First of all, best TdF ever. Seriously. I have not enjoyed a Tour this much in a long time. I hate to say it but not having Chris Froome there made this a hell of a Tour.
Julian Alaphilippe ended up being the big surprise of the Tour. Talk about being on fire, that guy was like a nuclear blast. I was rooting for him to win but unfortunately he didn’t have enough juice left at the end even with the shortened 19th and 20th stages. Thankfully he received the Most Aggressive Rider award and this year it really meant something. Chapeaux to JA.
Next up Egan Bernal. Talk about a guy much older than his 22 years. What a ride. No flash, just consistent great riding and he made the right moves when it counted the most, on stage 19. As with most Tour winners no problems and a bit of good luck did the trick. Great story there too as the first Columbian to win the Tour while at the same time also winning the white jersey.
I have to say a bit about how classy everyone was this year. Geraint Thomas, Bernal, Alaphilippe, the whole lot of them. JA was so gracious when he lost the yellow and seeing him shaking hands with Bernal the next day at the start of stage 20 was just fantastic. Class act all around.
And about those two shortened stages, 19 and 20…wow. Reminded me of the goofy weather that always happens during the Giro d’Italia. Snow/hail/mudslides made a mess of stage 19 and the results. That was the first good bit of luck for Bernal. Maybe with a full stage JA keeps the yellow. Not likely but still possible. But with 19 being cut short, and then 20 officially cut short because of mudslides along the route Bernal had it in the bag.
And lastly, how about Andre Greipel. The Gorilla, in most likely his last Tour, came in 6th on the Champs. I was really hoping he’d have a good showing and that was pretty good. Would have loved to have seen him win just one more but I was just happy to finally hear his name mentioned in the coverage!
I have felt so emotional today. The end of this race always makes me emotional but so much more this year because of how the race unfolded. Great stories and wonderful personalities this year. Even with Sky/Ineos winning yet again this year it felt a lot different. Watching the Tour is a huge time commitment. It’s three weeks of daily hours of television and it’s quite easy to get sucked into the whole thing on a very emotional level. I felt tears coming on several times today during the coverage. NBC did one segment where they showed the most memorable scenes of the 3 weeks. That montage along with the music they chose almost made me lose it. Such a beautiful country. I have to make it there someday, especially to see the Tour live.