Despite three arduous weeks ahead, Tour de France downtime offers riders lots of tweeting opportunities.  Here we have Maxime Monfort and Frank Schleck modelling their new compression tights (in the mirror no less) and Fabian Cancellara sharing what pyjamas he will be wearing (stylish!).

(Max and Frank via Max’s twitter // Fabian’s bread jammies via his twitter)


Maxime Monfort - Possibilities

The current criticism of Andy’s too hard. The other top favorites for the Tour victory total are not in better shape. One should never forget this.

- Maxime Monfort, post Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2012 (via - Andy Schleck: “Rennen lief einfach nicht wie geplant”).

I give Maxime respect for sticking up for his pal but it got me thinking about what the other Tour favourites have done so far this season.

  • Bradley Wiggins: overall win at at Paris-Nice, stage win and points jersey.  Stage win at Volta ao Algarve (ITT) and third overall.
  • Vincenzo Nibali: overall win at Tirreno-Adriatico, plus stage win and points jersey.  Second at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, third at Milan-San Remo and second overall at Tour of Oman including a stage win.
  • Cadel Evans: overall win at Criterium International, plus stage win (ITT) and points jersey.
  • Levi Leipheimer: overall win at Tour de San Luis, two stage wins including on ITT.
  • Jurgen Van Den Broeck: 3rd at Volta a Catalunya, 10th at Fleche Wallonne. Has made improvements on his time trialling, most noticeable at Volta ao Algarve where he placed fifth ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen and behind Wiggins, Porte, Van Garderen and Jesse Sergent.
  • Samuel Sanchez: overall win at the Tour of the Basque Country, plus three stage wins. Second in the GC at Volta a Catalunya plus a stage win.
  • Denis Menchov: fourth overall at Vuelta a Andalucia, second on stage 2. A little silent but then it is Menchov.

Not including: Tony Martin (has not stated GC as the Tour as a goal, early yellow only and also out of action), Ivan Basso (headed to Giro), Michele Scarponi (headed to Giro), Joaquim Rodriguez (Giro), PhilGil (not a GC boy) or Frank Schleck (solemate).

The other Tour contenders may not be in peak form either but they’ve certainly been out there actively competing and getting some results in the bag.

Andy Schleck is comparable to Basso this season. Andy has in fact finished more races than Basso in 2012 but compared to other Tour de France hopefuls? No.  But it was a nice try, Max.