Phew. The 2019 Tour de France has concluded, and what a race it has been! It has been a roller coaster of excitement, tears, and everything else in between. It has been the best Tour de France edition that many of us have ever witnessed.
As in customary, the race concluded in Paris with a sprint on the Champs-Élysées. In what has long been considered the World Championship for sprinters, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) was the final rider to raise his hands in victory at this year’s race. It marks three stage wins for the Tour debutant. The general classification remained unchanged as the peloton coasted along drinking champagne in a congratulatory mood. 22-year-old Egan Bernal (INEOS) has made history as the youngest rider to take home yellow in a century and the first Colombian to win the overall.
Sixteen stages down. Two rest days complete. Three mountain stages fast approaching. After enjoying a splashed-filled rest day in Nimes, the peloton returned to their life on the road for stage 16 of Tour de France 2019, on the final sprint day before Paris, battling a heatwave that has hit Europe along the way.
Aussie pocket rocket Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) flamed his way to a second stage win in his Tour debut, making him the most successful sprinter of this year’s race. Newly discovered climbing sensation Elia Viviani benefited from yet another near-perfect lead out from the Quicksteppers to claim second whilst JumboBee Dylan Groenewegen came home in third. No change at the top of the GC.
Holy crap! David versus Goliath. Instincts versus power meters. An undefined Frenchman versus the returning champion. The Tour de France that was talked up as being the most open, exciting, and worthwhile to watch in memory has lived up to its potential! Who knew an individual time trial could be so thrilling, so nail biting, and so rewarding? Surely not I!