2nd - Giro d'Italia - Nairo Quintana, 4 mins behind Nibali 2nd - Tour de France - Nairo Quintana, 11 mins behind Contador 2nd - Vuelta a Espana - Alejandro Valverde, 8 mins behind Contador
1st - Tour of Andalucia - Nairo Quintana 1st - Tirreno Adriatico - Nairo Quintana 1st - Vuelta a la Region de Murcia - Ion Izaguire 2nd - Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco - Nairo Quintana 4th - LiÃ¨ge - Bastogne - LiÃ¨ge - Alejandro Valverde 2nd - Clasica San Sebastien - Juan Jose Rojas 1st - Spanish NC Road Race - Alejandro Valverde 1st - Italian NC ITT - Adriano Malori 5th - Vuelta a Burgos - Jesus Herrada
Significant Achievement - Malori winning 1 stage in each of the 3 GTs (ITT).
Yes, it was a string of near misses last year at the GTs with Contador proving impossible to beat over the second half of the year. Both Nairo and the Team finished in 3rd place in their respective standings, with Valverde in 8th place. A decent season in the classics though.
With more focused training and better planned training camps, hope to bring home at least 1 GT this time around. Giro seems the most likely.
Ins : Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff Saxo), Mikel Nieve (Sky), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Sam Bennett (Bora Argon), Antonio Puga (Under 23 World Number 5 in 2014, sprinter with sprint 74, age 21), Perfecto Gastesi (scouted climber, mountain 65, hill 63, age 19)
As far as the rest of the season goes, the Giro is up in a month's time and it will surely give an indication of how the progress of Nairo is coming along. I'm looking at Kreuziger to support Nairo at the TDF, saving Valverde for only the Vuelta this year. Hoping that Luis Leon Sanchez and Mikel Nieve will be able doms in this endeavour. A couple of other interesting objectives lined up is Ion Izaguirre going for the Spanish NC ITT and Malori gunning for the WC ITT.
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
This race did not go exactly as planned with Nairo failing to live up to last year's performance of coming second. Froome won 2 years in row with Jesus Herrada topping the charts for Movistar at 4th. Luis Leon Sanchez finished 5th after a blistering last stage ITT promoted him up from 10th. He won the TT by 33 seconds from Froome. Nairo's performance was patchy throughout although he did win the 4th stage up a steep climb. Finished 8th overall in the end.
LiÃ¨ge Bastogne LiÃ¨ge
Another favourite race of mine because of the kind of grind the cyclists have to put in to come out on top. A repeat of last year's 4th place for Movistar was achieved, but with a different rider. Luis Leon Sanchez broke away from the pack with around 30km to go with Gilbert, Alaphillipe and Dan Martin. Dan Martin won the sprint finish having further pulled away with Gilbert before the end. Amador, Valverde and Visconti finished 6th, 9th and 10th respectively to give Movistar four top 10 finishes!
The Giro is up next, and Nairo's form is worrying. He was not at peak fitness for Pais Vasco, so let's hope he improves till the Giro. Nibali, Contador and Aru to be the top challengers. About 7-8 sprint finishes and 3 ITTs make for an interesting concoction of stages. Looking forward to an enjoyable event...
TTR - 1
ITT - 3
Flat - 8
Mountain/Hill - 9
Movistar Starting List
J J Rojas
Number of Starters - 198 Number of Finishers - 142
The Giro d'Italia kicked off with Nairo reaching near peak fitness at the right time. His main contenders, among others, were going to be Vicenzo Nibali, the defending champion, his Astana teammate Fabio Aru and defending TDF and Vuelta a Espana champion, Alberto Contador (Team Sky).
Following is a summary of important stages...
Stage 1 - Team Time Trial - Flat - 21.7 km
The Giro started off with a easy and moderately distanced TTR. Team Sky took 1st place. Movistar impressed with a second place finish, losing just 7 seconds.
Stage winners - Team Sky Movistar - 2nd at 7" Other important results - Tinkoff Saxo 4th at 22"
Stage 4 - Flat
On a seemingly benign stage, 6 of the 9 Movistar riders got caught in a pack split following the second sprint point of the day. The likes Nairo and Kreuziger went into defence mode to pull back the split, which at one point had increased to 3 minutes. All other pre-race favourites had remained with the leading group, to build up a lead over Nairo.
