7.25.2015

TdF 20: Last but not Least



Climbin (again) la Croix de Fer. There is a break-away: Bak, Edet, Geniez and Navardauskas. 
58 km to go they have 5'17", behind Team Astana and Team Movistar already opened the dance and Geniez decide to go solo. 
Embedded image permalinkA few tentative move, then Valverde attacks. Nobody react. Team Sky keep a regular pace with Roche and Porte escorting Froome.
Serpa attacks too. From behind, on conter, Nairo Quintana gets off at a double speed, bridges to Serpa, drops him and joins Valverde.
Embedded image permalinkFroome is solo on Porte's wheel and they are chasing but still on a very regular pace. Nibali hangs on. Contador doesn't. Poels and Roche got immediately dropped. 
KOM: Geniez wins it, then the rest of the break, then Quintana. Nibali drops Froome and jumps on Valverde's wheel. 
Embedded image permalinkDescent: the four riders gathers in front and many riders are coming back, including Thomas, Poels, Porte, Roche, Contador, Majka, Rodriguez, Kruijswijk, Mollema, Jungels, Scarponi, Fuglsang, the Yates brothers, De Gendt...
Hesjedal gets a gap, Anacona, Pinot, Rolland, Serpa and Molina follow. Quite soon they catch Navardauskas, then Bak and Edet.
Embedded image permalinkGeniez crooses solo the intermediate sprint. His advantage is 3'46".
Alpe d'Huez: fight for positions like in a classic in the Yellow Jersey group. And Team Sky wins.
Embedded image permalinkFlat back tyre for Nibali, he changes the bike and three mates help him back. So he starts the Alps at the back: not ideal. 
In front Quintana attacks. Porte chases him down and Froome is quickly back.
Flat back tyre for Frank. 
Navardauskas caught, Quintana attacks again. Poels chases him down.
Embedded image permalinkIn front Hesjedal attacks the break, Pinot on his wheel.
Behind Nibali is chasing solo. The main peloton exploded so he can jump from group to group.
Quintana attacks again. Caught. Valverde attacks. Goes! Quintana attacks again. GOES! Together Valverde and Quintana fly up the Alps.
Embedded image permalinkIn front Hesjedal and Pinot caught Geniez. 
Contador is dropped. Nibali is chasing far down with Mollema.
Quintana drops Valverde and jumps on Anacona's wheel.
Embedded image permalinkFroome keeps going on a regular pace with Porte and Poels. Nibali and Mollema has caught Contador an Majka and they can unite their forces together.
Massive crowd. Scary.
Quintana can't gain enough to win the Tour so he speeds up to win the stage. He joins and drops Geniez and then Hesjedal. 
Froome still stays on Porte's wheel. Pinot wins. Last km also for Quintana and behind Froome is on his own. Valverde is like his shadow.
Embedded image permalink1'20'' + 6'' is the gain for Nairo Quintana. Chris Froome has won his second Tour de France.
Bravo Bauke Mollema: 7th overall! Impressive Simon Yates: 11 overall aged 22!

Thibaut Pinot:
Embedded image permalink"I wanted to get to Paris with no regrets and I’ve done that now by winning. Now I can celebrate and hold my head high. It’s my third win of 2015 and my third mountain top finish after also winning in Romandie and the Tour de Suisse. I’m proud of that and think it shows the kind of rider I am. 
Maybe a stage win looks less than third place in 2014 but it’s a positive Tour de France for me and an interesting one for my future. I usually chase attacks and follow the favourites but after the crashes, I became attacker myself.
Embedded image permalinkFor the French, l’Alpe d’Huez is one of the most prestigious finishes for a French rider. It was definitely a beautiful stage to win.
We had a lot of trouble in the first week, but we knew that we were going to fight until the end and I feel that we deserve this victory, and it’s great for the team. We had a tough race losing William Bonnet and then Steve Morabito. It took us time to overcome the shock of William’s nasty crash. I’ve also been sick and had a mechanical on the cobbles. My morale was pretty low after the first four or five days but managed to focus again thanks to a good atmosphere in the team. I need a friendly atmosphere in the team to perform, and we had that at FDJ.
When Bardet won I was disappointed with my own performance but it was the day after my crash on the descent of the Col d’Allos. But crashes and punctures are part of cycling and makes it a beautiful sport. Getting back up and winning is important.”

Richie Porte:
Embedded image permalink‏"Congratulations to my friend @chrisfroome on his second #tdf. The support out there was incredible especially on the Dutch corner #thanks"

Luke Durbridge:

Embedded image permalink"Special day on Alpe d'Huez today. Crowds were awesome!! Onto Paris tomorrow to finish my 2nd #tdf #beenatoughone"

Alexandre Geniez:
"S'echapper💹 passer la croix de fer en tĂȘte, ptit plaisir dans la descente, attaquer lalpe 1erđŸ’Șet aider @ThibautPinot a gagner👏

Embedded image permalink@EquipeFDJ"

Chris Froome:
"It's unreal. I'm sure I haven't quite take it all on board yet. It's an unbelievable feeling to be sitting here still wearing this jersey.
Embedded image permalinkThere were so many things going through my mind going up that last climb. There were moments where I thought, 'hold on a second I could be in danger here'. But then always having my team-mates with me and having Wout and Richie there all the way until the end. Especially after the job all the guys had done today. I thought of all the sacrifices and the weeks of training camps. Time away from my wife and my family. Everything starts going through your head and I was on my limit there. I was hurting going up that last climb. But I just had to find something else just to keep pushing and get through today. It was only 110km but it felt like it was 300! It was such a hard stage!"
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Geraint Thomas:

"Fatty's leg."

