'Fresher' Froome ready for Tour de France test

FDJ deal just the ticket for Tour de France

For Tour de France fans, there is nothing better. This year we have to find other ways to win.

With only four summit finishes, it favours long-range attacks and features only two short time trials.

In addition, FDJ will distribute 500,000 gifts to supporters at the roadside as the Caravan travels ahead of the peloton throughout the contest.

The French public have warmed to the rider, that surreal moment of him running up Mont Ventoux when his bike snapped putting him into Tour folklore in an altogether different manner.

"I'm sure he will be at a great level in the Tour", he said.

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

The three-time Tour victor is in Dusseldorf for this weekend's Grand Depart, and is poised to extend his stay with Team Sky until 2021. "I don't have any trust issues, I can't make it any more plain".

"I've finished second a few times and had some thirds so I'd like to change that", Porte told The Examiner. He's been with the team a long time now and has a lot of experience.

Two teams of seven cyclists will be setting off with their own Grand Depart tomorrow, July 1, for the Le Tour Team Spin Challenge at Benton Hall Golf and Country Club in Witham.

The group Dimension Data, a tech partner for the Tour de France, is tapping into "machine learning and predictive analytics", they say to make estimates not only each stage victor but whether the peloton can catch up to breakaway riders-or the likelihood on whether a particular rider can beat their rivals on a mountain stage.

"I've been at Team Sky since we began back in 2010 and for me it's home", he said.

The Tour de France solution uses a cloud-based virtualised data centre to provide the scale and flexibility required to operate.

Porte's main rival will be his good friend and Sky leader Chris Froome, who has won the Tour three times and is the defending champion.

The green jersey is awarded to the rider with the most points - the first riders across the line at the end of each stage and in intermediate sprints earn a set number of points and the rider (usually a sprinter) with the most points wears the green jersey.

The Frenchman, who enjoys tasting wines from the Rhone valley and the Languedoc region, has had a hard start to the season, after being thrown out of the Paris-Nice stage race for taking an illegal tow from a team auto.

"We've learned from past seasons and I've struggled to hold form in the last week of the Tour".

The riders will cross the finish line in Paris on Sunday, July 23, after three gruelling weeks of cycling.