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The Complete 2014 Tour de France Review. Read on for a stage by stage review of the 2014 Tour de France.




Stage 21 Review: Évry - Paris Champs-Élysées, 138km

Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France on Sunday evening, while Marcel Kittel won the sprint on the Champs Elysees for the second consecutive year. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) was second in the final stage, with third going to Garmin-Sharp’s Ramunas Navardauskus.

Nibali won four stages on his way to his maiden Tour victory, adding it to his titles in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana.

There were, as virtually always, no changes in the rankings on the final day. Nibali claimed the title by nearly eight minutes over his nearest rival, Jean-Christophe Peraud, with Thibaut Pinot third at nearly eight and a half minutes down.

Stage 20 Review: Bergerac - Périgueux, 54km

The celebrations can finally begin. After three weeks of racing from Yorkshire via the Vosges, the Alps and the Pyrenees, the Tour de France is set to celebrate its finale in Paris on Sunday after the 54km time trial stage decided the final overall classification.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will be crowned winner on the Champs-Élysées after extending his overall lead to 7:52 in the time trial. He becomes just the sixth rider in the history of cycling to have won all three Grand Tours in professional cycling, alongside Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Alberto Contador.

The Italian will be joined by two Frenchmen on the podium, with Jean-Christophe Péraud and Thibaut Pinot securing second and third place thanks to determined rides in the time trial between Bergerac and Périgueux. Péraud moved past his younger compatriot to take second at 7:52, with Pinot third at 8:24. Alejandro Valverde was unable to gain time on them, after a terrible performance, and remains fourth at 9:55.

9 interesting facts from the Tour de France

Stage 19 Review: Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour - Bergerac, 209km

Ramunas Navardauskas has been showing himself as a sprinter in this year's Tour de France, but the Lithuanian time trial champion used his strength for riding solo to finally deliver the stage win for which Garmin-Sharp has tried so hard.

John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) led home the fractured peloton seven seconds later, with dual stage winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) in third.

Stage 18 Review: Pau - Hautacam, 146km

Tour de France leader Vincenzo Nibali hosted a climbing, winning the stage by 1:10 from a chasing quartet led home by Thibaut Pinot, Wednesday's stage winner Rafal Majka, Jean-Christophe Péraud and Tejay van Garderen, who crossed the line together in that order.

Nibali has now extended his race lead to 7:10 over Pinot, who deposed former second-placed Alejandro Valverde, who lost time on the final climb up to Hautacam. Péraud has moved up to third place, 7:23 behind Nibali, while Valverde is now down to fourth, 7:25 down.

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Stage 17 Review: Saint-Gaudens - Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet, 125km

The Tinkoff show goes on! Following Michael Rogers' day of glory in the first day in the Pyrenees, Rafal Majka claimed his second stage win at Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet.

The Polish rider took advantage of his triumph to increase his lead over Joaquim Rodriguez in the King of the Mountains competition while the Frenchman of the day was Jean-Christophe Péraud. The veteran from AG2R-La Mondiale positioned himself as a potential top 3 finisher as he was the only rider able to follow race leader Vincenzo Nibali in the final climb.

Stage 16 Review: Carcassonne - Bagnères-de-Luchon 237.5km

Michael Rogers (Australian!) took his first Tour de France stage win in Bagnères-de-Luchon on Tuesday, thriving out of a breakaway group that made it to the finish line. He made his winning move with 3km to go from a smaller front group and soloed in to the finish line. Thomas Voeckler, who had fought hard for the win, took second just ahead of Vasili Kiryienka.

It was the third Grand Tour stage victory for the Rogers, who returned from an overturned doping suspension to win two stages of the Giro d'Italia in May.

Stage 15 Review: Tallard - Nîmes, 222km

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won his second stage at the Tour de France, claiming the sprint during stage 15 in Nîmes on Sunday. The on-rushing peloton caught the day’s two escapees within mere meters of the finish line, snatching the stage victory from the grasps of breakaway riders; Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) and Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling). Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) rounded out the top three.

There were no changes in the top of the GC rankings, with race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) facing no challenge from his rivals on a day tailor-made for the sprinters, but which was very nearly stolen by the escapees.

Stage 14 Review: Grenoble to Risoul, 177km

Rafal Majka, at one time publicly reluctant to even ride the Tour de France, made the suffering worth his while, claiming his first professional victory on the queen stage to Risoul with a daring solo effort. It was the first stage win for Tinkoff-Saxo, giving the team its first highlight after suffering the loss of captain Alberto Contador.

