From the editor:
Should every Tour de France finish with a mountain time trial? I think maybe it should. Saturday’s showdown on La Planche des Belles Filles provided the kind of nail-biting finale that we’ve been waiting for since 1989.
To watch a Tour leader collapse on the final day of racing is cruel and exhilarating in equal measure. To watch a 21-year-old, who has seemingly ridden the Tour alone, thrash the might of Jumbo-Visma’s uber-team when riding mano a mano was jaw-dropping. Some might say unbelievable.
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Let’s not forget that had their form gone the other way the TT would have instead been a fitting coronation for Primož Roglič. So an ideal end to the race either way.
The Tour has often finished with a late TT of course, but flat ones don’t offer the same knife-edge for a rider to navigate.
A struggling rider can nurse themselves around a 30 or 40km flat time trial with minimum losses, while a flying rider can only gain so much. But put them on a testing climb, at the end of a gruelling three weeks, and time gaps are stretched as tired legs and vanishing form are found out.
While it was painful to watch, it was reassuring to be reminded that the riders are human after all, and no matter how strong a Tour leader and his team look the race isn’t over until it’s over.
Cycling Weekly Magazine Editor
Inside this week’s magazine:
Brailsford: Winning next year’s Tour starts now
Brilliant Bennett ends Sagan’s reign
Opinion: Don’t underestimate Pogacar’s team
Giro Rosa whets Worlds appetite
Tour de France review
Tour: Our top 10 moments
How Slovenia came to dominate the Tour
Tour: What affect did Covid-19 have?
Tested: Hitting the trails on Shimano GRX
Do you need hookless rims
Gear of the Week: Including the Xplova Noza Smart Trainer
Fitness: Indoor pain + Outdoor gain
Fitness: A week in training with Emily Meakin
Dr Hutch: The Doc reflects on the agonies experienced by a rider when they’re unceremoniously dumped into the ‘nobody’ category
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