Arnaud Demare:

"Merci #Alpesdhuez, j'ai du recevoir plus de 1000 fessés en me disant "Thibaut a gagné!!!!!" Je n'ai pas vu l'ascension passé."

Warren Barguil:

Embedded image permalink"Merci à tous pour ces encouragements malgré 2 jours galÚre j'ai pris énormément de plaisir durant ces 3 semaines #merci #jereviendrais"
Embedded image permalink“I rode a very strong final climb. It’s too bad I finish the Tour with two not so strong days but I am happy to ride on the Champs-ÉlysĂ©es tomorrow and I hope we can close this Tour successfully with a perfect sprint preparation for John [Degenkolb].”

Joaquim RodrĂ­guez:

"Uno de los @letour mas duros que recuerdo!! Enhorabuena a todos,del primero al Ășltimo!! Mañana a disfrutar de ParĂ­s!!"
Embedded image permalink

Simon Yates:
Embedded image permalink“I had done a recon of this climb, my brother wasn’t able to, and I think it showed at the end. He really tried to dig deep and hold onto the favourites. With the wind, it was a big headwind today, once he was dropped he was on his own and that takes its toll. Because I’d done the recon, I knew the climb a bit more, I knew to save it until near the end and I made a really big push with just over three kilometres to go.”

Bauke Mollema:
"7th! Happy to finish the Tour like this on the Dutch mountain. Thanks for all the support!! #TDF2015"
“Already in the first climb Frank did not look so good, so I was confident that I would pass him because Alpe d’Huez is such a hard climb and if you are not in good shape anymore it’s quite easy to take 45 seconds back.
And Bardet I was not sure of because he was looking really strong, but then already at the bottom of Alpe d’Huez, after 2k of climbing, I saw already he was suffering. That gave me even extra morale because I knew I was going to move to seventh place.
Embedded image permalinkOn the first climb my legs were good. But I was not 100 percent sure I would also have good legs on Alpe d’Huez. It was a headwind and I was with Nibali the whole time, we had good collaboration. We caught Contador, then at the end Nibali wasn’t racing anymore, but I was, so I pulled. 
I had a good day, it was short but really hard with the two climbs, especially the first one which was 30kms – that was really long and hard. On Alpe d’Huez with all the Dutch people that gave me something extra today. I felt quite good. I followed Nibali and we were riding together, and in the end we slowed down  a little bit and the rest of the group came back, but I am happy to move to seventh place.”

Robert Gesink:
“The pace was already very high on the first climb. I really had to push in that part of the race and I didn’t recover completely in the flat part in between the mountains. I have to thank Steven Kruijswijk again. He did a terrific job. I didn’t collapse in the end and was able to fight back to Nibali. I was exhausted in the last weeks. I’m glad that today was the last day. It’s finished, fortunately.
Embedded image permalinkThat’s a superb result. I don’t think that I’m realising the worth of it. All the big guns for this year’s overall were able to stay in the Tour de France. That makes it even more special.”

Bram Tankink:
Embedded image permalink“The five riders who finished above him have all won a big tour once in their lives. That proves how unique his performance is. I take my hat off with the greatest respect for him. A friend of mine brought a present for her with a balloon on it and he gave it to me on the Alpe d’Huez. My wife and my daughter were one turn further. I took the present with me and stopped for a while when I reached them. My daughter was impressed. Many people came towards us immediately. It was crazy.”
Embedded image permalink 
Steven Kruijswijk:
Embedded image permalink“I noticed that he didn’t feel great today. That’s why we made some decisions already on the Col de la Croix de Fer. Robert wanted to ride at his own pace and didn’t want me to ride in front of him. On the Alpe d’Huez, I thought that we would have been able to return to the group with Nibali. I decided to set the pace at that moment and told him that he had to go faster if he didn’t want to ride behind me. He was able to profit from my work. Robert proved that he’s worth his sixth place during the last three weeks.”

Alberto Contador:

"Alpe D'Huez came, I'm a little tired but always motivated and focused until last moment.Thanks for your support.👍"

RESULTS
Embedded image permalinkSTAGE
1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 03:17:21
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:18
3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 00:00:41
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:01:38
5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
6 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 00:01:41
Embedded image permalink7 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 00:02:11
8 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team 00:02:32
9 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky 00:02:50
10 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida
GC
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 81:58:33
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:01:12
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:05:25
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:08:36
Embedded image permalink5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:09:48
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 00:10:47
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 00:15:14
8 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 00:15:39
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:16:00
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 00:17:30
11 Simon Yates
JERSEYS
Yellow: Froome
Green: Sagan
White: Quintana
Polka Dot: Froome

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