The Tinkoff-Saxo rider had been part of an early escape group, and pulled away from the remnants of that group with 10km to go. Majka had to push himself past his limits to hold off the charge of race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who had attacked with 3km to go from the select chasing group, and Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R-La Mondiale), who had gone with him.

Stage 13 Review: Saint-Étienne - Chamrousse, 198km

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) cemented his overall lead in the Tour de France by winning the 13th stage atop the race's first hors categorie climb on Friday. The Italian pulled away from his closest rivals near the end of the final climb to Chamrousse, passing Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Leopold König (NetApp-Endura), who eventually finished second and third.

The biggest loser of the day was Richie Porte (Team Sky), who cracked on the final climb, during a brutally hot day. The Australian struggled all the way to the finish and dropped from second overall to outside the top 10.

Stage 12 Review: Bourg-en-Bresse - Saint-Étienne, 186km

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) has won stage 12 in the Tour de France from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne. The Norwegian beat Cannondale's Peter Sagan, who was second for the fourth time this year's Grand Tour. Arnaud Démare (FDJ) came in third.

Astana's Vincenzo Nibali still leads the overall with a 2:23 margin on Team Sky's Richie Porte and 2:47 to Movistar's Alejandro Valverde.

Stage 11 Review: Besançon - Oyonnax, 187.5km

Tony Gallopin (Lotto Belisol) added an impressive stage victory to his already successful Tour de France with a solo attack into Oyonnax at the end of Wednesday's stage 11.

Giant-Shimano's John Degenkolb sprinted to second place in the peloton, only a few metres behind Gallopin. Matteo Trentin rounded out the podium for Omega Pharma-Quick Step.

Stage 10 Review: Mulhouse - La Planche des Belles Filles, 162 km

It was a tough day for those in the saddle, and there’s no doubt the rest day will be welcomed with open arms. It was a stage that could very well have defined who is going to be wearing the yellow jersey riding towards the Arc de Triumph, as Contador crashed and later retired, while Nibali kicked on and stormed home to win with impressive form.

If Nibali can keep himself out of trouble, which seems to be easier said than done, he is very well placed.

Stage 9 Review: Gérardmer - Mulhouse, 170 km

Day two in the Vosges ensured the riders were again tested on the hills, and they faced their first category 1 climb of the Tour. However, the stage developed rather strangely, with Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) leading out with Alessandro De Marchi, and eventually crossing the line 2:45 up on Cancellara who was part of the chasing group.

The main players in the fight for the overall honours called something of a truce, with the Astana team of Nibali leading the peloton home 7:45 down on Martin.

Meanwhile, Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) ensured that he’ll get to wear the yellow jersey after he too finished in the chasing group.

Stage 8 Review: Tomblaine - Gérardmer La Mauselaine, 161 km

The stage was started with a furious pace averaging 51kph. Unsurprisingly, no attacks managed to gain traction until things slowed a little. Eventually a group of 5 broke free and managed to build up a lead of up to 11 minutes before heading into the hills toward the end of the stage.

No riders in this leading group were serious threats to the leaders so Kadri managed to cross the line with a 2:17 second lead on 2nd place.

The chasing group was led by Contador’s Tinkoff-Saxo team who whittled the yellow jersey group down to just 20 or so riders ahead of the 1.8km haul to the the line. Contador tried time and again to attack Nibali, but the Italian tracked each move until the race was all but over.

Contador finished in 2nd place, Nibali 3rd and Porte in 4th.

#TDF Historical Fact: The Tour of 1919 followed in the shock waves of World War I. Europes population was decimated and this resulted in a race with about half of the entrants of an average pre-war tour. Bombed-out roads created terrible riding conditions, which resulted in the slowest race since 1906.

Stage 7 Review: Epernay - Nancy, 235 km

The second longest stage of this year’s tour proved very tough. A group of 6 riders skipped clear near the start and established a significant gap of over 4 minutes, but as the ride went on, they were slowly reeled in. The final two in the break, Huzarski and Elmiger were eventually caught on the penultimate climb.

The pace in the final part of this stage was brutal, and high enough that sprinters started being dropped, Kittel and Greipel among them. Heading toward the finish two riders, Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan, pulled away on the descent. It looked like the two could make it to the end, but they too were caught by the chasers.

Several crashes towards the sprint cut the group of possible winners to about 20. Eventually it came down to a photo finish between Sagan and Trentin – with Trentin taking the honours.

