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La Course by Le Tour de France preview and FSA DS thread

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images


Ok, so 'preview' is pushing it a bit, maybe, but never mind...

The race consists of 13 laps of this:

CARTE.0.jpg

Yes, the familiar Tour last day circuit over the Paris cobbles and round the Champs Élysées. At 7km a lap, the race covers 91km in total. For disappointed Tour de France VDS owners, La Course also gives you the chance to look for a bit of consolation by turning your attentions to the women's competition.

This being Olympic year, the race has several notable absentees, including last year's winner Anna van der Breggen, rainbow jersey wearer Lizzie Armitstead, and sprint fave Kirsten Wild.

Nevertheless, mindful of the tv exposure while the men's race sips its champagne and rolls in from Chantilly, there's still a pretty strong start list.

The first La Course ended in a sprint with Marianne Vos pipping specialist sprinter Wild to the line. Last year's crash-strewn race in the wet allowed Anna van der Breggen to get away to a more unpredictable finish. So, who should we look out for tomorrow?

Well, Vos is back and must start as favourite, especially after several stage wins and taking the overall sprints jersey in last week's stage race in Thüringen. Home rider Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, also of Vos's Rabo-Liv team, is making a rare appearance on the road this year. So far, Boels are team of the season and on the cobbles Chantal Blaak should go well for them.

Coryn Rivera of United Healthcare won the last stage at Thüringen and is a fast finisher with a lot of experience in crit-type races. New British champ Hannah Barnes of Canyon/SRAM is just coming back to full fitness and this race could suit her. Barbara Guarischi from the same team is another strong sprinter. So is Lotta Lepisto of Cérvelo-Bigla. Chloë Hosking (Wiggle High 5), Floortje Mackay (Liv Plantur), Christine Majerus (Boels) and French rider Roxane Fournier (Futuroscope) all could feature. But then so could any number of others...

Official site preview

Course info

Start list

Méteo (looking good)

Race starts at 13:15 CEST and is due to finish approximately two hours later.

Pick to win: Marianne Vos. She's not on my VDS team and I wouldn't bet against her.

Let us know who think - & who've you got - in the comments.