Chris Froome pictured (photo taken 2013)
By Peter Davies
Cycling’s most famous bike race has come to an end but what were the most memorable moments on the Tour? From off bike incidences to some new rising stars the race had it all!
Don’t call it a comeback
Mark Cavendish proved critics wrong once again with an amazing four wins this year. He now has 30 stage wins on the Tour de France – only Eddy Merckx has more with 34. It was also the first time the sprinter from Isle of Mann has worn the yellow jersey after his stage one win.
It was totally unexpected but Chris Froome went all out on stage eight of this year’s tour. Once he hit the last summit of the day he took off like lightning. It wasn’t just the timing of the attack either, it was the way he was positioned on the bike. Body hunched over the bars with his rear sitting on the frame. Gutsy but very affective!
Fans and inflatable ads troubled the pack
We saw fans being punched away and flares deployed but one moment was truly scary. On stage seven British rider Adam Yates flipped over his handlebars after the 1km banner fell down in front of him. Luckily the Orica BikeExchange rider only had minor injuries and ended up having the one of the breakout performance of this year (more on that later!).
Sagan is the man
Another year, another green jersey for Peter Sagan. The Slovak has an incredible amount talent across many different stages. On the flat or on breakaways the Tinkoff rider can hold his own against the best. He even managed to pop a wheelie over the finish line on stage 17.
Rain causes havoc
Stage 19 saw the heavens open. On the descents riders were falling like flies. The yellow jersey and Vincenzo Nibali hit the deck but Pierre Rolland’s crash had to be the worst. Luckily there weren’t more days like this!
Running up that hill
This moment will be played back for years to come. Chris Froome and Richie Porte both crashed into a camera motorcycle on a lowered Mont Ventoux stage. The Sky rider broke his bike and decided to run through the crowd before getting a neutral bike. The Brit lost time but the race officials decided to neutralise the race because of external interference. Crowd control will be the main point of improvement for next year.
Polka dot Majka
Rafal Majka won the best climber race by 79 points ahead of Belgium rider Thomas De Gent. The Polish cyclist went on many breakaways and nearly got a stage on stage 15. He too also had a crash early on in the race but managed to finish on a high in Paris!
The Tour goes on
There were serious questions on whether the Tour should carry on after the Nice attacks. Big security concerns and devastation swept the event but it was decided that the race would go on in a respectful manner. Stage 13 was a time trial and Tom Dumoulin put in an amazing performance but the news overshadowed the day. No prize ceremonies were conducted after the time trial and there was a minute silence as a mark of respect.
Yates one for the future
Another British rider had a very impressive tour. 23 year old Adam Yates won the young rider general classification race and finished fourth overall. Despite crashing into a advertising banner on one the stage young Yates was keeping up with the world’s best climbers throughout the tour.
Froome won the Tour de France by over four minutes ahead of French rider Romain Bardet and it never looked in doubt. He carried the yellow jersey for the majority of the race and contested many different stages, not just the climbs. A new born child seems to have given him a new amount of energy and it looks like he can definitely add to his three Tour wins in years to come.