Spain’s Alberto Contador is the Tour de France Champion after a spectacular final stage Sunday in Paris. Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck finished second and also goes home in the white young rider’s jersey for those 25-years or younger. Lance Armstrong finished third, not bad for a 37-year-old cancer survivor who retired from cycling four years ago.
Britain’s Mark Cavendish won today’s stage on the Champs Élysées in a burst of power that no other riders could match that even his team lead-out man Mark Renshaw came in second. It was Cav’s sixth stage win– a record number of stage victories for any one sprinter in the Tour.
With the Tour over, the tension between Armstrong and Contador was more pronounced. On the winner’s podium, Armstrong seemed to avoid looking at his Astana teammate as they received trophies and awards checks. Armstrong, still sour over Contador’s poor team tactics on the race to Arcalis, skipped Contador’s victory party to attend a celebration with his new team sponsors from Radio Shack.
Contador receives the Tour winner’s yellow jersey and a check for 450,000 euros, or 640,000 U.S. dollars.
After yellow, the green jersey is the next coveted prize. Despite Cav’s six stage wins, Belgium’s Thor Hushovd goes home in the green sprinter’s jersey with 25,000 euros.
Italy’s Franco Pellizotti won the most king of the mountain points earning the red and white polka-dot climber’s jersey and 25,000 euros.
Astana gets the award for best team that comes with a check for about 70,000 U.S. dollars.
The three-week-long Tour de France is done. As Andy Schleck said today, “I’m sad because it’s over.” Me too. It’s now time to get back to work and family and to put the Tour to bed until next summer. Thanks to my cycling friends who knowingly or not played the roles of tour riders in my blog photos. It’s been an exciting ride. Glad you came along. Until the next Tour de France, Au revoir.
–Le Tour Babe