Stage winner - Marcel Kittel Movistar - Sam Bennett 5th, Nairo lost 1'29" Other important results - Contador, Nibali and Aru finished with the Peloton
Stage 6 - Flat with uphill finish
Still having to play catch-up, Nairo went into attack mode in the only climb of the day, which ended at the finish line. He made up 23 seconds to all his major rivals, thus bringing down the gap to less a minute.
Stage winner - Nairo Quintana Other important results - Contador, Nibali and Aru finished with the second group losing 23"
Stage 8 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 2 major intermediate climbs
The first big mountain stage of the Giro saw the pre-race favourites making their moves. Nairo was again amongst the losers, losing out to both stage winner Aru as well as Contador. He held on to Nibali's tail to limit his losses.
Stage winner - Fabio Aru Movistar - Nairo Quintana lost 1'42" to Aru, 9" to Contador Other important results - Contador and Aru stretched their leads further
Stage 9 - ITT - Flat - 44.3 km
A brilliant performance from Nairo saw him take back a few seconds from Aru and finish level with Contador. Nibali won the rather flat but long ITT moving into the top 5 for the first time in the overall classification. Malori, the pre-stage favourite, had to settle for 2nd place.
Stage winner - Vicenzo Nibali Movistar - Nairo Quintana lost 23" to Nibali, and equal to Contador, Adriano Malori 2nd
Stage 12 - ITT - Flat - 42 km
Nairo outdid himself again to get another top 5 finish in the stage. There was more cheer in store for Movistar with Malori winning the stage by a marging of more than 10 seconds.
Stage winner - Adriano Malori Movistar - Nairo Quintana 5th Other important results - Contador and Aru lost time to Nairo, Nibali gained a few seconds
Stage 14 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 1 minor and 2 major intermediate climbs
The first of three mountain top finishes saw Nairo dithering when the favourites attacked on the last climb before the finish. Limited his losses with the help of his team.
Stage winner - Janier Acevedo from breakaway Movistar - Nairo Quintana 14th Other important results - Contador, Nibali and Aru gained 1'17"
Stage 15 - Flat with Mountain top finish
The deceiving long flat stage held a very nasty surprise at the end, a first category brute of a climb with more than 12% gradient and more than 10 km in distance. Nairo finally unleashed the beast within a few km into the climb, building up a significant lead over his rivals.
Stage winner - Nairo Quintana Other important results - Contador, Nibali lost 41" and Aru lost 1'38"
Stage 16 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 2 intermediate climbs
The fateful stage!! Going into this stage, the top three of Contador, Aru and Nairo were separated by less than a minute! After the second climb of the day, the twenty odd member group having all the leaders were trying to chase down the early breakaway. Halfway into the descent, it happened... Nibali and Contador tangled with a third rider and the three of them fell, giving the remaining leaders a huge advantage. They tried to play catch-up for the remaining distance of the stage, with the help their own and each others' teammates, but to no avail. The group of the leaders didn't attack, which allowed the extended breakaway to survive. Aru attacked in the last km to gain 27" on Nairo. But, this was perhaps the break Nairo needed to clinch his first GT. Although he let Aru go at the end, he ended the stage just 38" seconds behind Aru overall, with the knowledge of two more mountain stages coming up.
Stage winner - Thibaut Pinot from breakaway Other important results - Contador lost 6'30", Nibali lost 3', Aru gained 27". Richie Porte (Team Sky) entered the top 3
Stage 18 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 2 major intermediate climbs
Having strolled through the previous flat stage. this stage was set up for the clash between Nairo and Aru. And there was only one winner. Nairo attacked on the last climb to the finish line to take 49" from Aru, giving him an 11" lead overall.
Stage winner - Roman Bardet from breakaway Other important results - Contador and Nibali gained time on Aru and Porte
Stage 19 - Uphill - 26.9 km
Richie Porte cemented his top five finish with a win on this stage. Aru put all his might into securing a 5th place finish, tied with Nairo. Nibali finished 2nd to stay in the hunt for the podium.
