Mick Rogers has already had a great 2010 season, with overall stage wins at the Vuelta a Andalucia and an impressive overall title at the Amgen Tour of California, but he has yet to realize his potential at the Tour de France. Over the years the Australian has suffered all manner of set backs at the Tour, including sickness, crashes and poor team support. 2010 will see him enter the Tour in the form of his life, with his confidence at an all time high. With a strong HTC-Columbia team behind him, Rogers must deliver a top result at the 2010 Tour. Muddying the picture for Rogers is the fact that teammate Mark Cavendish is gunning for the green jersey and stage wins, but the fact remains that a top ten performance at the 2010 Tour is imperative if Rogers hopes to be considered a grand tour favorite in future years.
Andy Schleck has had a poor 2010 season, there is just no other way to say it. He hasn’t managed a win yet in 2010 until just this weekend at his national time trial competition, and his form has seemed average at best in the lead up to the Tour. Luckily for the younger Schleck he has age on his side and many years in the future to make good on his grand tour promise. Still, his 2010 season will be looked back on as an unquestioned failure should he fail to finish in the top 5 on the overall or take a stage win in France over the course of the three week stage race.
Brad Wiggins talked a big game at the beginning of the season as he left the Garmin-Transitions team to seek glory as a part of the new British Sky team and then again this week, saying his prep has been "near perfect". Now entrenched as the sole GC leader of the black and blue, Wiggo needs to come good in the 2010 Tour or suffer the wrath of the media and fans alike. After an unbelievable 4th overall in 2009, a podium is a must if Wiggins is to justify the confidence put into him by Sky management.
Cadel Evans has had an excellent 2010 season, in large part because he has managed to stay out of the media spotlight. He has blazed a trail throughout the first half of the 2010 season for his new BMC team, but after falling short at the Giro and with no plan to ride the Vuelta, the 2010 Tour will be Cadel’s last chance at GC glory in the grand tours. The BMC team assembled to support Evans is solid but not overly impressive, and if he is to win the Tour he’ll have to attack in the mountains and impress in the lone time trial. After an abysmal 2009 Tour that saw him finish 30th overall and more than 45 minutes behind winner Contador, 2010 needs to be a year of redemption for Cadel if he is to be considered a team leader in 2011 and beyond. With exception to his average team support, all the other pieces seem to be in place for Evans to shine at the Tour. Now all he needs to do is actually go out and race fearlessly to win, like he has all season.
Alberto Contador is not a name that comes to mind when considering riders that must have an excellent 2010 Tour to validate their seasons, but he should be. The Spaniard is riding for a completely revamped Astana team following the departure of Lance Armstrong and the bulk of the GC team to Radioshack, and Contador has once again staked his entire year on a Tour victory. “El Pistolero” is without a doubt the main favorite for victory, but still he has his share of doubters. In a recent EP poll (still posted in the right bar on this page), Contador losing the Tour garnered 27% of the vote (110 of 407 votes) for the biggest surprise prediction of the 2010 Tour. It seems as though 2010 has more overall contenders than in past years, and if Contador is to win he will most certainly have to earn it. The question remains though: Can Contador resist Armstrong, the Schlecks and the rest? If not, his 2010 season will be remembered as one that was more failure than success.