The final stage of the 2011 TDU has been run and won, with the expected wins for Mark Cavendish in the sprint, and Cadel Evans in the overall coming to fruition.
A victory on the Champs Elysees is one of the great achievements for a sprint cyclist, and Cav’s ability to produce on the big stages with such consistency will already have him posted as a strong favourite to win the World Championships this September.
Sammy Sanchez took the mountain climber’s King Of The Mountains Polka-Dot Jersey on the back of consistently high finishes in the high mountain stages of the Pyrenees and Alps, including the win up the Luz-Ardiden, and second on Plateau de Beille.
It has been a new set of rules for the Maillot Grimpeur (polka dot jersey) this year, which I believe has been a hugely positive change. One of the very best bike riders in the world won this jersey this year, and with all due respect to Anthony Charteau (last year’s winner), that has not always been the case in recent years.
The White (young rider) Jersey was won by Pierre Rolland, France’s next big thing. This boy can climb! He rode as Thomas Voeckler’s wingman on the big climbs, and being able to last that long when virtually every other rider in the race was dropped shows the boy has a big future.
I disagreed with the decision to not ride Rolland on front to defend Voeckler’s yellow when Andy Schleck was up the road, but that would show why I’m the Physio who blogs, and they’re the cyclists. Voeckler retained yellow, Rolland won the White by less than a minute, and my rants were wrong if you believe the end justifies the means.
And the Teams Prize was won by bloody Garmin Cervelo!
I am that happy for the boys, but can’t believe they went and won it all without me there!! Hahaha!
It was an excellent team performance by the boys, with all 9 men contributing.
The life-sized cut out of Zab was a little over the top for me, but hopefully the boys have photos of the cutout in many a compromising position!
This has been brilliant. Eleven months to go!