Today we wrap up the tour, the weapons were put down. They took down the finish line on the Planche de Belle Fille, FDJ visiting Pinots goats. Sagan conceded green. Roglic slept on his defeat. It was all smiles and pageantry on the roads to Paris. Familiar scenes of the Yellow jersey team with teammates arm and arm wide across the road. Classy sportsmanship by Roglic who comes up the road during the neutralized section and had a minute with Pogacar arms over each other saying who knows what in Slovenian, but can’t overstate the sportsmanship of Roglic. Stand-up guy, not doubt. Of course we feel for him. All sorts of noise overnight about Pogacar and his “unbelievable” performance. Well believe it, internet trolls go home!
Marc Hirschi was the super combative most subjective award, but his wounds were wrapped up like a mummy and if that’s the case you are probably, atleast arguable quite combative. Good for that great oung rider who won a stage and also had a 2nd and 3rd.
Sam Bennett puts a stamp, period exclamation point on his green. Big sprint, decisive win, set up perfectly by his team. Good representation in his final stage in rainbow by Mads Pedersen who took 2nd and Sagan 3rd. Ewan was in bad position the whole time and couldn’t have a go at it. First green for Ireland since Sean Kelly in ’89, Sean Kelly won it 4 times, so some rich history for Ireland. Sam Bennett delighted and well deserved. We also need to go back to 2014 was the last time that Quickstep didn’t win a sprint stage. Bennett, Viviani, Gaviria, Kittel, Cavendish. Peidgree of great riders. Finished with 380 vs. Sagan 284. He won he earned it.
Tour de France by the numbers and were not just talking 21 stages and 3,366KM covered.
10: Times that Richie Porte has ridden the Tour de France before finally achieving the podium this year.
9: The number of riders in the top 10 of the GC who finished stage 20 in a different place than they started it. Only Rigoberto Uran did not change places.
8: Stage podium finishes in this years tour for team Sunweb, an incredible result for a supposedly leaderless team.
7: Number of Tour de France wins among active professional riders. 0 which rode into Paris (Froome, Bernal, Thomas, Nibali) active tour champions, only 1, Bernal started.
6: Teams winning multiple stages UAE Emirates (4), Deceuninck- Quickstep, Astana, Sunweb, Jumbo visma, Lotto Soudal. That meant that 12 of the 22 teams did not turn in a win.
5: Times that the tour has climbed the Planche de Belle Fille and the number of times that the yellow jersey changed shoulders on those days. 5 is also the number of positive COVID-19 tests of the over 1,300 tests done during the tour, zero riders testing positive. This is the anxiety of the world this year and we were blessed to put it aside to enjoy 23 days of the Tour de France.
4: Stage wins by UAE in this year’s tour, the most of any team.
3: Countries with 2 riders in the top 10 of the General Classification. 3 is also the number of Jerseys that Tadej Pogacar won (yellow, white, polka dots), the first rider since Eddie Merckx in 1969 when he won green instead of white as white didn’t exist.
2: Times since 2011 that a team other than SKY/Ineos has won the Tour de France. Nibali in 2014, the year Chris Froome crashed and broke his wrist; and now in 2020 with Tadej Pogacar.
1: Black rider in the peloton at the Tour de France. Its pretty obvious that cycling has not been an equal opportunity sport for a number of reasons. Kevin Reza from B&B hotels is the only black rider in this year’s TDF and in a year where we’ve seen most professional sports pause in some way shape or form to recognize and show solidarity for racial equality we have not seen that in cycling. UCI has done nothing proactively and they should. We’ve seen some riders take responsibility into their own hands, Kwiato Roglic I saw with say no to racism written on their masks, love to see that, UCI needs to be better. And I encourage you to listen to the interview that Bradley Wiggins did with Reza on his Eurosport podcast.
Vive the 107th edition of the tour. It was a dream. But we’ve got a lot to look forward to, world championships a week away and on October 3rd we get the Giro; but when you want to talk about going over the Stelivio and attacking the alps/dolomites of Italy in October, the snow is already falling. IT was the riders who threw everything at the tour, it will be the world throwing everything at the Giro and we’ll see you there, so buckle up its going to be a wild ride.