Photos by: Jered Gruber, Ashley Gruber & Getty Images
While the 2020 season has been anything but ordinary, somehow we’re still on track to feast on 21 stages of the world’s biggest cycling event. Although delayed from the normal calendar slot, and altered in how fans, media, and equipment partners are able to interact with the teams, the Tour de France is still certain to be the most important race on the calendar.
For NTT Pro Cycling, they’re coming into the Tour with an eye on stage wins through aggressive breakaway riding and an impressive lineup of fastmen for the sprints. With the newly crowned Italian National Champion, Giacomo Nizzolo, as the team’s headline sprinter, there’s a lot of optimism that we’ll see the tricolor jersey atop the podium.
NTT Pro Cycling’s Tour de France Roster:
Domenico Pozzovivo – Climber
Max Walscheid – Sprinter
Michael Gogl – Rouleur
Roman Kreuziger – Climber
Michael Valgren – Rouleur
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Sprinter
Giacomo Nizzolo – Sprinter
Ryan Gibbons – Sprinter
Keep an eye on NTT Pro Cycling riders for these select stages:
As with the tradition of the Tour de France, the first stage is one for the sprinters at only 156km that are on a relatively flat series of circuits around Nice. Look for Giacomo Nizzolo to knock elbows against the best in the world on deeper section ENVE SES 5.6 Disc or ENVE SES 7.8 Disc wheels for the fastest finishing speeds.
After a flat first stage, the second stage heads straight up into the hills of Nice with a pair of Category 2 climbs. While this isn’t a day for the pure climbers, it’s enough for a breakaway specialist like Roman Kreuziger to take their chances against the group. The likely pick of wheelset for this stage is the ENVE SES 3.4 Disc that is lightweight uphill, but aerodynamic enough to carry speed throughout the 186km.
Racers will get their first glimpse of the Alps early in this edition of the Tour. While only a 160km day in length, the final climb sees a steady 6.7% average gradient into the finish. Climber Domenico Pozzovivo will take his chances here.
Stage 7 looks to be a day for the hardmen of cycling with a series of punchy climbs with a flat final 40km that typically sees strong crosswinds. Michael Valgren will likely take his chances on a day like this, and utilize the aerodynamics and stability of the SES 5.6 Disc
Stage 9 travels from Pau to Laruns and stays at high altitude. The shorter 153km route will be one for the all-arounders who can push the pedals hard all day. This could be a stage for riders like Michael Gogl or Max Walscheid.
Stages 10 and 11
After the first rest day, riders will be looking to stretch their legs and get back into the racing rhythm on these very flat stages. NTT’s main sprinter, Nizzolo will again try his chances on Stages 10 and 11.
Another long day at 198km, this is going to be an exciting stage for everyone. With enough climbing, descending, and technical cornering through downtown Lyon, any rider has a fair shake at taking the day.
Stages 18 and 19
After a brutal day of climbing, Stages 18 and 19 see less steep mountain top climbs, but still a fair amount of short climbs staggered throughout the days. These are again opportunities for the hardmen like Boasson Hagen, Valgren, or Gibbons.
The only individual Time Trial of this year’s Tour de France, the 36km course is a slight uphill. Look for NTT to utilize the SES Disc wheel paired with a SES 7.8 Disc front wheel on their slippery fast BMC Timemachine time trial bikes.
The final day into Paris down the Champs-Elysees is truly a spectacle. The GC contenders will be celebrating their parade laps, while the sprinters will take their final chance at coming away with a stage win. Ultimately, we all win by getting to watch 21 days of Tour de France racing during a year where you can’t take anything for granted.
Be sure to follow along with the team on Instagram at @nttprocycling