With four of five stages ending in sprints and the big guns absent, the Tour of Beijing provided an opportunity to examine the development of some of the up-and-coming sprinters who are hoping to challenge Messrs Kittel, Greipel, Cavendish and Sagan in the future. I’m going to focus here on the performances of FDJ’s Nacer Bouhanni, who won two stages and the points competition.
Benat Intxausti won the queen stage and claimed overall victory in the Chinese capital, denying Tony Martin a hat-trick of victories. But the outgoing champion did not give up his crown without a fight as the 2013 WorldTour drew to a close.
We wave goodbye to the 2013 season and to some familiar faces who are taking their leave of the professional peloton. But fear not: we’re going nowhere and will be back in two weeks’ time!