Tuesday, October 26, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsLe Tour de France 2017 - Stage 21: Montgeron - Paris Champs-Élysées,...

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 21: Montgeron – Paris Champs-Élysées, 103km. Dylan Groenewegen strikes early

-

Dylan Groenewegen

Former Dutch Champion, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL) struck out early on Stage 21 and held on for his seventh win of the season after stage wins in Dubai, Yorkshire, two in Norway and two in the Ster ZLM Tour.

He’s had two sixth places, a fifth, a third and a second in this Tour but with that big hurdle called Kittel out of the way, this one belonged to him.

Andre Greipel’s (Lotto & Germany) terminal velocity was much higher but the 24 year-old from Amsterdam had the better timing and positioning over the sea of cobbles that is the Place de la Concorde.

A former winner of the u23 Ronde Van Vlaanderen he’s no pure drag strip artist and has also won races like the Brussels Cycling Classic and Ronde um Koln – he’s quick.

Dylan Groenewegen
Dylan Groenewegen. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

If you’re a sprinter in Le Tour then this is the stage to win – his reputation will be well burnished by this success.

We offer out congratulations to Dylan, Christopher Froome, his brutally effective team, Romain Bardet in particular and everyone who finished this monumental race.

Those late transition stages may look boring on TV but stand road side and observe the state some of these young men have ridden themselves into and it’s difficult not to have respect for every last one of them.

And to go with those noble words, here are our:

VeloVeritas Tour de France 2017 Awards

Dylan Groenewegen
Romain Bardet. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

“Man of the Race” Award

Romain Bardet (AG2R & France) rode himself beyond the pale; we hope to see him win this race one day.

Dylan Groenewegen
AG2R. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASP

“Team(s) of the Race” Award

We couldn’t split AG2R and Sunweb, the former for their aggression and spirit; the latter for their unflinching riding in support of Michael Matthews in green and Warren Barguil in polka dots.

And a big honourable mention to Wanty for being in all those breaks during the first two weeks, respecting the race and honouring the jersey.

Dylan Groenewegen
Warren Barguil. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

Lazarus “Born Again” Award

Warren Barguil (Sunweb & France) VeloVeritas cycling sage and mentor, Viktor and I are due the man an apology; two beautiful stage wins and so close to another as well as King of the Mountains – respect.

(Although marks were deducted for that abomination he rode on the last stage).

Dylan Groenewegen
Marcel Kittel. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

Sprinter Award

Despite the fact that we think it was a mental rather than a physical reason Marcel Kittel (QuickStep & Germany) ‘chucked it’ five stages are five stages!

An honourable mention to Michael Matthews.

Dylan Groenewegen
Nacer Bouhanni. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

Non-Sprinter Award

We share equally between Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis & France), Andre Greipel (Lotto & Germany) and Alex Kristoff (Katusha & Norway).

We’re just glad we’re not their pet dogs and getting that kick in the ribs when the formerly fast men get home.

Dylan Groenewegen
Team Astana. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

Non-Team Award

Astana, and by a considerable margin; Aru deserved much better than this.

What’s that?

How about Bahrain, BMC, Cofidis, Movistar and UAE? Were they there?

Dylan Groenewegen
Nairo Quintana. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

“Broken Dream” Award

Nairo Quintana (Movistar & Colombia) – Giro and Tour – what were you thinking, amigo?

Dylan Groenewegen
Louis Meintjes. Photo©Sirotti

HG Wells “Invisible Man” Award

Louis Meintjes (UAE & RSA) in the final chrono there was not one image of the man on French TV – impressive.

Dylan Groenewegen
Alejandro Valverde. Photo©Sarah Meyssonnier/ASO

“Absent Friends” Award

Alessandro Valverde (Movistar & Spain) and Peter Sagan (Bora & Slovakia) we missed you, gentlemen.

Dylan Groenewegen
Alberto Contador. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

“Don’t Do an Elvis and Come Back” Special Mention

Alberto Contador (Trek & Spain) let us remember you how you were in that last week, Bert.

Ciao, ciao.

Dylan Groenewegen
Rigoberto Uran. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

“Most Bang for his Bucks” Award

Jonathan Vaughters, head honcho of Cannondale, thanks to Rigoberto Uran (Colombia) with a stage win and a podium on a shoestring.

They top the teams cost/benefit analyses.

Uran also gets the ‘How to do it With no Team’ Prize.

Dylan Groenewegen
Chris Froome. Photo©Pierre Froger/ASO

“Storm in a Teacup” Award

Breaking a spoke is NOT a crisis or a big deal; I used to break them every week in time trials.

Luis Ocana crashing out; Bernard Thevenet dropping Eddy Merckx in the mountains; Lemond beating Fignon to win Le Tour by eight seconds in the final time trial were all ‘big deals’ – changing a rear wheel is not.

