Tour de France 2013 Stage 21
Versailles to Paris 133.5km
With all the competitions pretty much locked up, the peloton could savor the ride to Paris. Cannondale Pro Cycling, while tickled green with a second Maillot Vert for Peter Sagan, still wanted to put the proverbial cherry on top of their Tour by guiding Sagan to a stage win. Sagan showed his devotion to green by riding a green Cannondale, dying his goatee green, and arriving at the start wearing a green wig.
If the game was showmanship, Sagan would take the win, but a victory in Paris was a tall order. The best sprinters of the race, including Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Andre Greipel of Lotto-Belisol, and Marcel Kittel of Argos-Shimano were all still in the race, and most of their respective squads were still in the race as well. All are known as well-disciplined sprint trains and proved as much this Tour.
Once Team Sky led the pack onto the Champs-Elysees with Maillot Jaune Chris Froome in their draft, the racing began. Garmin-Sharp's David Millar shot out of the peloton. Several riders joined him.
It was an audacious move, and as the kilometers ticked down, his companions tired out and fell back. The field rode fast and controlled, never letting Millar's lead extend far beyond 30 seconds. On this fairly flat course, it's a distance they can pull back within a few kilometers or less.
With 20km remaining, FdJ's Jeremy Roy bolted out of the peloton to join Millar. They rode together briefly, but Millar was toast and faded. Roy was in turn passed by Belkin's Bram Tankink, BMC's Manuel Quinziato, and climber Alejandro Valverde of Movistar.
This threesome worked well together, and kept the peloton at bay until the start of the final lap, where Sky chased them down. At this point, the sprinter's teams took over, going up and down the avenue in rival trains. Amazingly, even fourth-placed Alberto Contador came to the front, hoping to set up his teammate Daniele Bennati in thanks for his efforts over the weeks.
Order was restored as Argos-Shimano and Omega Pharma took to the front. Cannondale worked to get Sagan into position on Cavendish's wheel. Argos led into the final turn, and their man Kittel started the sprint first. Greipel and Cavendish were fighting with their bikes to find enough extra speed to catch the Argos rider, but neither had it. Sagan was doing his all just to stay close to the three fastest men of the Tour. And that's how the stage ended. Kittel victorious, Greipel second, Cavendish third, and Sagan fourth.
In the general classification race, Froome collected the final Yellow Jersey, with Movistar's Nairo Quintana and Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez in second and third. Quintana took home both the Polka Dot Jersey of best climber and the White Jersey of best young rider. Team Saxo-Tinkoff won the team competition, and Cannondale Pro Cycling's Peter Sagan took a comfortable victory in the Points Competition. Cavendish, his nearest rival, was 97 points behind.
After the race, Sagan was both disappointed and sated with his Tour. "I was hoping to get another victory for the team today. They deserve it for three hard weeks. But one stage win and victory in the Green Jersey was very good. I'm satisfied."
Thanks for tuning in to Cannondale's coverage of the 2013 Tour de France. While this race is over, and the riders are starting a well-deserved break, the racing season continues both in the United States and in Europe. Cannondale Pro Cycling will be at the front in the hardest races on both continents. Stay tuned. There's plenty of bike racing coming up before this season ends.
Tour de France 2013
Stage 21: Versailles to Paris 133.5km
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 3:06:14
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol same time
3. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step same time
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling same time
5. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida same time
Cannondale Pro Cycling
56. Kristijan Koren (Slo) same time
76. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) same time
88. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) same time
108. Brian Vandborg (Den) 0:00:34
109. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida same time
110. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge same time
111. Alan Marangoni (Ita) same time
116. Moreno Moser (Ita) same time
152. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 0:01:36
Final General Classification
1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 83:56:40
2. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:20
3. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 0:05:04
4. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:06:27
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:07:27
Final General Classification
Cannondale Pro Cycling
71. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 2:23:11
82. Peter Sagan (Svk) 2:38:51
94. Moreno Moser (Ita) 2:53:27
100. Kristijan Koren (Slo) 2:57:03
111. Alan Marangoni (Ita) 3:10:01
114. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) 3:15:15
117. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) 3:18:40
155. Brian Vandborg (Den) 4:00:21
Final Points Competition
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 409 pts
2. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step 312
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 267
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano 222
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 177