Stage 6 Review: Arras - Reims, 194km

It was another tough day in the saddle, but this is the Tour de France, and it’s only going to get more difficult as the wear and tear on the body accumulates over the 15 stages still to come.

The day was full of drama with more crashes, multiple riders not finishing the race (Alberto Contador's key helper Jesus Hernandez), breaks and mini-breaks. The cross winds played a part too, breaking the peloton into several echelons inside the final 10 kms.

But the day belonged to Andre Greipel, who took control of the sprint with around 150m to go and hit the front after a chaotic run in. He stormed through in a sprint victory which was great to see after struggling in earlier stages.

Notably, Marcel Kittel finished 54 seconds down on Greipel which was a surprise considering his hot run of form. The race for the yellow jersey continues to develop with Nibali and Contador in each other’s pocket all day – not wanting to give an inch as we head towards the mountains.

Stage 5 Review: Ypres - Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 153km

This stage was always going to shake things up a bit – literally and figuratively. Even with 2 of the 9 cobbled sections taken out of the route due to adverse weather conditions, the route was menacing.

Long before the cobbles were reached there were riders falling all over the place. Arnaud Demare, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel among the many, but it was the two falls Froome took that made the headlines, as the later fall left him with a suspected fractured wrist and forced him to abandon the stage.

However it wasn’t all doom and gloom of course, some riders had luck on their side and got some fantastic results. Lars Boom was part of a leading group that was whittled down to just 15 men coming into the final 20km, and with just 5km to go made his move which paid dividends – winning the stage. Jakob Fuglsang and Vincenzo Nibali came in 19 seconds behind Boom to take 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Another story to develop from this stage is the lead Nibali has opened up on Alberto Contador, who had a few hiccups along the way and came in 19th, 2:37 seconds off the pace. The gap between the two is now 2:37 seconds and as Contador is considered Nibali’s main rival to win the Tour, it could prove crucial.

Stage 4 Review: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage - Lille, 164km

With the England coast just a speck on the horizon, the Tour took on the more familiar sounds and sights of France. It was a race marred by falls, most notably defending champion Chris Froome who fell early and had to battle on roughed up.

Luis Mate and Thomas Voekler made an early break but failed to hold on for what would have been an extraordinary ride. Instead, the peloton caught up and we were in for another sprint finish.

Marcel Kittel had a much tougher battle than in previous races, sitting on the back tyre of Mark Renshaws tyre until he had the finish line in his sight, but again managed to power home.

The towering German has certainly made an impression in the 2014 Tour, winning 3 of 4 stages, however, it’s now time for him to move aside from the limelight as the classics riders are expected to take their turn.

Stage 3 Review: Cambridge - London, 155km

It was the final stage on English soil and a sprint finish just a stones through from Buckingham palace ensured a fitting end to what has been a very memorable 3 days.

Marcel Kittel proved he is the man to beat in the sprints by winning his second of three stages. He was well placed coming into the home stretch thanks to a fantastic team effort, and no one managed to get near him on the line.

Vincenzo Nibali finished safely in the main peloton to retain the overall lead over Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet, respectively.

As the Tour moves from England to France, it’s farewell to the fantastic English fans, and bonjour to the French.

Stage 2 Review: York - Sheffield, 198km

A relatively long stage of 201km, that was reasonably flat but included 9 climbs. The climbs brought the all-rounders and climbers into contention, as a couple of the climbs leading into the finish were of a decent length.

As it turned out, Vincenzo Nibali managed to jump clear from a lead group of favourites with a late attack to take the honours. He also managed to take the yellow jersey off Marcel Kittel, who finished 15 minutes back in the grupetto.

Pre-stage favourite Peter Sagan hung in there until the end, pulling in a number of attacks, but he had no answer when Nibali attacked inside the last few kilometres.

This was the first time an Italian had won a stage since 1999, and the first an Italian had been in the yellow jersey since 2009.

Stage 1 Review: Leeds - Harrogate, 191km

This was a fantastic start to the tour with a couple of big names stepping up. Marcel Kittel was widely expected to compete for the honours for the stage win and he didn’t disappoint, pulling through in a closely contested sprint finish.

Jens Voight, competing in his last Tour de France, managed to outfox a couple of break companions and took off as the solo leader for more than 50km, during which time he took the points to put him in the Polka dot shirt as King of the Mountain.

The stage was marred by a fall in the sprint finish that put Mark Cavendish out of the Tour de France after dislocating shoulder.

Road bike run out