Our riders share their thoughts at the Champs-Élysées
The 108th edition of the Tour de France was spectacular for a number of reasons.
Perhaps that’s something we say every year — or that’s simply the nature of the Tour. Even with all of its general classification shakeups, dramatic crashes, and punishing climbs, it remains the most splendid bike race in the world.
The riders made their way into Paris today for the grand finale, feeling the back-to-back climbs up Mont Ventoux, three summit finishes, and two individual time trials in their legs. Yet with twenty stages behind them, the team fought to the end. Cheers from the crowds and remarkable views of the city surely energized them along the way.
The Champs-Élysées welcomed them in as they celebrated their achievement: completing the Tour de France. Sergio Higuita, Jonas Rutsch, and Neilson Powless crossed the line all with the top ten finishes in the young rider classification. Ruben Guerreiro delivered on the climbs and finished in the top twenty for the general classification. Michael Valgren made bold moves in the breakaways (most notably in the final stage) while also supporting his new teammates throughout the race. Magnus Cort and Stefan Bissegger impressed with their sprints and landed in the top ten for the ITT. And who could forget the spectacle that was Rigoberto Urán during the event? He finished tenth overall in the general classification category.
The team finished second overall and we couldn’t be prouder of the teamwork and tenacity they displayed for 21 stages. Hear from our Tour riders and staff on their experience at the 2021 Tour de France below:
I’m in Paris and finished with my first Grand Tour. It feels good and I’m pretty tired, but also happy. I think I can be quite content with the 5th place finish yesterday.
It’s been a hard three weeks so I’m really happy that I reached Paris. It was always a dream for me to ride over the Champs-Élysées, past the Arc de Triomphe, and finish the Tour de France. Now I’ve finished my first Tour de France, and it’s a dream come true. It was just the perfect group of people to do a race like the Tour de France for me.
It’s always nice to be here in Paris, I think no matter how the Tour went. I think everyone who is still here is just happy to be here and for it to be over. We’re all tired but it’s nice just to make it to the end. It was for sure a nice group, we had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it here. I think we are still a full team here in Paris and that’s also nice to finish with everybody. It’s not that often that happens.
It’s been a really hard Tour and with sometimes really bad weather, but we went day by day so it was a successful Tour for us even with the more ambitions we can put a guy in the top ten. We fought for the stages. We had a really nice group and I’m really excited to go to the Champs-Élysées with my friends and teammates and I’m looking forward to this.
I’m really glad, happy to finish this Tour de France. It was a really good experience, to keep fighting for the GC, the stages were really tough, also it was dangerous but we’ve arrived in Paris which was the main goal. The day I ended up third on a stage was a special day for me. That’s a good memory for me and especially this day now that we’ve arrived in Paris.
It’s pretty nice to have made it to Paris and I feel pretty fortunate to not have crashed in such a crazy Tour. I think we had a really nice time supporting Rigo for quite a while. I think the overall atmosphere of the team was really nice the whole race. It was just a nice experience, Rigo’s such a relaxed leader and we had a pretty young team here so everybody was really excited to race and to always be doing something everyday, so it was nice just to be a part of the race from start to finish.
I felt really good this year, I thought I would be on the podium because I felt good every day and the team is a phenomenal team. In the end, I don’t know what happened, my body didn’t respond as I had hoped. I had a really bad day. So many things had already happened and the team had done the work, so it’s difficult. The Tour de France is really complicated. In the end, we’re human and that’s not an answer as to what happened but the only thing you can do is to try to finish well, to honor your teammates, and to prepare yourself for the next race.
Obviously it’s always nice to reach Paris. It’s never a certainty, I think 45 riders have already abandoned it. I abandoned my first year, so that will always be on my mind so I’m happy to be done with the Tour. It’s been a nice experience, super hard racing but I think we did some good racing here with the team. It’s hard to say, I was quite happy when we were still second on GC, that was something we were aiming for and I think the way we were riding the whole Tour all together.
Charly Wegelius, Sport Director
It’s almost unique that a leader in Rigo’s position buys into the principle of allowing his teammates the kind of freedom that he did. And I was pleased to see the guys take that with both hands. The disappointment of the Pyrenees was part of sport, it’s part of life and I think that you see a team and how they react in the times of adversity and you know we saw the the first day that Rigo was in difficulty. He had Sergio with him and the second day in the Pyrenees he had the whole team with him. I think that together with the reaction that we saw on the Bordeaux stage and the reaction on the TT shows that this is a real team and I’m extremely proud of it.