We’re now just a few days away from the start of the 2014 Tour de France, and if you have read my blog for any number of years, you already know how much I look forward to the three-week long race. In a few days, I’ll write my annual preview for Le Tour, which begins in the U.K. this year, in a few days, but for now I wanted to share a brief list of some of the more prominent riders that we won’t see riding the roads of France to Paris this year.
The biggest name not to be on the list is of course Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky. As the 2012 champ, Wiggins missed out on the chance to defend his title last year due to injuries, and as a result, teammate Chris Froome rode to victory. Wiggins has been riding well this season, but suffered a crash in a recent race, and hasn’t been in his best form over the past month. It is a shame that we haven’t seen Wiggo get the chance to prove his skills once again in the Tour, and now it looks like if we do seem him ride on cycling’s grandest stage, it may be too late for him to seriously contend again.
Another big name not riding in the race this year is David Millar, who is set to retire at the end of the season. He was preparing to ride for Garmin-Sharp, but the 37-year old was dropped from the roster following questions about his recent form. Millar has been riding in the Tour for 14 years, and he was hoping for one more swan song before hanging up his shoes. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. The fiery Scotsman will be missed for sure.
The news just keeps getting worse for British cycling fans, as time trial specialist Alex Dowsett has also been left off the list Dowsett has also ridden for Sky, and placed third in the U.K.’s national time trial last weekend, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a spot on the time.
Of course, there will be plenty of other great riders to watch, and the race looks like it could be wide open this year. I’ll pick my favorite when I do the pre-race preview in a few days. But for now, its time to lament the fact that we won’t see Wiggins and Millar in the Tour. Their presence in the race will be missed for sure.
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