2016 Tour de France Stages 19 and 20

Hard to believe the Tour is already over. This race has offered up plenty of action and its been fun to watch all the animators. Personally, I think this year was more entertaining than the last several years. Chris Froome raced with panache and his attacks came in unexpected places. 

I was out of town working again this weekend so I didn't get to Saturdays stage. It was another day of climbing and not so nice weather. For the GC men, it was again about watching each other. Ion Izaguerre with Movistar won the stage with a daring attack and then took a suicidal descent on his way to the win. Really fun to watch and nice to see someone other than one of the usual suspects take the win. I always enjoy when a lesser known rider has a break through. 

Today was the traditional "parade" into Paris. It is an unspoken rule that no actual racing will occur until the race reaches the circuits around the Champs Elysees. During the initial miles it is hijinks and shenanigans mixed with photo ops and celebrations. I enjoy this kind of thing since you know the riders have endured a lot along the way. Its only right that they should get to have a bit of fun with it.

Once the race reaches the circuits in the City of Light, the racing is on! Today was always one for the sprinters. The teams of the sprinters spend quite a bit of time trying to keep things together for their men so that they can set up the perfect lead out. Many men will try to escape on the cobbles of the finish circuit but when you have the teams executing organized chases its very hard to pry loose a breakaway.

In the end Andre Griepel with Lotto-Soudal time things to perfection passing Alexandre Kristoff with Katusha and holding off Peter Sagan with Tinkoff-Saxo. Had the race been another 2 meters and Sagan would have won. His acceleration in the end was absolutely stunning, he just got the timing wrong. Griepel got everything right and was able to take home "the sprinters world championship." 

The riders will only get a brief rest though. Many of the riders will go directly to the post Tour criteriums. These are lucrative races for the riders where they get paid to show up to a race. Additionally the Olympics are just around the corner. Many riders will continue to add the final polish to their fitness so that they can show up to Rio in peak condition. 

I for one, can't wait! Thanks for reading folks. Feel free to shoot me a note with your thoughts! coaches@geminitrainingsystems.com