Stage winner - Richie Porte Movistar - Nairo Quintana 4th Other important results - Nibali finished 2nd, Contador finished 10th, Aru finished 5th
Stage 20 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 2 major intermediate climbs
A long breakaway survived to give Roman Bardet back to back mountain top victories. The pack was too tired to chase and the gap to the breakaway was almost 10 minutes. Nairo again attacked on the last long climb to the finish, building up a 2 minute lead to Aru, Nibali and Contador. Porte could not hang on the leader's group and lost his podium position to Nibali. This was a statement laid down by Nairo, perhaps indicating that he might have won anyway even if Nibali and Contador had not met with misfortune.
Stage winner - Roman Bardet from breakaway Movistar - Nairo Quintana 9th Other important results - Nibali, Contador and Aru lost 2'
Stage 21 - Flat
A perfectly flat stage to end the Giro. The sprinters were denied their victory by the surviving early breakaway, in which, although caught on the line, Dylan Teuns hung on to claim the stage.
Stage winner - Dylan Teuns from breakaway Movistar - Sam Bennett 9th
The first GT for both Nairo and Movistar under my management is a reason to celebrate. Lady luck shined on us for sure, and it will remain a mystery whether the victory would've been possible otherwise. The target for Nairo on the horizon is to do the Giro TDF double. It will definitely be touher, given likes of Froome and Uran will also join the starting list. For now, it's party time...
Wow, some very good luck there, but it got the Giro win and 4? (I didn't count so I could be wrong) stages.
Interesting that Bardet (and Pinot) were allowed in all those breaks and still then they didn't top ten, they most of lost a lot of time early?
Also Frank 6th
3 stage wins, 2 for Quintana and 1 for Malori. 3 2nd place finishes, 1 for Malori and 2 for Bennett on stages 10 and 11, which I have not included in the previous post.
Both Bardet and Pinot lost a lot of time on the early mountain stages. By the time Bardet won his first, he was more than an hour down on the leaders. He ended up around 25th, about 45' back.
As far as the top 10 goes, the riders who finished positions 6-10 wouldn't be your first guess, would they? I guess 4 TTs (1 TTR included) plus the fall (which messed up times for Astana and Sky teammates as well) had some part to play in it.
Movistar Starting List
Luis Leon Sanchez
The first of two big prep races for the Tour de France saw Movistar announce a moderately strong team. The aim for them was to improve on last year's 7th place finish for Valverde. Andrey Amador was included to act as the second leader. In the absence of the defending champion, Chris Froome, the main contenders, among others, were going to be Mikel Landa (Astana), Rohan Dennis (BMC) and the fast improving Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha).
Following is a summary of the stages...
Stage 1 - Idividual Time Trial - Flat - 10 km
The CRITERIUM du DAUPHINE started off on a positive note for Movistar with Adriano Malori finishing second. Rohan Dennis lived up to pre-stage expectations to win.
Stage winner - Rohan Dennis Movistar - Adriano Malori 2nd, Valverde lost 15"
Stage 2 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 2 major and 1 minor intermediate climbs The first mountain stage of 6 saw Movistar fall behind in the race for the GC. Mikel Landa blew away the pack with only Rohan Dennis able to keep a check on his progress.
Stage winner - Mikel Landa Movistar - Valverde and Amador lost 1'46" to Landa Other important results - Rohan Dennis lost a few seconds to Landa, but held on to the overall lead.
Stage 3 - Mountain with Flat finish, including 2 major and 1 minor intermediate climbs
This rather daunting stage softened the blow with a mild flat finish. Most of the sprinters held on to the peloton, given its slow pace going up the climbs. A sprint finish ensured no time gaps.
Stage winner - Mark Cavendish
Stage 4 - Mountain with Uphill finish, including 1 major intermediate climb
An early breakaway almost survived to the finish but was caught and left behind with less than 5 km to go. A late surge by Sebastien Reichenbach meant he claimed glory. Rohan Dennis lost his lead but held on to 2nd place.
Stage winner - Sebastien Reichenbach Movistar - Valverde, Amador and Sanchez lost 12" each to Landa Other important results - Landa got a top 3, Rohan Dennis finished with the Movistar lead group
Stage 5 - Mountain, including 3 major and 3 minor climbs
A swift getaway on the last climb of the day enabled Moreno Moser to hold on for victory in this downhill finish. Most of the leaders finished in the following group, with only Valverde losing time.
