Tour de France 2012: Open Field For This Year's Race

'ALCUDIA, SPAIN - JUNE 19: Team SKY rider Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain trains in the mountains of Mallorca in preparation for the 2012 Tour de France on June 19, 2012 in Alcudia, Spain. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images). Wiggins will start next week's Tour de France as a favourite after numerous stage race victories earlier this season. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

This year's Tour de France gets underway on Saturday in Liege, Belgium.

As the biking world tries to turn its eyes back towards the sport itself, this year's Tour de France gets underway on Saturday in Liege, Belgium. Australian cyclist Cadel Evans looks to defend his title after winning the race last year, his first victory after two previous second-place finishes.

After a variety of injuries and suspensions, the field for this year's race has numerous legitimate contenders, including Evans and British cyclist Bradley Wiggins. Spanish rider Alberto Contador, arguably the biggest name in the sport since Lance Armstrong's retirement, has been suspended for doping, giving a boost to the rest of the field.

Last year's runner-up, Andy Schleck, is also sitting out the race with a bone fracture in his pelvis. The race ends July 22 on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, France, while also passing through Switzerland.

Keep on SB Nation Chicago for more, and stay up to date with Tour de France news by visiting SB Nation's Podium Cafe.

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