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Tour de France 2017

01 July 2017

Ben Swift has had to wait six years for his second attempt at a Tour de France.

The two-year deal will cover the 2017 and 2018 tournaments, with FDJ to serve as the "official luck supplier".

Rather than long time trials, one of his in-house specialities, or long spells in the mountains, where he has previously pulverized his rivals, there are few set-piece battle stages in the Pyrenees or Alps.

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

That forced him to change his schedule and switch focus to the Tour of Catalunya instead.

"I think it could be free for all". I say that because of the lack of mountain top finishes and also the lack of time trial kilometers. "We really look forward to the future of professional cycling and we have only started our project and we have a lot more to go".

The Katusha rider performed well on the hilly parcour of the Stage 4 individual time trial at the recent Criterium du Dauphine, finishing only 12 seconds behind Richie Porte (BMC) after 23.5 kilometres of racing. "He just told me to do the best I can".

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- Froome is aiming to become the fifth rider to win three consecutive editions of the Tour de France (excluding Lance Armstrong's expunged results) and the first since Indurain between 1991-1995.

Victory in four Tours or more is so exceptional, in fact, only four riders - Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault and Jacques Anquetil - have achieved that since the race began in 1903.

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. "But it would be nice if Team Sky had a bit more competition this year". It's the first time in my career that I've got a fully dedicated team for me.

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

Froome will be aiming to secure his fourth win in five years in the 21-stage race.

With the usual mind games going on in the build-up to the start - Team Sky have named Porte as favourite - the Australian just wants get on his bike and ride. They are seen as part of Tour de France history and it's a goal for me to try and be up there with them. The 31 year old has quickly bounced back to fitness, though, and will hope to continue the excellent form he took to the Giro as he returns to the Tour.

Tour de France 2017