Tour De France 2012: Riders Poised to Make Big Moves in Final Week

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 16, 2012

LE CAP D'AGDE, FRANCE - JULY 14:  Andre Greipel of Germany riding for Lotto-Belisol takes the podium after winning stage thirteen of the 2012 Tour de France from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Le Cap d'Agde on July 14, 2012 in Le Cap d'Agde, France.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

As the 2012 Tour de France comes to a close, we are still left trying to figure out what to expect. Bradley Wiggins has held the lead for the majority of the stages thus far, though his two-minute lead is hardly safe.

With so many riders battling for position over the final six stages, things are going to get very interesting all over the leaderboard. Don't just look at the top of the standings, as the movers and shakers will be out in full force. 

Here are the riders ready to make big moves up the leaderboard as the Tour de France draws to a close. 

Andre Greipel (66:44:54, +2:03:38 behind leader)

Despite having no chance to win the Tour de France, Greipel should be in a much better spot than he is right now. He is in 115th place, over two hours behind the overall leader, yet he is tied for the most stage victories in the race (three).

The problem that Greipel has is that he is not very good on mountain tracks. The good news for him is there are three more flat stages, including Monday's Stage 16. 

If Greipel figures out a way to win all three of those, he could make a significant charge up the standings in the final week. 

Peter Sagan (65:28:48, +47:32)

Like Greipel, Sagan's niche is on flat stages. The biggest difference is, Sagan doesn't fall apart on mountain stages. Two of Sagan's three victories thus far have come on flat surfaces, but the other one came on a medium mountain stage. 

Sagan is going to end up being a victim of time. He is still in contention to win the race, even at 47 minutes behind the leader. There just aren't enough stages left for him to be able to make up that amount of time to do it. 

Despite sitting in 31st place right now, he has a great chance to climb into the top 25 before the end of the Tour de France. 

Cadel Evans (64:44:35, +3:19)

Last year's Tour de France champion is still in search of his first stage victory in 2012. Despite not finding the winner's circle this year, Evans is just three minutes behind Wiggins. 

Normally the Tour de France loses a lot of luster in the final week because we at least have some idea who is going to end up winning the race. In 2012, however, everything is completely up in the air. 

Wiggins might like holding the yellow jacket, but Evans is lurking like a lion ready to pounce on his prey.


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