Stage winner - Moreno Moser Movistar - Sanchez 4th, Amador 6th, Valverde lost 13" Other important results - Mikel Landa and Rohan Dennis finished with the leading group
Stage 6 - Flat with 1 minor intermediate cimb
This stage provided a respite from the big mountains for the peloton. Cavendish proved his credentials again, getting a dominating sprint victory. Eros Capecchi had to withdraw with injury.
Stage winner - Mark Cavendish
Stage 7 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 4 major intermediate climbs
Another big mountain stage played right into the hands of Mikel Landa as he increased his lead at the top of the standings. Rohan Dennis could not do more than limit his losses.
Stage winner - Mikel Landa Movistar - Andrey Amador 3rd losing 45", Valverde and Sanchez lost 8' and 9' respectively, putting them out of the top 20 Other important results - Rohan Dennis finished in chasing group
Stage 8 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 3 major intermediate climbs
The last stage saw a breakaway survive, as the peloton struggled to pull them back, suffering from so many mountain stages. Mikel Landa further increased his lead over the rest of the pack.
Stage winner - Ramanus Navardauskas Movistar - Andrey Amador 8th, losing 1'46" Other important results - Rohan Dennis finished in the Amador group, Reichenbach gained time to get into the top 3
A good result in this race continues to elude us for the time being. Amador actually took up the responsibility quite well in light of Valverde's poor form to ensure a top 10 finish for us. The form of Mikel Landa has made him my number one target for next season. Him being Spanish will satisfy the sponsors too. In the long run, I'm looking at Landa to be Valverde's replacement when he finally decides to call time on his career.
Not the best result but given Valverde not being in form yet it was alright.
Signing Landa would be very good though.
I like the way this stories done, it's very easy to read while still being interesting and it's pretty fast.
Thanks for the appreciation man. With the kind of detailing I've seen in the other stories, I was worried whether my writing style would get repeat views. Now I know at least someone is coming back to it.
Two sleepless nights to maintain the fast pace
Am halfway through Tour de Suisse, so expect another post later today. Nairo up against Froome...
Movistar Starting List
J J Rojas
The second big Tour de France prep race saw Movistar bringing a rather lightweight team to the event. Last year's performance at this race was not up to expectations with Nairo and Intxausti only achieveing 6th and 7th place finishes respectively. The rather weak line-up would be a further hurdle for Nairo to overcome the likes of Chris Froome, Joaquim Rodriguez and Rigoberto Uran.
Following is a summary of the stages...
Stage 1 - Individual Time Trial - Flat - 6.3 km
Movistar's excellent performances in TTs continued with Dowsett coming in second in this Prologue. Nairo, however was on the back foot straight away, losing a lot of time for a such a short stage.
Stage winner - Tom Dumoulin Movistar - Adriano Malori 2nd, Nairo lost 44" Other important results - Chris Froome 4th, gaining 38" to Nairo Quintana
Stage 2 - Flat with 1 major intermediate climb
The pre-cursor to the big mountain stages ended in a bunch sprint with all the leaders finishing in the pack. Dumoulin held on to the leader's jersey.
Stage winner - Niccolo Bonifazio
Stage 3 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 1 major and 2 minor intermediate climbs
The first major mountain stage immediately brought in significant time-gaps among the peloton. Froome showed his power going uphill, climbing his way to a stage win. Nairo had to settle for a top 10 finish.
Stage winner - Chris Froome Movistar - Nairo 7th, lost 56" to Froome Other important results - Uran, Kelderman, Rodriguez and Dan Martin announced their intentions with finishes in the chasing pack of leaders
Stage 4 - Flat with 1 minor intermediate climb
A mostly flat stage saw Peter Sagan highlight his overall qualities by hanging on to the front group and winning the bunch sprint while some of the sprinters fell behind on the climb. The leaders finished together in the leading group.
Stage winner - Peter Sagan
Stage 5 - Flat
A semi rest day sort of stage leading into two big mountain stages. Niccolo Bonifazio won again in the bunch sprint, emphasizing his position as the best sprinter in this race. The leaders did not lose any time.
Stage winner - Niccolo Bonifazio
Stage 6 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 3 major intermediate climbs
After this stage, it was pretty clear there was going to be only one winner of this race. Froome attacked on the gradients leading to the finish line, further increasing his lead at the top of the leader board.
