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"To win a fourth Tour de France title would be incredible", said Froome, victor of the race in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

Porte, one of nine Australians in the race, believes this year that it's his time after years as a support rider. Sniffer dogs will be used to locate any explosives and patrol in departure and arrival villages.

- 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. "For sure there's going to be good battles on those stage finishes".

"I think it could be free for all".

"There will be more strategy and movement (amongst the leading riders) - it will be an unusual Tour".

Time trial specialist Vasil Kiryienka is one of the sports most consistent performers.

The platform is expected to create and analyse over three billion data points during the 21 stages of the Tour, a significant increase from last year's 128 million data points.

Should he win, he says it will eclipse the previous three Tour successes - in 2013, 2015 and a year ago.

The second most important stage on the list is Stage 20, the final time-trial, which this year is a 22km test around Marseille. France have not had a victor of the Tour de France since Hinault in 1985, 32 years ago.

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

"The preparation this year has been really different", he said through a translator.

"It's a very hard Tour de France, with insane competition, every day you have to be concentrated".

Mark Cavendish could become the out-right leading stage victor, while Peter Sagan will look to continue his dominance of the points classification.

"I've been at Team Sky since we began back in 2010 and for me it's home", said Froome on the team's official website.

Questions were asked about Team Sky's credibility in the wake of an investigation by UK Anti-Doping into allegations of possible wrongdoing by the British team, but Brailsford remained defiant about his own role.

"I hope to be strong and I'm looking forward to shining in the mountains where I hope to make a difference". An impressive third place finish at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in March was further evidence of Rowes development and he played a pivotal role in Sergio Henaos Paris-Nice win, marshalling him through the races early crosswinds.

Porte, who joined BMC Racing from Team Sky in 2016, is seen as the man most likely to stop Briton Froome over the next three weeks and general manager Jim Ochowicz said his team's "singular goal" is to put the 32-year-old on the podium.