Behind the Scenes with Astana

nibali

Vicenzo Nibali of Astana won this year’s Tour de France. We saw a lot of the race on television, but here you can see behind the scenes of Nibali and his crew. Chapeau to the Svetlana Baranova, the videographer who spent 25 days with the team to capture the story!

 

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Tour Champions

vos and nibaliMarianne Vos, the women’s Tour de France champion and Tour champ Vicenzo Nibali take a champion selfie in Paris where both were victorious on the same day.

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French Victories

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Tour de France winners podium: 1. Vicenzo Nibali (center), 2.  Jean-Christophe Péraud (left), and 3. Thibaut Pinot (right). Photo by Sirotti.

This is one of the most successful Tours for the French! Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) finished second and third, taking honors on the final podium in Paris. Pinot, who is 24 years old, (13 years younger than Péraud), also takes honors as the Best Yong Rider in the white cycling jersey. It’s been 30 years since two Frenchmen stood on the final podium in Paris.  In fact, it was the first time since 1997 that any Frenchman finished higher than fourth overall.

French president François Hollande issued a communiqué on Sunday evening congratulating them.

“Seeing them on the second and third step of the podium of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées is a matter of great pride for French cycling, which has waited for this for thirty years,” Hollande said.

ASO/B.BadeThe French team Ag2r La Mondiale was the best placed team at the Tour de France. Photo by B. Bade/ASO.

Vive la France!

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Sagan 3peat in Green

sagan wheelieFor the third year in a row, Peter Sagan wins the green sprinter’s jersey at the Tour de France!

“I’m very happy to be once again on the podium of the Tour de France, for the third time in a row,” Sagan said. “I haven’t won a stage but I’m satisfied with the green jersey. Every year is different. I’m happy with the form I had during this Tour. When I win, people say that I easily win but it’s not true. This Tour has reminded everyone that I don’t easily win bike races.”

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Marcel Kittel Wins Tour Finale

kittel wins stage 21Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory in the final stage of the Tour de France on Sunday in Paris. Photo by AFP.

He’s one of the nicest guys in the peloton, and I wish I could give him a big madamoiselle kiss to congratulate Germany’s handsome sprinting star Marcel Kittel. He won three stages in the first week of the Tour and we hardly heard about him since. But Kittel was saving his strong legs for the grand finale, and today on the Champs Elysees, he proved he is the world’s fastest sprinter, winning his fourth stage on the last day of the Tour. Chapeau Marcel!

Vicenzo Nibali finished in the peloton with the same time, so he became the Tour champion! See more in story below.

kittel kissThe taste of victory. Photo by Marcel Kittel.

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Nibali Wins the 2014 Tour de France!

Jean-Paul Pelissier:APVicenzo Nibali and his Astana teammates toasted his victory with a glass of champagne during the final stage of the Tour de France on Sunday. Photo by Jean-Paul Pelissier/AP.

Vicenzo Nibali is the 2014 Tour de France champion! The Shark of Messina earned the yellow jersey in stage 2, and wore it for what must be a record 19 days during this year’s Tour. I don’t recall anyone ever wearing the maillot jaune for that long.

Nibali won with a lead of more than seven minutes over the next best rider. He won four stages and finished in the top ten riders in nine of the 21 stages. He ceded the jersey one day, in stage 9, to Tony Gallopin. That day, Nibali finished 1:34 behind the Frenchmen, but he took back the lead the following day in the Alps.

HOW NIBALI WON THE TOUR

The key moment of his victory came in stage 5 in the daunting rain and wind. It was the race over the cobblestones– a day where everyone suffered, almost half of the 190 or so riders crashed. But Nibali almost won the race, finishing 19 seconds behind the stage winner Lars Boom, while top contenders Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador were more than two minutes back. Defending champion Chris Froome quit the race that day after suffering a series of crashes in the early stages and was unable to hold his handlebars any longer. Nibali’s lead that day gave his Astana team momentum. Nibali showed his cards early and didn’t bluff in three weeks of racing. When he attacked, it stuck, and he won. He is the deserving champion. Veni, Vidi, Vic-enzo!

nibbles toasts

 

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Vos Wins Women’s Tour de France

lacourseMarianne Vos of the Netherlands, (right), crosses the finish line ahead of Kirsten Wild of The Netherlands and Leah Kirchmann of Canada to win La Course. Photo by Laurent Rebours/AP.

Marianne Vos won the women’s Tour de France on Sunday in the Champs Elysees. The women’s race was held two hours before the men’s race began. Vos won the sprint after the 57-mile race, (13 laps) around Paris.

Vos took home the 22,500 Euro prize (about $30,000), which is the same amount the men get for winning a stage in the Tour.

women's podiumLa Course podium: 1. Marianne Vos (center), 2. Kirsten Wild (right), 3. Leah Kirchmann (left). Americans Shelley Olds and Coryn Rivera (not pictured) got fifth and sixth.

La Course is a revival of sorts. Until 2009, the women’s version of the Tour de France was called La Grand Boucle Feminin. The event, which was much shorter than the 21 days that the men raced, struggled financially and faded away. This year is the first time the women race on the same day as the men. Maybe in the future we’ll see a true multi-week Tour de France for les dames!

 

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