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Groenewegen wins while Sky party

24th July 2017

Greipel, Kittel, Cavendish, those are the names you expect to see on the winners list  on the Champs Élysées stage of the Tour de France as these riders have dominated the unofficial world championship of sprinting, but it was George Bennett’s team mate Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) who won overnight.

 

21 winner 2

 

He has steadily improved as the Tour has progressed, collected a number of top sixes in the first week to go with a third place in Bergerac and second in Pau, to then cap off his Tour with his first Grand Tour stage win of the world’s biggest cycling stage, holding on after many watching thought he’d hit the front too soon.

 

André Greipel was just too far back heading into the final corner so his Grand Tour winning streak is over. The big German’s final acceleration to the line was just too late; he needed another 20 metres to claim the win.

 

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler had a rather uncharacteristic understated farewell to the Tour and pro cycling, without even throwing in an expected token attack, instead, opting on the final lap to drift off the back of the peloton and offer a wave to the crowds.

 

Haimar Zubeldia (Trek-Segafredo) was also riding his final Tour, made a low key exit in line with  his reputation for stealth. Aged 40, it was the Spaniard’s sixteenth Tour that includes five top 10 overall finishes.

 

Mikel Landa (Sky) did have some fun with his one second deficit to Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) on the GC when he went off the front of the peloton with a fake attack during the relaxed early section of the stage.

 

sky beers

 

While the second half of the stage is an intense battle among the sprinters the first half of the race is party time with Froome and his Sky team mates and management in the team cars all drinking champagne and even beer while yril Gautier (Ag2r-La Mondiale) even took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend over the camera writing a ‘will you marry me’ note on a page of his race book.

 

froome kid

 

So Froome becomes the only rider in the Tour’s history to hold four titles leaving him one away from equalling the record of five held jointly by Eddy Merckx, Jaques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

 

sky 21

 

It was good to see Kiwi Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) in the first break that got away with 54km remaining after Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott) attacked. It included  Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Michael Schär (BMC), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), and Julien Vermote (Quick-Step).

 

They had a maximum gap of 22 seconds with the peloton led by the sprinters teams not keen to give them much leeway; they were caught with just under 10km to go.

 

Kiwi watch

After George Bennett’s withdrawl after falling ill it was great to see Patrick Bevin, Dion Smith and Jack Bauer all finish safely in the peloton at the end of the 2017 Tour.

 

jack paris

 

They all finished the final stage with the same time of stage winner Dylan Groenewegen after Jack had been driving things on the front and Dion had been in the break. Paddy finished the Tour with a broken foot, something he did in the opening days TT, making his efforts supporting teammate Rigoberto Uran - who was second place on GC and got a stage win - even more impressive.

 

Jack certainly consolidated his growing reputation as a hard worker, mixing up a role as part of Marcel Kittel’s lead out and support for Dan Martin while Dion and Paddy will both have benefited hugely from their first experiences of the event, with Dion’s Wanty-Groupe Gobert team, that was made up entirely of first time Tour riders, being one of the few to finish with all of its nine riders still racing.

 

Tour de France 2017, stage 21: Montgeron – Paris (Champs-Élysées) (103km)

1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, in 2-25-39

2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal

3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data

4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin

6. Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida

7. Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ

8. Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo – Oscaro

9. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe

10. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team, all same time

 

Final general classification

1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky, 86-20-55

2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac, at 54 secs

3. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2-20

4. Mikel Landa (Esp) Team Sky, at 2-21

5. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 3-05

6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at 4-42

7. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott, at 6-14

8. Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates, at 8-20

9. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 8-49

10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb, at 9-25

 

105. Jack Bauer Quick-Step Floors, at 3 hours 15

114. Paddy Bevin, Cannondale Dracpac, at 3 hrs 23

124. Dion Smith, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at 3hrs 39

 

#TDF2017 #TDF #nzroadcyclist

 

pod paris

 Photo credits © A.S.O / P.Ballet and ©Tim De Waele