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Tag Archives: Champs-Élysées

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Retaking His Place, The Chapter Closes.

The winners

The jersey winners (Photo: ASO/X.Bourgois)

It all comes down to Paris, and then it’s over.  A fourth stage win for Greipel, Sagan in green a fourth straight year sans stage win this time, and Quintana in white on the second place podium, altogether behind the first British two-time champion, bring to an end a three-week, 2088-mile journey for 160 of the starting 198 riders to reach stage 21 on the Champs-Elysées.

  

What was probable becomes certain.  Chris Froome is the man– in not only yellow but also polka dots.  With this, as 2013’s winner retakes his place two years later, the 102nd Tour de France takes its place in history.  And so we close the latest chapter of professional cycling excellence.

Chris Froome

2015 Tour de France Champion Chris Froome (Photo: ASO/B.Bade)

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2015 in 2015 Tour de France

 

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Stage 21: Et Maintenant, La Fin.

As we “knew” would be the case barring any last-day catastrophe, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is the champion of the 101st Tour de France– by a huge margin no less!  He joins only five other cyclists in history to win all three Grand Tours– the other two of course Italy’s and Spain’s.

Nibali in Paris

For the first time in more than 30 years, France saw two of its own take the yellow podium–Jean-Christophe Peraud in second and best young rider Thibaut Pinot third.  This, after Marcel Kittel’s second Champs-Elysees bookending victory shut out a stage win for Peter Sagan, even as a LeTour.fr survey of more than 4000 votes favored the man in green to take stage 21.  And let’s not forget our resilient American finishing fifth, Tejay Van Garderen, nor Jens Voigt’s swan song.

    Champagne time.   France's Tour Salute

And now, the end.  So passes another Tour de France into the history books for 164 riders who made it to Paris– big-name losses notwithstanding– complete with all the triumph, tradition and Parisian fanfare that defines the finale.  While I’ve yet to get there to see it all in person, for now having Phil Liggett, Bob Roll and all their comrades deliver the action every day for three weeks– plus a commendable first-year commentating job by 2013 retiree Christian Vande Velde— remains an acceptable substitute.  I’m happy to have cycled a mere one quarter of the Tour’s total distance during this time, less than I did last year, but nevertheless taking me there every day in spirit.  Vive Le Tour!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2014 in 2014 Tour de France, Daily Activities

 

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One Colorful Centennial Celebration

From a chaotic beginning to a first-time evening end, along with everything good, bad, high and low spanning three weeks time, the 100th Tour de France has reached its always much-celebrated final destination.  With the major standings in place, one big question of course remained to be answered at the last moment of stage 21:  Would the Missile get his beyond record-breaking fifth consecutive win on Le Champs-Elysees?

The peloton arrives in Paris on a perfectly picturesque evening.

Yes, his goatee is green too!

Peter has his green, Nairo has his white AND his polka dots, the U.S. got a top-ten overall win even without any stage victories, and as we knew for a while would be the grand result, Chris Froome keeps yellow as the winner of the Tour de France.  On the other end, fun-themed Orica GreenEDGE— seeing all nine teammates to the finish– includes 36-year-old rookie Svein Tuft in last place overall– a distinction Phil Liggett quickly reminded us today that for the feat of completing this 3404-kilometer journey, carries no disgrace whatsoever.

The final finish in Paris ends the 100th Tour.

As for Cavendish, certainly no disgrace for him either.  It was close– very close— as his four consecutive Paris stage wins stand as a record not about to be broken, yet not to be added to today.  He lost his would-be fifth by a bike length to none other than “new sheriff” Marcel Kittel.

Chris Froome takes the first-place podium on this Paris night.

The leading color of the evening’s celebration!

Altogether, another spectacular French summer display of professional cycling prowess has now come and gone, all the more colorfully concluded with Paris’ well-planned Centennial year celebration.  Personally, I’m happy to have been able to stay in the cycling spirit with my own rides on every day of this Tour.  More than ever I look forward to my own miles to come in the saddle– as well as those of the awesome pros!

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2013 in 2013 Tour de France, Videos

 

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Age Impresses, Youth Prevails.

Age dominates… for a while.

A 41-year-old Tour de France competitor leading a stage is quite a reassuring sight for those of us cyclists nearing that age!  Jens Voigt— the oldest rider of this year’s Tour– shed the breakaway and set the pace for more than 30 miles heading into the finish of stage 20.  This impressive moment not to be overlooked, youth ultimately prevailed however.  The very steady and poker-faced Nairo Quintana finally earned himself not only a stage win in his first Tour, not just the polka dot jersey in addition to the white jersey he was already wearing, but perhaps the biggest accomplishment for the 23-year-old Columbian, a bump up to second place overall.  Maybe now this newest rising star of cycling will relax and show us some more personality, perhaps after a lesson or two from the master show-off himself, Peter Sagan.

Speaking of the colorful Slovak, green remains his main one as it has throughout this Tour, aside from his Cannondale kit of course.  The green jersey that became Sagan’s after stage 3 and stayed on his back ever since, is sure to be his for keeps in Paris tomorrow, again!  This champion sprinter– also 23 by the way– has the right to show off!

Last year’s second is becoming this year’s first.  In other words, yellow today did not change shoulders.  And on that note, this Centennial Tour is set for its grand finale, as 170 surviving riders– far more than last year’s number– get set to pedal their last 83 miles in this 2,115-mile journey, ending on Le Champs-Elysees as usual, while unusually– at night!  I can’t wait to see this, while for other obvious reasons surely the 170 can’t either!

At last, all smiles!

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2013 in 2013 Tour de France

 

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