Stage 21 race report
Well finally after 3 long weeks we have reached Paris! It has been a long journey, with many ups and downs, both literally and metaphorically.
The last day is all about a bit of fun and the final group kick. Nothing beats watching the footage of the peloton doing the loop around Paris and then the group kick from the side angle running up the middle of the avenue. Yesterday’s stage was a bit different in that it was scheduled more as a nocturne and didn’t start until some god awful time on the western Pacific rim. At VT HQ we were hopped up on the best coffee South East Asia can muster.
The race started from Versailles, a lovely display of previous French excesses. Oh and a lovely garden as well. All the beers and skittles were provided by Sagan and Purito with Froome and Quintana not looking comfortable with…well with fun really. Purito was there, el gregario, lampooning it up for the cameras, even smoking a cigar at one stage. Quintana and Froome looked like they wanted to go and review power data in a dark corner.
And young Sagan, always a party boy, had dyed his goatie a beautiful green to match anything else he was either wearing or riding.
Before we head into the action lets have a thought for poor old Westra who had to abandon the Tour on the last day, 38km in. To abandon at such a late stage, as a pro, you would have to be pretty crook. Here’s hoping next year he gets another chance to finish.
There were the obligatory breaks throughout the stage yadda yadda yadda and then it was 10km to go and it was all back together again. When we saw Sylvain LIKE A BOSS Chavanel on the front AGAIN, with his fluoro red bike, we couldn’t help but get zuper excited. The bloke is a weapon.
Quick Step drove the pace but coming into the final chicane Trentin sat up short and there was a vacuum to be filled. Lotto tried to do so though coming around the last corner Argos had taken the initiative and Kittel was delivered to the doorstep of Le Arc. The side vision showed that he had a bike length on Griepel and Cavendish when he opened it up and from there it was always going to be tough coming from behind. Cav waited on Griepel’s wheel and went relatively late and it was a drag race to the finish. It looked like Kittel was fading but he managed to hang on just from the Gorilla and the Manx Missile. This capped off an amazing Tour for Kittel. Probably a bit early to crown him the new king of sprinting, everyone has a good day, a good week or a good Tour. Lets see where it all sits coming into the Tour next year!
Stage 21 tipping report
Well 39 of you selected Kittel. I was amazed that 39 of you still had him left to tip! Chapeau!
And now onto the final GC! Another amazing finish last night. The top two tippers both chose a rider from Argos Shimano, Nicholas Deane had Kittel and Andrew Craig had Degenkolb. Kittel obviously won the stage and you would have expected that Degenkolb would have received the same time but there were gaps throughout the peloton and he finished 34 seconds down! As a result Nicholas has jumped into first place and taken the yellow jersey on the very final stage!!! Degenkolb has burnt someone again!!!
So in the end Nicholas Deane has taken the win with a 29 second gap over Andrew Craig in second place. Oh so close! Nicholas has beaten over 1,100 tippers to take the win! CHAPEAU
And Andrew, an amazing performance that was only thwarted at the death knock. The margin is so close that it could have gone either way.
In third, 43 seconds down, was Brenton Thain. This is one close podium with only that margin seperating the top 3. While that is not the closest margin we have had (believe it or not we have had a final margin between first and second of 1 second!) it is still just one potential split in the bunch coming over the line (as Andrew discovered).
Rounding out the top 10 we have Lukas van der Steen, Melanie Neumann, Dominic Lefebvre, Chester Sanderson, Nick Weeks, Fin McNab and GP Domestique. The top 10 were all within 3:21 of each other which made for a fascinating and closely fought contest.
An incredible effort by all, and we’ll be in touch regarding the silverware.
General Classification tipping ladder top 50 after stage 21
|1||Nicholas Deane||3 day(s), 11:49:59||264||85|
|2||Andrew Craig||3 day(s), 11:50:28||248||75|
|3||brenton thain||3 day(s), 11:50:42||221||103|
|4||Lukas van der Steen||3 day(s), 11:51:31||282||72|
|5||melanie neumann||3 day(s), 11:52:20||221||53|
|6||Dominic Lefebvre||3 day(s), 11:52:51||282||115|
|7||Chester Sanderson||3 day(s), 11:52:52||266||85|
|8||Nick Weeks||3 day(s), 11:53:08||309||128|
|9||Fin McNab||3 day(s), 11:53:15||258||38|
|10||GP Domestique||3 day(s), 11:53:20||251||145|
|11||Jake Schoellkopf||3 day(s), 11:55:23||196||49|
|12||kelly Dinardo||3 day(s), 11:56:37||196||15|
|13||Patrick Reynolds||3 day(s), 11:57:36||213||61|
|14||DON CUELL||3 day(s), 11:57:49||278||75|
|15||Nick Lothian||3 day(s), 11:58:47||324||118|
|16||Tim Hodge||3 day(s), 11:59:17||337||79|
|17||Misha Zgoznik||3 day(s), 11:59:20||268||78|
|18||Joel Watson||3 day(s), 11:59:25||292||100|
|19||Louis Raymond||3 day(s), 11:59:29||270||55|
|20||Andrew Irwin||3 day(s), 11:59:30||279||149|
|21||Simon Haydon||3 day(s), 11:59:40||330||97|
|22||Andrew Hanson||3 day(s), 11:59:43||177||136|
|23||Allan Weatherley||3 day(s), 12:00:21||250||118|
|24||Aaron Donaldson||3 day(s), 12:00:38||333||49|
|25||Paul Mapp||3 day(s), 12:00:39||229||65|
|26||George Bogus||3 day(s), 12:00:51||327||122|
|27||Jason Williams||3 day(s), 12:01:26||333||119|
|28||james monahan||3 day(s), 12:01:26||253||102|
|29||Sean Lake||3 day(s), 12:01:33||212||73|
|30||Rhys Buzza||3 day(s), 12:01:34||137||110|
|31||Neil Mylott||3 day(s), 12:01:50||279||70|
|32||Troy Bryant||3 day(s), 12:02:04||281||88|
|33||Luke McDermott||3 day(s), 12:02:10||390||94|
|34||Adam Levin||3 day(s), 12:02:21||218||127|
|35||Dane Cash||3 day(s), 12:02:26||258||127|
|36||Plamen Stoyanov||3 day(s), 12:02:32||408||176|
|37||Andrew Collins||3 day(s), 12:03:07||247||133|
|38||Keith Wong||3 day(s), 12:03:14||307||115|
|39||Matt Robbins||3 day(s), 12:03:33||270||74|
|40||Michael Pettingill||3 day(s), 12:03:34||241||85|
|41||Jules Knuppel||3 day(s), 12:03:43||267||33|
|42||Leon Goh||3 day(s), 12:04:02||214||46|
|43||Darcy Giuliani||3 day(s), 12:04:15||316||63|
|44||Michael Cincotta||3 day(s), 12:04:16||196||94|
|45||Angus Crisp||3 day(s), 12:04:41||283||50|
|46||daniel scheiner||3 day(s), 12:05:06||212||129|
|47||Paul Ruskin||3 day(s), 12:05:12||283||114|
|48||buds fuller||3 day(s), 12:05:20||317||74|
|49||Chris Neal||3 day(s), 12:05:55||316||92|
|50||Borja Barbesà||3 day(s), 12:06:05||240||48|