr. Is he a climber, is he a sprinter, is he a TT-er… Is he worth 16 points?' That would be a yes, yes, yes and NO!
115 KNEES Christian GER
I don't know why they'd bring Knees to the Tour. Why would they bring Knees to the Tour?
116 SWIFT Ben GBR
Problem is, two words: Mark Cavendish. Possibly another three as well: Edvald Boassen Hagen.
117 THOMAS Geraint GBR
Charged with delivering Bradley Wiggins to the bottom of the hill fresh. & My future projections do not create mountains out of molehills for G; the tracktacular Welshman has ridden but three Grand Tours but he improved exponentially as his climbing ability accumulated.
118 URAN Rigoberto COL
Uran Uran, so cool you say it twice.
119 ZANDIO Xabier ESP
Mountain lieutenant for WIggo.
QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM (QST) BEL
121 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA
We can look for Chavanel to go on the attack in the early stages of this Tour and hope to snatch another stage win and maybe a few more days in Yellow.
122 BOONEN Tom BEL
Former top sprinter, former classics god. Not sure what he is now.
123 CIOLEK Gerald GER
Solid seventh in the sprints.
124 DE WEERT Kevin BEL
QST's GC man, aiming for a top 20-ish spot.
125 DEVENYNS Dries BEL
Serial mid-mountain attacker.
126 ENGELS Addy NED
This year, Addy has veered from his usual GT Giro/Vuelta double with one single purpose: help Kevin. Kevin who? Well, Kevin de Weert of course.
127 PINEAU Jérôme FRA
A Frenchman in the Tour, whatever will he be up to? Attack, maybe?
128 STEEGMANS Gert BEL
Tombo's final pilot. Hopefully he'll remember not to beat his leader this time.
129 TERPSTRA Niki NED
Serial everywhere attacker. Better last year than this year. That's a bit of a QST theme.
FDJ (FDJ) FRA
131 CASAR Sandy FRA
May his escapes be ever graced with tailwinds, and his sprints be against Boogerds. Bravo Sandy!
132 BONNET William FRA
Not half-bad cobbles rider, can be found around the tail end of the top ten in the greatest races in the world.
133 DELAGE Mickaël FRA
Career highlight: 3rd at the 2009 SanSeb.
134 JEANNESSON Arnold FRA
Third in the 2008 Tour de L'Avenir, behind Rui Costa and Jan Bakelants. This Avenir thing, it's often a good sign for the future.
135 MEERSMAN Gianni BEL
In the shape of his - young - life with 9 podium spots so far this year, most recently at the Belgian nationals.
136 PAURIOL Rémi FRA
Out KoM-ed TiVO in this year's Paris-Nice. If he finds himself in a favourable position, he might try something like this again. Not that he's a very good climber, mind you.
137 ROUX Anthony FRA
138 ROY Jérémy FRA
Roy likes cross bikes, and I like cross bikes, so I like Roy.
139 VICHOT Arthur FRA
At 23 years old, this kid must be amongst the youngest in the Tour, no?
BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) USA
141 EVANS Cadel AUS
Anywho, Evans, he nailed that sprint and nailed it good. That win had style. & Ever since he hit the wall wearing the maglia rosa in 2002, Evans has been a rider that has drawn, as I once stated, Ancient Greek levels of misfortune.
142 BOOKWALTER Brent USA
Gav's missing American.
143 BURGHARDT Marcus GER
Seriously, no dogs in this Tour, ok?
144 HINCAPIE George USA
Hink makes his 16th Tour start, tying Joop Zoetemelk's record, which he plans to break next year.
145 MOINARD Amaël FRA
Mid-mountain & early mountain worker for Cuddles.
146 MORABITO Steve SUI
Summer program for Steve Morabito: give it his all for a Tour de Suisse personal agenda, than work ass off for team.
147 QUINZIATO Manuel ITA
Law studying, music promoting, hard working Italian.
148 SANTAROMITA Ivan ITA
Please, someone, remind me never to take on batshit crazy projects like this again.
149 SCHÄR Michael SUI
Worker dog. Don't tell Marcus.
COFIDIS LE CREDIT EN LIGNE (COF) FRA
151 TAARAMAE Rein EST
What's this? A non-Frenchman? A guy who dreams of the GC not a breakaway victory? On Cofidis?! & Too many will be distracted by Alberto and Andy pedaling hand-in-hand through mountains, mechanicals, and sunflowers to notice this winner of many youth classification.
152 BUFFAZ Mickaël FRA
French guy on a French team gets to ride THE French race for the first time. He must be psyched.
153 DUMOULIN Samuel FRA
Sprinter. Decent sprinter. Not extremely great, but good enough.
154 DUQUE Leonardo COL
Ostensibly a sprinter, Duque finds himself in the day’s long break with irresponsible frequency.
155 EL FARES Julien FRA
More pack fodder.
156 GALLOPIN Tony FRA
A great Tour of Luxembourg - four stages, three top tens - was a sign of what's turning out to be quite a good year for him so far.
157 MONCOUTIE David FRA
Can you say King of the Mountains?
158 VALENTIN Tristan FRA
159 ZINGLE Romain BEL
Cofidis' food & doomed break guy.
LAMPRE - ISD (LAM) ITA
161 CUNEGO Damiano ITA
Cunego did win the White Jersey once. Like, forever ago. And he won the Giro d’Italia even more forever ago. & Little Prince, how long hadst thou dwelleth in the shadow of the 2004 Giro win? ZOMG liek 4evah!
