Stage 21 Vesailles to Paris, Champs-Elysees 133.5km
Well finally after 3 long weeks we have reached Paris! It has been a long journey, with many ups and downs, both literally and metaphorically.
The last day is all about a bit of fun and the final group kick. Nothing beats watching the footage of the peloton doing the loop around Paris and then the group kick from the side angle running up the middle of the avenue. Yesterday's stage was a bit different in that it was scheduled more as a nocturne and didn't start until some god awful time on the western Pacific rim. At VT HQ we were hopped up on the best coffee south east Asia can muster.
The race started from Versailles, a lovely display of previous French excesses. Oh and a lovely garden as well. All the beers and skittles were provided by Sagan and Purito with Froome and Quintana not looking comfortable with...well with fun really. Purito was there, el gregario, lampooning it up for the cameras, even smoking a cigar at one stage. Quintana and Froome looked like they wanted to go and review power data in a dark corner.
And young Sagan, always a party boy, had dyed his goatie a beautiful green to match anything else he was either wearing or riding.
Before we head into the action lets have a thought for poor old Westra who had to abandon the Tour on the last day, 38km in. To abandon at such a late stage, as a pro, you would have to be pretty crook. Here's hoping next year he gets another chance to finish.
There were the obligatory breaks throughout the stage yadda yadda yadda and then it was 10km to go and it was all back together again. When i saw Sylvain LIKE A BOSS Chavanel on the front AGAIN, with his fluoro red bike, I couldn't help but get zuper excited. The bloke is a weapon.
Quick Step drove the pace but coming into the final chicane Trentin sat up short and there was a vacuum to be filled. Lotto tried to do so though coming around the last corner Argos had taken the initiative and Kittel was delivered to the doorstep of Le Arc. The side vision showed that he had a bike length on Griepel and Cavendish when he opened it up and from there it was always going to be tough coming from behind. Cav waited on Griepel's wheel and went relatively late and it was a drag race to the finish. It looked like Kittel was fading but he managed to hang on just from the Gorilla and the Manx Missile. This capped off an amazing Tour for Kittel. Probably a bit early to crown him the new king of sprinting, everyone has a good day, a good week or a good Tour. Lets see where it all sits coming into the Tour next year!
If you missed the tipping reports, then here is a RARE insight into what you can expect in 2014... in you join
Well Tyson has held off the rampaging Sherpa who won the Giro competition to be our 2013 TKM Le Tour Tipping GC Winner! Congratulations! I trust you enjoyed your lap of Paris and the obligatory champers afterwards! CHAPEAU!!!!
Tyson is a darkhorse, an accountant working with lawyers, and really reminds me of the clinical style of Sky. He was relentless throughout the Tour and never got fancy, just tipped smart and safely, which is the secret to winning this thing. You don't have the tip the break, just don't tip the bloke who goes out the ar$e. Of course he could prove us wrong and show us just how RARE he is but from all the bean counters i know they generally need a lie down after pinning the tail on the donkey.
In second and Sherpa, another awesome performance. The gap was 3:38 in the end but to back up after the Giro is a solid effort.
In third we have The Colonel, not the TKM one, but another one. Who would think there is more than one!!!! He was 5:52 down in a tough tough Tour.
Rounding out the top 10 we have Dirty Dez, JQ, The Racecaller, Rhys Buzza, THE LOOSE MOOSE, JETHRROOOO and Luc Plowman.
At the other end of the spectrum we have The Janitor who lost over 4 hours to the winner! Almost as awesome as winning the thing...
In the other big competitions The King has finally, for probably the first time, beaten The Queen. Probably luck or something like that.
Onto the Sprint and poor Sherps obviously didn't have much left in the chamber when he selected Goss from the sprint last night.....and promptly dropped out of first!!!! So our GREEN JERSEY WINNNER IS M CHAFFEY on 378 points! Sherps finished in second again on 373 points with Big Papa Nowls finishing in third on 367 points.
And in the KOM we have a tie...Can you believe it a draw for first!!!! Both Big Papa Nowls and Rabbits in the Headlights are LOGJAMMED on 155 points. Amazing effort guys!!!! In third we have Liam who was oh so close on 152 points.
We will sort out winnings etc over the next few days. I still have people WHO HAVENT FVCKING PAID after saying they were doing so. Extremely disappointing. So we will sort through that and get back to you with final win totals.
Well thanks again for competing in this, the 7th TKM Tipping contest. I hope it has done your head in as much as it has done mine in!!!
We will be back for the Vuelta so we will be back in touch then!
WOODY & GOON