21 July 2013

Tour Travel - Tour de France Finale Stage 21 in Paris

They made it to Paris!
RESULTS STAGE 21 (FINAL)
Stage 21 Results
GER  1  KITTEL, Marcel (ARGOS-SHIMANO)                 3:06:14
GER  2  GREIPEL, André (LOTTO BELISOL)                           
GBR  3  CAVENDISH, Mark (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP)              
SVK  4  SAGAN, Peter (CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING) 
General Classification after Stage 21
GBR  1  FROOME, Christopher (SKY PROCYCLING)           83:56:40
COL  2  QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR TEAM)+  4:20
ESP  3  RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquin (KATUSHA)            +  5:04
ESP  4  CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (SAXO-TINKOFF)       +  6:27
CZE  5  KREUZIGER, Roman (SAXO-TINKOFF)                +  7:27
NED  6  MOLLEMA, Bauke (BELKIN PRO CYCLING)            + 11:42
DEN  7  FUGLSANG, Jakob (ASTANA PRO TEAM)              + 12:17
ESP  8  VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR TEAM)   + 15:26
ESP  9  NAVARRO GARCIA, Daniel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CRED+ 15:52
USA  10 TALANSKY, Andrew (GARMIN SHARP)                + 17:39
POL  11 KWIATKOWSKI, Michal (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP)+ 18:59
ESP  12 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (EUSKALTEL EUSKADI)      + 20:01
NED  13 TEN DAM, Laurens (BELKIN PRO CYCLING)          + 21:39
BEL  14 MONFORT, Maxime (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD)           + 23:38
FRA  15 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE)              + 26:42
AUS  16 ROGERS, Michael (SAXO-TINKOFF)                 + 26:51
ESP  17 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA)             + 32:34
BEL  18 BAKELANTS, Jan (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD)            + 35:51
AUS  19 PORTE, Richie (SKY PROCYCLING)                 + 39:41
LUX  20 SCHLECK, Andy (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD)             + 41:46 
It was a tri-colored podium for 2013. This was the year that Nairo Quintana won both the white and polka-dot jersey
Classification Jerseys - after Stage 19
YELLOW - Christopher Froome (SKY)
GREEN - Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
POLKA DOT - Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
WHITE - Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
OVERALL COMBATIVE - Christophe Riblon (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
TEAM - Team Saxo-Tinkoff
STAGE  -  Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano)
Full list of overall GC standings here: General Classification standings 2013 Tour de France
LANTERNE ROUGE - Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEDGE) + 04h 27' 55"
I was super impressed with tuff-man Svein Tuft this Tour, he ended up as the Lanterne Rouge.  Even with all his falls and mishaps, he finished almost four and a half hours after Christopher Froome in total. Not so bad, although I kept wishing they would install a wheelchair ramp for him to into the team bus, he made those steps look harder than riding a bike. "You don't go looking for the lanterne rouge. It comes looking for you." ~ Wim Vansevenant, 3-time Lanterne Rouge. (quote from On Your Bike Blog). Watch Video: Lanterne Rouge Svein Tuft on Finishing the Tour, By Bicycling. The oldest Tour rookie of the modern era, Svein Tuft is a rider like no other, By Neal Rogers, VeloNews.
Lanterne Rouge Svein Tuft (Photo Orica-GreenEDGE FB page)
169 riders finished the 2013 Tour de France. Lieuwe Westra withdrew with 38km to go, reportedly he had been very ill. Article: Chris Froome Wins 2013 Tour de France By Bicycling. Video Stage 21 Recap (08:00 English) NBC Sports.

