Another of the injury victims from last year's Tour, Jurgen Van Den Broeck will be hoping for a bit more luck this time around.
The popular 29-year-old Belgian impressed with his attacking performance on the 2010 Tour, but crashed out in 2011 on the notorious Stage 9 bend which also claimed veteran Alexander Vinokourov.
Van Den Broek suffered fractured ribs and a broken shoulder in that incident, but he recovered in time to compete in the Vuelta and has stayed injury-free since.
Van Den Broek actually began his career as a specialist time-trialler, winning the 2001 World Junior time-trails - which will stand him in good stead for this year's lengthy individual TTs on Stages 9 and 19.
But he has put himself well into contention for a podium finish after working tirelessly on his climbing.
"I have no fear when going uphill," says Van Den Broek of his climbing skills. "I used to think: 'oops, will I be able to go?' Now I accelerate myself, I counter if I can."
The Belgian heads into the Tour with strong rides in the Dauphine and Volta a Catalunya under his belt.
Though Van Den Broek will lead the charge for the Lotto-Belisol team, he will have company in the race for general classification honours in the shape of Jelle Vanendert, whose impressive Stage 14 victory means he too can consider himself a possible yellow jersey contender.
In addition, the team may have a few decisions to make over whether to prioritise Andre Greipel's challenge for green jersey honours. The team are set to devote considerable resources to Greipel's sprint train this summer.
Still, having shown real promise with top 20 Tour de France finishes in 2009 and 2010, Van Den Broek has a real chance of giving his fans hope for a first Belgian podium finish at the race since Lucien Van Impe's second place in 1981.
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