Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Monday, 22 July 2013

#TDF13: Marcel Kittel wins on the Champs Elysées – Chris Froome takes Tour's 100th edition

Mark Cavendish's four year run of stage victories on the Champs Elysées came to an end yesterday when Marcel Kittel was first over the line to take his tally of stage wins in this Tour to an impressive four. André Griepel was second with Cav third.

Whether this Tour has seen the title of sprint king move from Cav to Kittel remains to be seen. Kittel is clearly very fast and a fine sprinter. Certainly with just two stages wins this Tour is Cav's least successful since his debut in the Tour in 2007. I suspect that the very tough Giro, which Cav rode and won the Red Jersey, took its toll. He has seemed to lack that extra but of zip – the second kick of his. Neither Griepel and Kittel rode the Giro. Look what the Giro did for Cadel Evans' chances in the Tour! 

In three out of four of Cav's victories on the Champs he was second through the final corner behind his lead out rider. This time he was behind both Kittel and Griepel and having to chase Kittel. The expected arrival of Mark Renshaw to join the Omega Pharma Quickstep team should help to sort out the lead out team, whose performance has been erratic. 

At 28 Cav is around his peak and sprinters can keep this peak for many years. Griepel is 31 and has kept his form throughout this Tour whereas last year he faded in the last week.

Chris Froome duly won the Tour yesterday having been the dominant rider throughout the race. He will be tough to beat next year despite the emergence of young riders like Nairo Quintana and Richie Porte. The best days of Alberto Contador would appear to be over – only in the mountain time trial and the windy stage to Saint Amand Montrond did we see flashes of the old Alberto.

Perhaps the most significant news is that so far there have been, as far as I know, no positive drugs tests, during this 100th edition of the Tour. Fingers crossed!    


No comments: