Vive le Tour
As our Tour de France comes to an end, we’re proud of the way we raced and excited to watch the Tour de France Femmes
The last stage of the Tour de France is a prize for the peloton. After three weeks of racing, the riders parade into the French capital, rolling past the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe for a furious criterium up and down the Champs-Elysées.
When the sun sets after the final sprint, they can look back on their journey with pride. Finishing a Tour de France is a magnificent achievement for every bike racer, from the hardest working teammates to the race’s champions.
“I’m proud of the way we raced this Tour,” says EF Education-EasyPost sports director Tom Southam. “To be in the game as much as we were for as long as we were with the style of riders we had was a real success. Every time we asked the boys to go for it, they did, with the legs they had.”
From the Grand Depart in Copenhagen all the way to Paris, we attacked every day, rallying together after our disappointments and sharing our triumphs.
The highlight was Magnus Cort’s stage win and the time he spent in the polka-dot climber’s jersey. Those days, our plans worked perfectly. There were other days when they very nearly did and we were beaten fairly. That’s bike racing. Our riders always went out and raced the next day with everything they had.
“We’ve got no regrets,” says Owain Doull, who finished his first ever Tour de France today in Paris. “We have been competitive on a lot of days and the level of commitment from the team has been great.”
“It was a really tough Tour de France,” says Alberto Bettiol. “We never faced an easy stage, but a good spirit inside the team makes everything easier. I will bring these good vibes with me for the last part of the season.”
“For the team, the most important thing is that we tried every day,” says Rigoberto Urán. “Every day, we attacked.”
Stefan Bissegger and Jonas Rutsch rode like lions for their teammates.
“I was unlucky during the time trials, which were both big goals,” Stefan says, “but the team did really well, which kept my spirits up.”
“The team’s performance was great,” Jonas says. “I think everyone did everything they could. Magnus’s stage win was the best moment, but to see Neilson fighting every day and be supported by everyone in the team was amazing.”
Neilson learned a lot about himself this Tour de France. He nearly won a stage and came within a few seconds of wearing the yellow jersey. He fought to the finish.
“It was such a mental battle in the last week that I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up,” he says. “To finish where I did was a revelation. If I could just give any advice to anybody it’s that even if you are feeling at your limit, there is always more to give.”
That’s the message that Neilson wants to give to Letizia Borghesi, Krista Doebel-Hickok, Veronica Ewers, Kathrin Hammes, Emily Newsom, and Magdeleine Vallieres Mill as they start the Tour de France Femmes for EF Educaction-TIBCO-SVB.
“Good luck to the women who are starting their Tour today in Paris,” he says. “Give everything you have.”
“Enjoy it,” Jonas Rutsch adds, “it’s magic.”
Our guys will now go home for some much deserved rest. This week, they will be watching the Tour de France and cheering for the women from their couches.