Sir Dave Brailsford opined that Team Sky in general and Richie Porte in particular, can be title contenders for Tour de France. Currently in eight position in the general classification, Richie Porte is 1:54 minutes behind leader Vincenzo Nibali. Meanwhile, the team lost Xabi Zandio due to a broken collarbone during the sixth stage.
Regarding Bradley Wiggins’s non-selection following Chris Froome’s withdrawal, he was of the opinion that had Bradley been picked, he would have to work for Sky’s new team leader, Porte. He was also optimistic about his team’s chances as the race heads into the mountains. Although, the sixth stage did not go well for Porte, his arch-rival Vincenzo Nibali picked him to be his competition as the race headed into the mountains.
According to the ex-Tour de France winner, Eddy Merckx, Froome can win multiple races despite pulling out on Wednesday with a damaged wrist. He added that Froome was young, motivated, a complete rider, and he was the best rider in the peloton.
However, Merckx was more guarded when asked about Mark Cavendish’s chances of challenging his record of 34 Tour stage wins. Cavendish is in joint-third place with 25 victories, but had to watch Marcel Kittel dominate the sprint stages after withdrawing with a separated shoulder. Merckx observed that Cavendish had more stages wins left in him, but noted that Kittel was very young. Meanwhile, the race director, Christian Prudhomme, has rejected suggestions to remove cobbles from the races, saying that the cobbles were an integral part of the race. A Tour de France winner has to be able to ride on every kind of road. There were many crashes on the asphalt, but not so many on the cobbles.