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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Caleb Ewan wins the final stage of the Tour de France, Egan Bernal takes the overall title, Mathieu van der Poel and Jolanda Neff take European cross-country mountain bike championships. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Ewan sprints to victory on the Champs-Élysées, Bernal wins the Tour de France
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) claimed the final stage of the 2019 Tour de France, sprinting to his third win of this year’s race. The 25-year-old Australian topped Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Niccolò Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
“It’s unbelievable. When we rolled onto the Champs-Élysées, to honest, I almost had tears in my eyes,” said Ewan, whose Tour start this July was the first of his career. “It was such a surreal feeling. I can’t believe I just won the stage.”
Egan Bernal (Ineos) finished safely to secure Colombia’s first ever Tour de France victory. His Ineos teammate Geraint Thomas closed out the race in second overall, with Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) rounding out the final podium.
“I know I’ve won the Tour but I still don’t believe it,” Bernal said. “I’ll need a couple of days to get used to it.”
The Paris finale of the 2019 Tour began, as usual, with congratulations among the riders of the peloton and celebrations for the yellow jersey team, before the racing heated up as the pack hit the urban circuit.
Several riders tried their luck with attacks out of the pack that were never given much breathing room, as the sprinters’ teams put their efforts into keeping the race together for a bunch kick. After a solo flyer from Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) was brought back inside the last 10 kilometers, the fast finishers and their lead-outs began jockeying for position for the final push onto the Champs-Élysées.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s lead-out was well-positioned for the sprint, but star sprinter Elia Viviani was unable to stay at the front, forcing the team to improvise. Edvald Boassen Hagen (Dimension Data) tried to go long on the finishing straight but he was unable to put much distance on the rest of the field. Max Richeze took up the charge for Deceuninck-Quick-Step as the sprinters wound up to speed, while Ewan was still a few riders back with Groenewegen and looking for his gap.
As space opened up on his right, Ewan exploded through and hit the front inside the last hundred meters with a turn of speed that no one could match. He took a clear win at the line ahead of Groenewegen, with Bonifazio nabbing third ahead of Richeze.
Bernal finished moments later to secure his overall win, celebrating alongside runner-up and teammate Thomas. Bernal’s historic ride made him the Tour’s youngest winner in over a hundred years.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) secured his own historic performance in Paris. As he crossed the Champs-Élysées finish line, the 29-year-old Slovakian won a record seventh green jersey.
Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) finished this year’s Tour in the polka dot jersey as the king of the mountains, while Bernal’s yellow jersey was accompanied by a white jersey prize as the best young rider in the race. Movistar took home the team’s classification.
France’s Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), who thrilled the home crowd by winning two stages and leading the race for two weeks before dropping to fifth overall, was awarded the Tour’s most combative rider prize.
Stage 21 results
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 3:04:08
2 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
4 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Deceuninck-QuickStep
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
6 André Greipel (Ger) Arkéa Samsic
7 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb
10 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
Final general classification
1 Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos 82:57:00
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos 0:01:11
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:31
4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:56
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:04
6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar 0:04:23
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:05:15
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 0:05:30
9 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 0:06:12
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic 0:07:32
Huge crowds of cycling fans have been watching the Tour and celebrating its winner Egan Bernal in his hometown of Zipaquira, Colombia, and it’s pretty cool to watch.
— elespectador (@elespectador) July 27, 2019
Also cool to watch: this ITV profile on photographer Kristof Ramon, whose images help bring so many bike racing stories to life.
Egan Bernal may have just won the Tour de France, but it’s easy to forget how young the 22 year old actually is. Here are some photos of Bernal not so long ago that foreshadows what’s to come:
— Alejandro Carrizosa (@alejo_carrizosa) July 28, 2019
This isn't Egan Bernal's first victory. pic.twitter.com/fSHyN9VlbB
— Race Radio (@TheRaceRadio) July 27, 2019
Brailsford: Froome’s recovery is ahead of schedule
While his Ineos teammates are celebrating an impressive one-two finish at the Tour, four-time overall winner Chris Froome working to come back from the injuries that sidelined him for this year’s race. He recently posted a video to social media of him pedaling with one leg, and according to Ineos team principal Dave Brailsford, Froome is recovering well at the moment.
“He’s well ahead of where he was hoping to be,” Brailsford told the BBC.
“In typical Chris Froome fashion, he’s putting everything into his recovery.”
Van der Poel, Neff take European mountain bike championship victories
Mathieu van der Poel nabbed the European cross-country mountain bike title on Sunday. The Dutchman had plenty of time to celebrate a convincing win as he rolled down the finishing straight in Brno, Czech Republic. Florian Vogel (Switzerland) and Milan Vader (Netherlands) rounded out the podium.
On the women’s side, Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) defended her title, taking a dominant victory ahead of Yana Belomoina (Ukraine) and Elizabeth Brandau (Germany).
Van Aert still in the hospital
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is still recovering from the crash that knocked him out of the Tour de France and left him with a deep gash in his leg.
After crashing during the stage 13 time trial, the Belgian was taken to a hospital in Pau and underwent an operation. Then, he was transferred to a different hospital.
“Over there, they examined me again,” van Aert said, according to Cycling Weekly. “It seemed the first operation wasn’t enough to ensure the recovery. That’s why I needed a second one.”
Van Aert had been hoping to return home, but will now spend more time recovering in the hospital.
Naesen finishes the Tour on steel
Oliver Naesen’s bike for the final stage of the 2019 Tour stood out in the peloton. Fifty years since Eddy Merckx won his first Tour de France, Naesen finished stage 21 on a steel ride, the Eddy Merckx Corsa Road Rim.
Ag2r La Mondiale might not have won a stage at this year’s Tour, but with Naesen on the classic machine and Romain Bardet sporting polka dots in Paris, the French team undeniably closed out the race in style.
Happy Birthday to …
Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First) is 31. The Belgian’s palmares is loaded with podium finishes at the Spring Classics, and although a Monument win still eludes him, he does have an Omloop Het Nieuwsblad title on his list of achievements.
Fellow Belgian Rik Van Linden is 70. Van Linden won stages at all three Grand Tours, and claimed the points classification at the 1975 Tour de France.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Caleb Ewan wins stage 21 of the Tour de France. Photo: Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2019