Tour de France 2021

I had fun the last 3 weeks watching the Tour, getting up at 6 or 7am for the last half of it and watching it with my morning coffee before the rest of the house woke up.

Tadej Pogacar had the race won in the first week after all his rivals, including Primož Roglič who I expected to win, crashed out early and he maintained a 5-minute lead the rest of the race. It’s his second Tour and his second win, which is very impressive for a 22 year old. Jonas Vingegaard, a 21 year old, finished second which might mean he’s the next cycling star. Carapaz finished 3rd. Sepp Kuss, an American, won a stage for the first American stage win in 10 years.

My favorite story of the race was Mark Cavendish who returned to the Tour unexpectedly after not racing it for 3 years. At 36, he wasn’t expected to do much, but after a couple of his sprint rivals also crashed out early, he ended up winning 4 sprint stages tying Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins that has stood for almost 50 years. Disappointedly, Cavendish did not win the final stage in Paris which would have given him the record-breaking 35 wins. I expect that it’ll be a long long time before the 34 stage wins record is broken as no one else is close to that.

I’ve been watching the Tour de France since 1995 or maybe 1996. That means I’ve been watching it every summer for at least half my life. Yet, I still feel like it’s new to me.

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