Things I learned at the Tour in 2013 in the City of Lights

PARIS IS ONE IMPRESSIVE CITY:
That was totally awesome to watch the stage today. I can only imagine the cafes spilling over with jubilant celebrations and parties on boats, hotels and favorite cafes. What a magical city and perfect reward after a long hard race.
TRADITION:
As I sat watching the final stage this afternoon, I commented out loud, "God I love this stuff." That was a great stage to watch, not so much for the racing, other than the exceptional sprinting power of Marcel Kittel in the last 100 meters, but because A.S.O. put on an epic Tour de France this year and a super cool finale.
The peloton roars down the Avenue des Champs Elysees
MONUMENTS:
If the Arc de Triomphe was built for Napoleon's troops to march through triumphantly at war's end, this is a fitting monument to allow the riders to race around after 3-weeks of racing across France. I cannot imagine the major traffic jams caused by closing this central point in Paris - but it was incredible to see the sport honored in this way.
The riders circle the Arc de Triomphe for the first time ever.
CELEBRATION:
I loved that the racers went around the Arc de Triomphe this year, the twilight finish was interesting, but I wouldn't chose it over finishing in daylight and having the traditional victory lap by the riders (plus better photography). The team victory lap is half the fun of being on the Champs Eysees in person for the finale. I imagine it must be quite an honor for the riders to receive applause next to their fellow teammates who have reached the final destination together. If the Tour begins with a team presentation, it should end with one as well. Could we have the parade lap and the light display please?
Light show on the Arc; reminding me of Carrie Underwood's dress at this year's Country Music Awards. Some liked it, some didn't. I liked it!
CAMERA COVERAGE:
The work of the cameramen was phenomenal in capturing this race while making it interesting, relevant and informative. Truly incredible craftsmanship. I wish I knew more about the brave hardy men that bring us coverage day after day. French Television claimed they experienced the biggest viewership in years.
Racing by the Place Vendome and the Cleopatra Needle in Paris
MEDIA:
The way that cycling news and media is dispersed is changing rapidly. The teams have become their own complete media units. YouTube and Facebook is the place where fun is shared. Twitter seems to have become only a place for cycling personalities (non-riders) trying to perpetuate their personality, and is rarely used by the riders as it had been in years past. There are lots of people and sources providing Live Coverage via text now - you can pick and choose your style. Tracking and apps have become common place. Videos are a great way of reaching an audience fast. Everyone has a camera, everything is captured, everyone is a journalist, but not necessarily a writer.

I do like the media team approach of having 4-5 different reporters/photographers/videographers/race tacticians/techies covering all aspects of a race and offering differing perspectives and expertise. I like knowing the journalist behind the story. VeloNews has a team approach with their Live Coverage, also Cycling Tips, Bicycling and others. It was as if a complete old fashioned newspaper staff rolled out to the Tour de France. Seems fitting since this is a race born from a newspaper (L'Auto). Now someone needs to hire me as their Travel section, cuz' I sure can't do horoscopes (otherwise known as race predictions)!
Claire the timekeeper wishing us all a welcome to the 100th Tour de France
PHIL AND PAUL:
As much as they get teased and I laugh at comments like, "They are riding along at quite a nippy pace," I gotta admit I hear what they say. Other announcers will chatter away and not a word is absorbed into my multi-tasking brain. I am near-baffled by Phil and Paul's unending enthusiasm and positive outlook on this sport. To me, Phil and Paul seem as traditional as Bernard Hinault's presence at the podium presentations.
When Phil and Paul point out things like Peter Sagan's green beard, they get my attention.
FANS:
The current is changing; as much as we love the crazy fun-loving fans that line the route and support the riders, we hate the fans that run alongside the riders interfering with the riders and disturbing the experience for other fans. Stop it.
 