162 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo ITA
This French race, it makes a nice change from the usual Österreich-Rundfahrt, no?
163 BOLE Grega SLO
In short, Grega Bole is Lidl-Oscar. Same product, different package, lower price.
164 BONO Matteo ITA
A promise in the year of election.
165 HONDO Danilo GER
Petacchi's lead-out man, great tactical insight into sprints.
166 KOSTYUK Denys UKR
Man with one of the lowest average race days in the peloton.
167 LOOSLI David SUI
A bottle-fetcher if ever there's been one.
168 MALORI Adriano ITA
Italy's ITT champ, did you know that?
169 PETACCHI Alessandro ITA
Ale-Jet, Lampre's top sprinter. Sometimes asthmatic.
HTC - HIGHROAD (THR) USA
171 CAVENDISH Mark GBR
I hear he's fast.
172 BAK Lars DEN
This guy has the unenviable position of making sure that Cav's train can get up a head of steam with 10k to go.
173 EISEL Bernhard AUT
We'll see Eisel on the front of the peloton nose in the wind dragging the break back to set up a bunch sprint.
174 GOSS Matthew Harley AUS
Like a more versatile Cav. Or a less climby Phil. Class though.
175 MARTIN Tony GER
I shan't snark about the police.
176 PATE Danny USA
Sure, I know he can timetrial and climb a bit, that he is American, and that universal opinion seems to be that he is both a fine fellow and clean as a whistle.
177 RENSHAW Mark AUS
Quick, someone, hide the... heads?
178 VAN GARDEREN Tejay USA
Van Garderen, who spent his early years in the sport in the Rabobank Development Team, can race a bike something fierce.
179 VELITS Peter SVK
Velits was an intriguing guy at the start of the season, coming off a Vuelta podium place and a strong Worlds appearance. Since then... [crickets].
TEAM EUROPCAR (EUC) FRA
181 VOECKLER Thomas FRA
A top ten in the Tour would be huge for his legacy.
182 CHARTEAU Anthony FRA
Winner of this year's Bongo bongo and last year's KoM. Not a very impressive king though.
183 GAUTIER Cyril FRA
Has had a decent year so far - decent for him being top ten-ish spots in the usual French SSRs - Bessèges, Marseillaise, Tro Bro etcetera. Officially the first attack of this Tour.
184 GENE Yohann FRA
Not very useful cyclist, to be honest.
185 JEROME Vincent FRA
186 KERN Christophe FRA
French ITT champ and France's GC dark horse.
187 QUEMENEUR Perrig FRA
Mostly lives to assist others.
188 ROLLAND Pierre FRA
Semi-decent mountain helper, will probably end up somewhere around 30th place in GC.
189 TURGOT Sébastien FRA
Lower top ten bunch sprinter.
KATUSHA TEAM (KAT) RUS
191 KARPETS Vladimir RUS
Vladimir Alexandrovich had the most famous mullet in all of Pelotonland. Then, one day, perhaps on impulse, he had it surgically removed.
192 BRUTT Pavel RUS
Russian road champ and puncheur extraordinaire.
193 GALIMZYANOV Denis RUS
One of the future sprint sensations of the peloton.
194 GUSEV Vladimir RUS
When Astana fires you for being dodgy, that's not a good sign.
195 IGNATYEV Mikhail RUS
I think I'll attack here. Or there. Or maybe both.
196 ISAICHEV Vladimir RUS
He'll be there to work, I hope, cause he's not very good at the winning side of things.
197 KOLOBNEV Alexandr RUS
Does it makes sense to attack here? No? Then I think I'll attack here.
198 SILIN Egor RUS
Two top tens in the Varese and Mendrisio U23 world champs, he should about be used to the pro peloton now.
199 TROFIMOV Yury RUS
VACANSOLEIL-DCM (VCD) NED
201 FEILLU Romain FRA
A bit of a sprinter. Not too much though. Loves his brother.
202 BOZIC Borut SLO
Another top-ten-but-not-quite-top-three sprinter.
203 DE GENDT Thomas BEL
Mark my words: Thomas will attack. And if the gods have any mercy on my soul, he'll be successful at it too.
204 HOOGERLAND Johnny NED
205 LEUKEMANS Bjorn BEL
Bjorn - let's taunt a lion and learn about girls - Leukemans.
206 MARCATO Marco ITA
A less good Philippe Gilbert.
207 POELS Wouter NED
See: Lieuwe Wetra.
208 RUIJGH Rob NED
Mid mountain man, looks like a solid bet for a medium stage win.
209 WESTRA Lieuwe NED
OK climber, more than ok time trialist, having a great year.
SAUR-SOJASUN (SAU) FRA
211 COPPEL Jérôme FRA
Well, he can time trial better than your average climber and climb better than your average time trialing Swiss cannibal tyrant.
212 COYOT Arnaud FRA
Once touted as the next big thing. That was quite a while ago though.
213 DELAPLACE Anthony FRA
214 ENGOULVENT Jimmy FRA
Will get 16th in the ITT.
215 GALLAND Jeremie FRA
216 HIVERT Jonathan FRA
One of the more decent Saur guys, beat Nick Nuyens, Amets Txurruka and Igor Anton among others to win Klasika Primavera this year.
217 JEANDESBOZ Fabrice FRA
218 MANGEL Laurent FRA
219 TALABARDON Yannick FRA
Seriously, how did this team get an invite?