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

Sunday, 21 July 2013

#TDF13: Quintana confirms promise – Froome wins 2013 Tour

At the end of an exciting climb up to the ski station of Semnoz above Annecy 23 year old Nairo Quintana sprinted away from Chris Froome and Joaquin Rodriguez to win his first Tour de France stage and to confirm his promise. Quintana not only won the stage but took the King of the Mountains competition as well as the White Jersey for the best young rider and moved himself up to second on the podium in Paris.

Quintana finished 18 seconds ahead of Rodriguez and 29 seconds ahead of Chris Froome, who has become the first African born rider to win the Tour and the second British Sky rider to take the Yellow Jersey to Paris after Bradley Wiggins last year. He now leads Quintana by 5.03 seconds. Rodriguez moved up to third place. There is no doubt that Froome has been the Tour's dominant rider and thoroughly deserves his victory. 

Aggressive riding by Sky in the lead up to the final climb detonated the peloton with further damage inflicted by Alejandro Valverde before attacks by Rodriguez, Quintana and Froome did for the rest of the much reduced pack.In the final selection about halfway up the climb Froome was able to sprint across to Quintana and Rodriguez. Once again Alberto Contador was left floundering at a crunch moment in the mountains. This time his weakness cost him his second place dropping him down to fourth.

Overall standings
Top ten overall after Stage 20
  1. Chris Froome                    80.49.33
  2. Nairo Quintana                    + 5.03
  3. Joaquin Rodriguez                   5.47
  4. Alberto Contador                     7.11
  5. Roman Kreuziger                     8.10
  6. Bauke Mollema                      12.25
  7. Jakob Fuglsang                      13.00
  8. Alejandro Valverde                 16.09
 8.  Daniel Navarro                       16.35
10. Andrew Talansky                    18.22
Today's stage into Paris should be a spectacular show with the race held in the evening for the first time. For the GC riders it will be a procession – for the sprinters it will be a final gallop. Will Mark Cavendish win for the fifth successive year on the Champs Elysées or will it be Marcel Kittel, André Griepel or Peter Sagan?  Cav may have some advantage over Kittel and Griepel as Omega Pharma Quickstep has a full team whereas the other two have lost important lead out riders. Whatever the result Peter Sagan has won the Green Jersey for the second successive year.     

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