Le Tour 2019 - Stage 21

The End :-(.

Every year, the Tour comes along and I’m always excited waiting for it to start - wishing the summer would hurry up. Then, once it’s over it’s like the end of summer… Anyway, I digress, and I’m a couple of days late with this final blog in the Tour 2019.

After the procession into Paris, Caleb Ewan won the sprint for the final day’s racing. It was his third stage win, in his debut Tour. He was perhaps the dominant sprinter of the 2019 Tour.

Egan Bernal became the first Columbian to win the Tour de France. I can recall Lucho Herrera and Fabio Parra attempting to win the TdF in the 80’s. I’m sure there were others before this. It’s a monumental win for Columbia and must surely make Bernal a hero at his home. He was there or thereabouts most days and rarely seemed under pressure - other than in the Pyrenees against Thibaut Pino. One has to wonder what would have happened had, Pinot not become injured in the Alps. Would Pinot have delivered the killer blow? Would Thomas have countered? And, again, what would have happened if Froome hadn’t been injured and out?

For me, the standout moments were really really to Julian Alaphilippe. I guess, in some ways, he reminded me of Bernard Hinault (although of course I could be wrong as I was a young teen in the 80s!). He seemed to have a ton of panache and attacking verve. Had he been a little more careful, both on and off the bike and perhaps had a more GC orientated team… And, of course, if the Tour had less high mountains… Lots of ifs and buts.

Anyway, this year was - for me - a fantastically exciting Tour. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too, and thank you for all the comments about the blog. I’m glad you all enjoyed it.

Here’s to the 2020 TdF!

Richard Stern