In conclusion, not a bad Tour but not a great one either.

Still, soon be the Vuelta…

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 4: Nice > Nice, 25km TTT. GreenEDGE Edge It!

'GreenEDGE will be on a high' we said of their chances in the TTT – and they exploited it in the best way possible. There’s a lot of luck involved in professional cycling and it was Sky and QuickStep’s turn for that particular lady to desert them, this time around.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 10: Stage 7, Saint-Grégoire – Rennes (ITT)

How could I ignore my hero Serhiy here in Saint-Grégoire? If I’d had a proper thinking-head on when I did the revue of the course yesterday I would have mentioned him; ‘a strong man’s course’ I said and who’s stronger than the man who rides 56 x 11? Isn’t it a joy to see him forcing that ‘death gear’ along the road, none of that embarrassing high-revving nonsense; face a mask of pain, giving his all — awesome.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 16: Pau – Bagnères-de-Luchon, 197 km.

As a colleague from another life used to say; ‘you should never drink on an empty head.’ A sentiment I can endorse as we sit in our hotel in Vielha, Spain. Having left Pau, there were no digs to be had in France near the stage finish – the Tour is a black hole which sucks up every hotel room within an hour’s drive and we had to cross the border after the finish at Bagnères-de-Luchon to get to our digs. QuickStep, Saxo, Movistar and Euskaltel all did the same thing and are here in Vielha, too.

Paul Watson – Part of the Legendary 1987 Tour de France Team to 2016 World Champion!

It’s hard to believe it’s 10 years since last I spoke to Paul Watson about a great ride he pulled off in 1987. Paul was British Amateur Road Champion in 1985, the same year as he was third in the Tour of Britain, ‘Milk Race’ behind Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner, Eric Van Lancker of Belgium and the man who should have been a super star but never quite was, Roy Knickman (USA). He rode pro with Van Lancker’s Belgian Fangio team at the end of that year but returned to Britain to ride for Raleigh in 1986.

Final Shot (Preview: TDF 2012 St 17)

Today is the stage that I have been looking forward to the most since I had a proper look at the various stage profiles back in early June. It is a genuine belter! The back end of the race includes an Hors Categorie climb immediately followed by a First Categorie climb.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 15: Laissac-Sévérac l’Église – Le Puy-en-Velay, 189.5km. Mollema in the mountains

Sunday, Stage 15 and VeloVeritas’s last shift on Tour - so we headed for the biggest hill we could find to remind ourselves how special and beautiful France and this race really are. Today we’re in the heartland, perhaps not deepest agricultural ‘France Profonde;’ the rural, simple, beautiful heart of the nation, not with the gorges and cols - but it’s quiet, lovely and some of the simple, striking images surprise as you drive the parcours.

At Random

Copenhagen Six Day 2011 – Opening Night; It’s Not Like It Used To Be

It wasn't a great first night, sparse crowds, lack lustre chases and I seemed to spend the whole day gittering about to little effect; but we're set up, the hotel is great, the boys are all relaxed and it's Friday - so maybe we'll get a better crowd. The Copenhagen Six Day 2011 is 'old school' - long chases are what Six Days are all about say the organisers; I'm not so sure.

Junior Tour of the Kingdom 2019 goes to Finn Fisher-Black

Overhauling a 34 second deficit from Saturday’s savage Lomond Hills Stage One finale, New Zealand rider Finn Fisher-Black in the colours of Netherlands outfit WWV Junioren took Stage Two and the overall win at the Junior Tour of the Kingdom in Kennoway on Sunday.

Adam Hansen Blog – From Sun to Snow

Sorry for the radio silence recently - I went off-grid a little, needed it after the Tour Down Under, and caught up with the family in Australia. After the TDU I headed from a sunny Adelaide to rainy Cairns before leaving for my home in the Czech Republic - the place to be.

Raleigh Relives the Golden Age With 40th Anniversary Edition

Celebrating Joop Zoetemelk’s success 40 years on from the 1980 Tour de France, Raleigh is releasing an anniversary edition bicycle and frameset of the TI-Raleigh.

James Shaw – Talking Life under Covid-19

Coronavirus, it’s the only topic in town right now and if, like me, you can’t imagine life without cycling then it has much to answer for; not to mention the drastic effect it’s having on people across the world. We caught up with professional James Shaw who rides for the Danish Pro Conti Riwal Readynez Cycling Team to ask about how it’s affecting him as a pro with his season just getting into its stride then having the rug pulled from under him.

Ian Black – New Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion

VeloVeritas missed the 100 Champs again-we're not men enough to disappear to the Tour for two weekends then vanish to Invergordon at 04:00 the first Sunday we're back.