The Norwegians on Norwegian corner at Rue du Rivoli in Paris do it right!
AUSSIES ROCK:
The Aussies made the Tour fun this year from the get-go when Simon Gerrans set the standard for conduct in the yellow jersey, Orica GreenEDGE won the Team Time Trial and the team produced the Backstage Pass videos. Plus they handed out thousands of inflatable guitars to fans for their music videos. I think the Aussie riders, teams, and fans contributed wonderfully, including the coverage by Cycling Tips (like their report from today's stage) and Michael O'Reilly's Live Blogging. I especially enjoyed the Aussie cycling terms and expressions. Are you sure that's English?
Stuart O'Grady and Simon Gerrans roll onto the cobbles of the Champs Elysees today (Photo Orica-GreenEDGE FB page)
THE DESIGN OF A STAGE RACE MATTERS:
I will never undervalue those who create thes routes, select the host cities and decide on the climbs, but most importantly those who decide on the order of the stages. It may have been apparent that Chris Froome was in the lead after Stage 8, but it was not clear until Stage 20 of 21 who would wear the White Jersey, Polka-dot Jersey or who would stand on the podium in Paris. The Tour of 2013 was a very well designed tour.
Let's start the stage in one of the most frequented tourist sites in all of France - the Palace of Versaille.
YOU SEE MUCH MORE ON TV:
This was the first year in many years that I watched the entire Tour de France on TV (rather than being in France traveling). I loved it. It is very hard to truly keep up with the race when chasing it while traveling. Even when I cover the Amgen Tour of California I have an impossible time trying to read all the varied news sources and watch the entire stages. This was a year of good racing, one well worth watching in entirety.
Kittel, Greipel, Cavendish - camera angles allow me to clearly see that Kittel won the final sprint of Stage 21
THE BEST MAN WON:
Chris Froome (screen shot by Pedal Dancer)
"This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time." ~ Chris Froome, in his acceptance speech after winning the 2013 Tour de France.

It took him 83h 63' 40" to get it done.

Video: Chris Froome Cheered On By Kenyan Mentor
Video: Kenya celebrates as Chris Froome wins the Tour de France SNTVonline
Article: Froome’s father says his son can mend cycling’s image afp/velonews 
*Links from Steephill.TV 
Team SKY crosses the finish line of the 2013 Tour de France in Paris (Photo Team SKY FB page)
Team Sky Stage 21 - a great gallery of photos from Sunday.
Team SKY Reflect on Tour Success (and how they managed to get in formation at the end of the stage to cross the line together).

THE PRIX CITRON AWARD
Every year the TDF journalists vote on the least likable rider and call their award the Prix Citron. I have no idea who they will select this year because all the riders seemed extremely well-mannered, except for maybe Mark Cavendish's loss of patience with that reporter. I would like to offer up a few names of my own for most annoying in this year's Tour, not unlikable just annoying. First the Minx doing the BDOPC bits, boring and lousy to watch on video, leave it to paper. Also three DSs that I should probably not name, anywhoo the riders made up for all their annoying ways.

Update 7/22/13: Reward results 2013 - Tour de France
International Press: Prix Orange (most likable): Chris Froome 
International Press: Prix Lemon (least likable): Mark Cavendish 
French Press: Prix Orange (most likable): Jérémy Roy 
French Press: Prix Lemon (least likable): Thibaut Pinot

SOMETHING IS UP WITH MARK CAVENDISH'S VENGE:
His aero bike did not look all that aero today unless it was intended to take flight. Marcel Kittel rides this Felt F1 FRD - Bike review by Road.cc. Watch the final sprint, video: Last Km of Stage 21 (02:06 English) NBC Sports. It is fascinating to watch the style, pedal stroke, power, and bike differences between the three men.

I CAN'T WAIT FOR 2014!
Peter Sagan rides off into the sunset ... see you next year in France! (Photo Le Tour)

Trip the light Fantastic: Special light display on the Arc de Triomphe NBC Sports

Legends: Miguel Indurain, Eddy Merckx, (podium girl), Christopher Froome, (podium girl), Bernard Hinault, and Christian Prudhomme together on the podium for the 100th Tour de France finish in Paris in 2013.
Beyond cool!
Read more posts by Karen at Pedal Dancer® on the 2013 Tour de France: 2013 TOUR DE FRANCE
*Any uncredited photos above are screen captures by moi.

Thank you so much for following along with Pedal Dancer® at the Tour de France this year. Also thank you for so many of you who followed my coverage of the recent Tour of California as well.

See you next for the Tour of Utah, and then the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado, USA (which happens to be where I live). Rumors have it that Richie Porte is coming to Colorado and so too are some of his other prominent teammates (Wiggins or Froome) on team SKY, but the official startlist of riders has not yet been announced. Please disregard the names listed on the official USA Pro Challenge website under teams. Those riders are listed as "Team Riders" not necessarily those riders who will be racing in Colorado.

Vive le Tour!