Machine learning comes to Tour de France

"There's good reason to get excited", Robbie McEwen - a three-time victor of the Tour de France's green jersey - told The New Daily. This year we have to find other ways to win.

With only three high mountain summit finishes and two short individual time trials, Porte believes this Tour could be a "free-for-all" rewarding aggressive racing.

No man has won both races in the same season since Marco Pantani in 1998, while in 2015 Alberto Contador won the Giro but then found his form deserted him in the Tour due to fatigue.

The duo launched a decisive attack on a wet descent in the Tour previous year that put Bardet up to second overall.

"I hope to be strong and I'm looking forward to shining in the mountains where I hope to make a difference".

The most intriguing top rival, though, is Froome's former Sky team-mate, Richie Porte. Being able to cope with those under that pressure is a huge part of the challenge.

"It's true I will probably lose time but I'll try not to lose too much". He's been with the team a long time now and has a lot of experience.

Stage 9 is a fearsome stage which takes in three hors catégorie (HC) climbs; the Col de la Biche, the Grand Colombier, and the Mont du Chat, before a final descent into Chambéry.

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Tour de France organisers will step up their use of artificial intelligence (AI) during this year's race as they look to make media coverage (in particular television and social media) more engaging through the use of additional statistics.

Düsseldorf: The 104th Tour de France begins alongside the River Rhine in the German city of Duesseldorf on Saturday, the start of 3,540 gruelling kilometres for the 198 riders.

"I'm proud of what we've achieved in this sport, proud of this team and proud to be sitting here and to be getting ready for the race".

The AG2R-La Mondiale rider is one of the most attack-minded in the peloton and is likely to find this year's route, which Bardet describes as "quite treacherous", to his taste.

"In the past, I worked for the team, now I'm happy that the team has entrusted me with trying to be as competitive as possible in the stages that suite me most".

- Sylvain Chavanel will participate in his 17th Tour de France in 2017, equalling George Hincapie, Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt for most entries into the race. "I see it like a Tour without any script".

Sky's team principal Dave Brailsford has said there were "process failures" but has denied any wrongdoing.

The event starts on July 1, and will finish up in Paris on July 23.

  • Myrtle Hill