This was the Tour that almost didn’t happen. For coronavirus precautions, the race wasn’t held in July for the first time ever. When the riders finally set out on the Grand Départ from Nice in September, there were concerns whether the race would actually make it to Paris. Thanks to precautions taken by the riders, staff and the fans, we got to watch three weeks of the most exciting racing in Tour de France history.
The race finished Sunday when Tadej Pogačar rolled into Paris dressed in yellow, from his bike to his shoes to his helmet. The mostly ceremonial stage 21 allowed him to finally relax after a race where he fought for every inch, sprinting for time bonuses and finally taking the lead in the stage 20 individual time trial. Pogačar is the first Slovenian champion of the Tour de France. He barely bested his countrymen, Primož Roglič, who had held the lead for 11 days thanks in large part to the efforts of his Jumbo-Vismo teammates. On the ride into Paris, the two briefly rode arm in arm, a show of camaraderie that exemplifies the spirit of the sport.
We’d be remiss not to give kudos to the third rider on this year’s overall podium, Riche Porte. The former lieutenant for Chris Froome spent years racing for others before getting the opportunity to lead his own team. But crashes or mechanicals always seemed to dash his aspirations – including this year when a flat tire at a critical moment on stage 18 almost saw his chances slip away again. He never stopped fighting and had his best result ever at this year’s tour. The Australian had a remarkable time trial of his own, closing a gap of 99 seconds to move into third place overall.
Porte, Pogačar and 117 other riders shared their races on Strava, giving fans a unique insight into how the action unfolded. Along the way, they celebrated stage victories, nabbed KOMs and set a digital benchmark for future generations.
Give Richie Porte some kudos on his podium finish: https://www.strava.com/pros/6072239
Give Tadej Pogačar kudos for his Tour de France win: https://www.strava.com/pros/6021015