SAN DIEGO, July 21, 2013 – Veteran cyclist Jens Voight says “The Tour is a beautiful adventure.” The beautiful adventure ended in Paris for the 170 riders who finished the centennial edition of the Tour de France under a full moon on the first ever evening finish in its history.
Fans enjoyed a spectacular awards ceremony using the Arc de Tromphe to project a dazzling light show for a picture perfect finale, which began with a breathtaking flyover by the Patrouille Acrobatique de France as the riders turned onto the Champs Elysees.
View our 2013 Tour de France finale slideshow above.
It was also a breathtaking finish with the top three sprinters in the world battling for the honor: Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma Quicktep, Andre Grieipel of Lotto Belisol, and Marcel Kittel of Argos Shimano. The two big Germans boxed out the Manx Missile, and it was Kittel who hit the line for the victory. Kittel ended his second Tour with four stage victories.
Kittel said later it was a great Tour for his entire team.“I think I surprised myself and in the end won four stages and won the yellow jersey.”
Overall leader Chris Froome of Sky Racing enjoyed a ceremonial ride into Paris with his teammates, enjoying the traditional glass of Champagne along the route. No one wins the Tour without the support of a team. Froome relied on Australian Richie Porte to make it happen, and Porte was given the honor of leading the entire field into Paris onto the Champs Elysees. “To see your best friend win, you train together every day, it’s an amazing story. He’s such a good guy,” said a smiling Porte.
Froome won four stages including the final time trial and the climb up Mont Ventoux, only the second cyclist to win the stage wearing the yellow jersey. He is the second British winner in two years, following his Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins in 2012.
Of his win, Froome said, “I expected it to be big, but it just took my breath away. Once we got onto here together as a team, I could feel myself welling up.” Froome thanked his teammates and his many mentors and teachers over the year. He dedicated the win to his late mother, Jane, who died of cancer three years ago. “Without her encouragement to follow my dreams, I would probably be at home watching TV… I’m sure she would be extremely proud tonight.”
“This is a beautiful country with the finest annnual sporting event in the world. This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time,” said Froome.
Second place winner Nairo Quintana of Colombia made a big impression on the Tour in his first year of competition. The 23-year-old also won the best young rider’s white jerssey and the King of the Mountains jersey, a tremendous accomplishment. Gustavo Adolfo Carvajal, Colombia Ambassador to France, presented the beaming Quintana his winner’s jerseys.
Coming in third place with exceptional performances in the Alps was Joaquin Rodriguez of Katusha, whose two adorable children dressed in their own team jerseys joined him on the podium.
Popular rider Peter Sagan of Cannondale won the sprinter’s green jersey, complete with a dyed green goatee he grew during the Tour. French rider Christophe Riblon was named the Tour’s most aggressive rider for his sensational victory on Alpe d’Huez. Team Saxo Tinkoff was the top overall team, giving former champion Alberto Contador and GC contender Roman Krueziger a chance to step to the podium.
If Froome returns to defend his jersey in 2014, he will start the race in front of British fans in Yorkshire, the first ever start for a Tour in Great Britain. Take heart, it’s only 342 days away.
NBC Sports Network airs a replay of the final stage at 8 p.m. ET Sunday. NBC Sports airs a recap of the entire 2013 Tour de France on Saturday, July 27, at 12:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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