Stage winner - Chris Froome Movistar - Nairo 15th, lost 36" to Froome Other important results - Kelderman, Gesink and Pozzovivo gained time on Nairo. Uran and Rodriguez finished with same time as Nairo
Stage 7 - Mountain with 3 major intermediate climbs
Another day, another stage win for Froome. This time however, Nairo was able to limit his losses by not giving up any more time to the others.
Stage winner - Chris Froome Movistar - Nairo Quintana 2nd, 28" behind Froome Other important results - Kelderman finished with Nairo, all other GC contenders lost time
Stage 8 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 1 major intermediate climb
Having not been able to unleash his true climbing power in the race so far, Nairo finally managed to go up a mountain at the head of the pack in this last mountain stage of the race. He managed to claw back a few seconds from Froome, who finished second.
Stage winner - Nairo Quintana Other important results - Chris Froome 2nd, Kelderman, Uran and Rodriguez finished in group after Froome
Stage 9 - Individual Time Trial - Flat - 20.8 km
Nairo's surprisingly poor form in the TTs continued as he lost his chance to get into the top 3. This was a surprise given his superb time-trialing at the Giro. Dumoulin won again to make it 2 out of 2 for him in TTs in this race.
Stage winner - Tom Dumoulin Movistar - Nairo Quintana 25th, losing 33" to Dumoulin and 29" to Froome Other important results - Chris Froome 3rd losing 4", Pozzovivo 20th losing 26" held on to 3rd place overall
An improvement on last year's results, yes. Satisfactory results, no! Nairo's poor form leading up to GTs continues. If this, however, leads to a similar result, I wont be complaining in a six weeks' time. Wilco Kelderman has shown in this race that he is one for the future. Seems certain to move into a team where he will receive improved support on big mountain stages. That fact that he still qualifies as a 'young' rider, is an indication of how far he can go yet.
Spanish National Champion, Road Race - Luis Leon Sanchez Movistar (others) - Benat Intxausti 4th, Jesus Herrada 5th Other important results - Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural) 2nd, Alberto Contador (Sky) 3rd
Luis Leon Sanchez attacked with around 20km to go to claim a solo victory. Movistar managed to keep hold of the Spanish NC Road race jersey following Valverde's victory last year.The good work done throughout the year provided excellent results at the National Championships. Sanchez proved to be an excellent investment in the transfer market and a worthy successor to Valverde.
Other National Championships (of interest to Movistar)
Britain NC ITT Winner - Chris Froome (Sky) Movistar - Alex Dowsett 2nd
Britain NC Road Race Movistar Interest - Alex Dowsett Winner - Mark Cavendish (Tinkoff-Saxo)
The National Championships conclude with Movistar able to capture one jersey. As far as the sponsors are concerned, they couldn't be happier! Riders like Malori and Dowsett may perhaps feel they've let go of an opportunity this time around to grab their respective National Champions' jerseys.
Movistar Starting List
J J Lobato
Number of Starters - 198 Number of Finishers - 185
The Tour de France...The greatest cycle race on Earth! The race everyone who wants to be a cycling superstar wants to win. This year's edition promised to be a cracker of an affair. It boasts of one the strongest fields in near history with the likes of defending champion Alberto Contador, his Sky teammate Chris Froome, Astana's Vicenzo Nibali, Rigoberto Uran (Tinkoff Saxo) and off course Nairo Quintana of Movistar gunning for glory. Both Contador and Nibali would like to forget about the events of the Giro, their misfortune playing a big part in the final outcome.
Following is a summary of important stages...
Stage 1 - Flat
The TDF started off with a stage meant for the pure sprinters. And they didn't disappoint, ending the stage with a fast bunch sprint won by the pre-stage favourite, Marcel Kittel.
Stage winner - Marcel Kittel Movistar - sam Bennet 5th
Stage 2 - Flat
Another perfectly flat stage followed. This time around, Sam Bennet was able to claim victory with a very strong sprint coming off perfectly from the last turn. His first stage win for Movistar and his first ever stage win in a Grand Tour.
Stage winner - Sam Bennet
Stage 5 - Flat with Cobblestones (Cobbled Hell!!)
Carnage!! That's the only way to describe this stage. 6 separate cobbled sections, the longest more than 5 kms long, blew up the peloton into tiny fragments. The likes of Nibali, Froome, Landa, Dumoulin and Alaphilippe lost between 5 and 14 minutes! Their TDF effectively ended at stage 5 itself. Roman Kreuziger was a big loser for Movistar.
