With Egan Bernal, cycling has moved to the next decade, that of the twenties of the 21st century. The screen of this Tour has been like a crystal ball through which the future runs. In it, this 22-year-old Colombian prodigy commanded that went from youth directly to professional and that, with giant jumps, has just won his first Tour de France. The first for his country, which is a party. «Egan is a ray of light that will always be remembered. He has not made history; it's history, ”writes the newspaper“ El Espectador ”. You have to go to the beginning of the Grande Boucle, until 1904 with Henri Cornet or 1909 with François Faber, to find earlier winners. Not even the great were so soon. Anquetil waited at 23 to grab his first Grande Boucle. Bartali did it with 24, like Merckx and Hinault. Bernal has advanced them. And it has revealed to cycling how the future will be. Yours.
Armored by the empire
Climber by genetics, better and better against the clock, equipped with a high-cyclized engine, explosive in the starts and bold in the fans, Bernal also has the shield of the Ineos, the old Sky. The Empire. Of the last eight editions, the British team has won seven (four from Froome, plus Wiggins, Thomas and Bernal). The Colombian has not even needed to have a great team. The Ineos has not reached the size of the Sky. Even so, Bernal has been the first and his partner Geraint Thomas, the second. The podium is completed by Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, ahead of Buchmann, Alaphilippe, who became a hero of France for his agonized and passionate defense of the yellow jersey, and Mikel Landa, sixth.
Urán, Quintana, Valverde and Barguil fill the top ten places of this exciting edition and, also, strange at the end. Marked by the avalanches that forced to cut the last two alpine stages.
With hardly any time trial, the gala round got into the Pyrenees with favorites in a fist. The Ineos did not intimidate. Thibaut Pinot and Landa, both ballasted by fans and falls in Albi, claimed their status as revolutionaries. They were willing to bust the Tour. Alaphilippe, who was the leader from the goal of Epernay, the city of champagne, continued to unleash the emotion of the French public. Elated, he even won the "chrono" of Pau. The Tour wondered if his victory in Paris was possible. Or Pinot's. France, more than three decades later, longs for a successor to Hinault. Will have to wait. Pinot, again, had a bad health. And the roof of the Alps came over Alaphlippe. He lost the lead in the Iseran, where Bernal took him with the attack that has earned him this Tour.
On the descent and en route to the goal of Tignes, nature took on the race. Hail and mud from an avalanche forced the stage to neutralize. Bernal, with Simon Yates on a wheel, flew towards Tignes. Behind, De Plus pulled Kruijswijk, Landa, Buchman and Thomas, who was preparing their counterattack if the group reached Bernal. What would have happened? Would Thomas have won the Tour? You will never know. This Grande Boucle is the one that came out for her. «If I attacked I could burst and lose the podium, but if I went well I could win the Tour. Attack". Enough with that phrase. Bernal is the star that will direct the fate of the next editions. He was predestined for the Tour.
The last alpine stage, that of Val Thorens, was also cut. Just 59 kilometers. He ratified the triumph of Bernal, who had no trouble. And checked the sinking of Alaphilippe. "I left my skin on this Tour," he confessed to the goal. Literal. It has taken years of life and, yes, it has given him a place in eternity. The Tour will not forget its fourteen days of yellow.
The Movistar, out of tune
The top of Val Thorens, decaffeinated by the avalanches that prevented climbing before the Roselend, attended a couple of paradoxes. He dressed Romain Bardet as the best climber, which he has not been. In fact, he has completed his worst Tour. And he gave Movistar the prize for the best team of this edition. He did it right on the day when with four runners in the dozen elected, Valverde, Landa, Quintana and Soler, each made war on their own. And together they carpeted the path for victory on top of Vincenzo Nibali. The Movistar that functioned as an orchestra in the Giro has played on this Tour that opens a new time, the Bernal.
Another portento, Peter Sagan, sports the green jersey of regularity on the Champs Elysees. The seventh, the record, one more than Erik Zabel. The prize – white jersey – the best young man is collected by Bernal ahead of the Frenchman Gaudu and Enric Mas. "I'm happy," said the Majorcan. I already said I was coming to learn. I burst in the Pyrenees and that lesson took me ». He is 24 years old, two more than Bernal, with whom there is no one who can compare. Not even the myths tamed the Tour so soon. . (tagsToTranslate) bernal