Now history, the 101st Tour de France took place from July 5th to July 27th. The 2014 edition of the Tour was consistent with 21 stages and two rest days as in the previous competitions. The course covered 3,664 km (2277 miles) from England to France with a one-time trial, five hill stages, six mountain stages with five of these being mountaintop finishes and nine flat stages. A few big names sprinted their way into major bumps along the way and ultimately had to bow out.
The top moments identified in this year’s Tour de France prove that no matter what, no race can ever be prophesied. Always expect the unexpected with any cycling competition.
Two Contenders Lost Early
British cycling legend Mark Cavendish had all of the UK rooting for him. The consensuses’ predicted that he was shoe-in as one of the ‘Top 5.’ Cavendish bowed out of the race because of a crash in Stage 1 that dislocated his collarbone.
The other notable dropout was UK rider Chris Froome, who was considered a ‘favorite. He withdrew during Stage 5 due to injuring he sustained of his left wrist.
Who Took the Most Stages Winners
Germany took the most stages in the Tour de France 2014. Marcel Kittel won four Stages 1, 3, 4 and the prestigious Stage 21. Tony Martin won Stages 9 and 20 and Andre Greipel won Stage 6.
Another Top Name Departs
Alberto Contador of Spain crashed out in Stage 10 as he neared the 3rd climb, the Col du Platzerwasel. The two-time champion’s bike seemed to let him down, as reports of a snapped frame as the apparent cause for his crash and subsequent abandonment of the Tour.
All Eyes Were Fixated On
Right from the start, the 2014 Tour de France was all about Vincenzo Nibali. He held on the yellow jersey through most of the race and ultimately was crowned the winner of the tournament, making him the first Italian to win the competition since 1998. His timing slowly dominated from stage to stage with his finale performance escalating over second-placed Jean-Christophe Peraud by 7 minutes and 52 seconds.
The entire peloton’s waves of endurance, speed and overall good sportsmanship presented a stimulating competition to all spectators of the 2014 Tour de France. It was a well done job.