The Alp d'Huez didn't let us down with drama and great riding yesterday. Thibeau Pinot went on the attack and was able to hang on to the finish. This French rider has demonstrated he is a man for the future with his climbing ability and knack for reading the race. Nairo Quintana found the legs to give the rest of the GC men the slip and found his way into 2nd on the stage. Froome finished with enough time to hold the yellow jersey and he can rest easily knowing tonight that he will win the Tour after the parade into Paris tomorrow.
Today, the rain in Paris meant that the stage was essentially neutral with the time being taken on the 1st pass of the finish line on the Champs Elysses. Race etiquette dictates that you don't attack before you hit the circuits so the initial part of the race was ceremonial.
However, after the 1st lap was complete it was game on! 3 men went clear immediately, most notably Rohan Dennis found his way into the break. If you'll recall from 3 weeks ago, Dennis won the prologue. It was an exciting possibility that he would book-end the Tour.
The teams of the sprinters took control very shortly after this and it was never meant to be for a breakaway. Lotto-Soudal, the team of Andre Greipel hit the front and the rest of the sprint men lined up behind them. In the closing meters though it seemed that Alexandre Kristoff and Katusha had pulled one over on the Greipel but the big German (Greipel) found his way to the front with a last minute surge and unloaded another sprint to take the win. Sagan and Cav got swamped and could only hang on for 7th and 6th respectively.
So, this Tour is over and Chris Froome takes out his 2nd win. Sky did well to only lose one man on the way to Paris and he rolled across the line arm in arm with his teammates. It was a picture-perfect moment and one the riders will remember forever.
Quintana took home the best young rider jersey. As he matures we may see him on the top step in Paris yet.
Sagan accumulated enough points in the sprint competition that his lead was never in danger today. He took the podium to put on the final green jersey of the race and at 25, I think we can all agree he's got a bright future.
Roman Bardet sealed the deal with the Mountains jersey yesterday on Alp d'Huez and he got to take the podium and the flowers as the best climber in Paris today.
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