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TdF #21 Le tour is over. Long live the tour.

July 29, 2014

The final stage was true to form: Kittel won the stage, Nibali won the tour and there were a few crashes to cause the French concern. Peraud crashed, seemingly without any one touching him, and AG2R had some work to do for the elderly Frenchman to save his second place.

Kittel made it over the line first but only just. If he was fresh, he would have by at least a bike length. However, his legs were tired taking his big powerful frame over the high mountains. Kristoff was close but the German had enough speed to overtake him near the line. The sprint was more disorganised than the last few years. Giant –Shimano as a team were tired, so the other sprints team were able to compete. Lotto and Greipel controlled the race near the finish, but faded out of sight in the final straight. The last dash was between the above, as well as the likes of Navadauskas and Coquard.

Sagan was in the top ten again, but had little chance of winning his last chance of a stage this year. His green jersey is great consolation but the young gun has to learn a few new tricks to maintain his winning ways. Majka wins the mountain jersey and Pinot the young rider competition, as well as third place.

Nibali had no trouble on the final stage, like much of the tour. He has dominated this year’s race. His task was certainly made much easier after Froome and Contador left, but he has given no-one even the slightest hope of challenging him. Chapeau.

I’m already dreaming of next year’s race. That will help ease the post-tour blues. We can hope for the best of this race plus former winners Froome and Contador. Add to that Giro winner Quintana and runner up Uran. Nibali is very unlikely to have it so easy again. A mouth-watering prospect.

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