a Success for Canyon Riders
The 101st edition of the Tour de France came to an end yesterday with the customary sprinting showdown on the cobbles of the Champs-Élysées in the heart of Paris.
From the lanes of Yorkshire to the grand boulevards of the French capital, the 21 stages and 3664 km in-between were gruelling and certainly not without incident. While Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali asserted his dominance on the race to take yellow, Katusha and Movistar Team had a number of reasons to celebrate as the year’s biggest race drew to a conclusion.
Kristoff shows his class
Katusha’s Norwegian sprinting star was one of the standout riders in this year’s Tour. Having never previously won a stage in the race, Alexander Kristoff proved he was in the hunt in 2014 by consistently finishing in the top three before taking two impressive wins on stage 12 and stage 15 aboard the brand new Aeroad CF SLX.
Both of Kristoff’s wins were made possible thanks to the strong work put in by his teammates. The Katusha rider was the only one strong enough to challenge the dominance of Germany’s Marcel Kittel on the final stage into Paris yesterday, coming up just half a bike length short having fought back from an untimely puncture in the finale.
Two stage wins made this year’s edition of the Tour one of the most successful ever for Team Katusha, following Joaquim Rodríguez’s third place ride last year, an achievement Team Manager Viacheslav Ekimov was keen to praise: “I think it was the best Tour de France for Team Katusha, but we will use this experience for our future development. I would like to thank the whole team for their work, for the strong fight and for the successes.”
Valverde just misses out on the podium
Coming into the penultimate stage on Saturday, a brutal 54 km Individual Time Trial, Movistar Team Captain Alejandro Valverde lay just two seconds off the podium. Having been one of the most consistent riders throughout and occupying second place overall for much of the race, the Spaniard began to lose time on his rivals during the final challenging Pyrenean stages and was unable to regain his losses in the time trial.
Nevertheless, fourth overall marks Valverde’s best ever performance in seven appearances at the Tour de France and he was still pleased with his showing in the race: “This is sport: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We fought for the podium until the very last day, which means that we rode super well and did everything we could. […]This result is not a failure for me, at all.”
Canyon congratulates all the riders from Katusha and Movistar Team for animating the 2014 Tour de France and making it a race to remember.