5 Jul 2009

Mountain stages could well determine Tour de France

7:49 am on 5 July 2009

The New Zealand cyclist Julian Dean believes a winner is unlikely to emerge until late in this year's Tour de France.

Dean will ride his fifth Tour, the most by any New Zealander and for the first time he'll have a fellow countryman with him on the 21-stage, three-week classic with Hayden Roluston making his first start.

The 3500km ride includes seven mountain stages split into two parts and Dean feels that'll determine the winner.

Most people are predicting defending champion Carlos Sastre and previous winners Alberto Contedor and Lance Armstrong to fight out the title.