Stage winner - Zdenek Stybar Movistar - Nairo Quintana and Ion Izagirre finished in the leading chase group, Kreuziger lost 14' Other important results - Dumoulin and Nibali lost 14', Froome lost 11', Alaphilippe lost 6', Landa lost 5', Contador and Uran finished in the peloton
Stage 8 - Hilly with Hill top finish, including 2 minor intermediate climbs
The first climbing stage brought about a surprising result. Rui Costa attacked at the start of the hill leading to the finish and held on for the win. The time time gaps created were small.
Stage winner - Rui Costa Movistar - Ion Izagirre 6th losing 29", Nairo Quintana lost 44" Other important results - Contador and Uran lost 29"
Stage 10 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 5 major and 1 minor intermediate climbs
The first mountain top finish saw the main contenders come to the fore. Contador continued his good form of the season to claim a solo victory. Nairo did not let a big gap build up by finishing 2nd.
Stage winner - Alberto Contador Movistar - Nairo Quintana 2nd losing 17" to Contador Other important results - Uran and others lost time to Nairo
Stage 13 - Hilly with Mountain top finish, including 1 major and 1 minor intermediate climbs
After two hilly stages where breakaways survived, it was back to the slugfest between the GC contenders. Once again, it was the man himself, Alberto Contador who took top honours. Nairo, this time, could not hang on to his wheel, losing time to Uran as well.
Stage winner - Alberto Contador Movistar - Nairo Quintana 4th losing 33" to Contador Other important results - Rigoberto Uran gained time on Nairo Quintana
Stage 14 - Mountain with Mountain top finish, including 2 major intermediate climbs
A rather strenous mountain stage exposed Nairo's falling fitness levels to the peloton. Perhaps the strain of two GTs plus some long and tiring races was taking its toll. He managed to hold on to 2nd place for the moment, but Uran was gaining fast.
Stage winner - Stephane Rossetto from breakaway Movistar - Nairo Quintana 7th losing 1'11" to Contador Other important results - Rigoberto Uran gained time on Nairo Quintana
Stage 16 - Mountain with 2 major and 3 minor intermediate climbs
This stage saw a big breakaway of more than 10 riders form before the first climb of the day. Despite their best efforts, the peloton were too tired to catch all of the leading group, allowing Dumoulin to speed away on the downhill finish to victory.
Stage winner - Tom Dumoulin from breakaway Movistar - Nairo Quintana 6th losing 49" to Contador Other important results - Uran closed in further to pile on the pressure on Nairo
Stage 20 - Individual Time Trial - Flat - 52.9 km
It happened!! The thing which all of Movistar were dreading caught up to Nairo on the penultimate stage. Having steadily lost fitness throughout the last week of the Tour, Nairo had managed to hold on 2nd place, the deficit to Contador had growing beyond repair. But this ITT proved one stage too far for him. He completely crashed. It was not only that Nairo fell off the proverbial fitness cliff, he seemed to fall into the ocean and go under! Luckily, the gap to 4th place had been large enough and he held on to a podium place.
Stage winner - Taylor Phinney Movistar - Nairo Quintana lost 3'1" to Phinney and 2'36" to Contador Other important results - Contador further extended his lead with a top 5 in the stage, Uran climbed up to 2nd place
Stage 21 - Flat
The finish at the foot of Champs Elysses was spoiled for the sprinters by a 2 man breakaway. They went off the front with about 25 km to go and were never caught.
Stage winner - Ramanus Navardauskas from breakaway Movistar - Sam Bennet 18th
Alberto Contador captured his second consecutive Tour de France in commanding fashion. He did not face much difficulty at any stage of the race to be honest. Nairo's fitness peaked off and finally crashed at exactly the wrong moment. A 3rd place at the Tour de France is not a bad result, but definitely a disappointing one. Movistar did manage to win the overall Team Classification. Ion Izagirre impressed with a top 10 finish. He is someone whom I am looking at to do well in the coming years. Sam Bennett claimed the only stage win for Movistar. This effectively was Nairo's last big race of the season besides the World Championships ITT. He has declined to take part in the WC Road Race. Several young riders impressed at this year's TDF, with Alaphillipe and Kelderman being ones to look out for in the future...