Musings from the team on the 2019 Tour

Alberto Bettiol. Simon Clarke. Tanel Kangert. Sebastian Langeveld. Tom Scully. Rigoberto Urán. Mike Woods.

Seven of our eight Tour de France starters rode into Paris to mark the conclusion of the biggest race in the most beautiful sport.

Urán finished seventh overall – and celebrated the accomplishment of compatriot Egan Bernal. The 22-year-old become the first Colombian winner of the Tour on Sunday.

“I’m feeling really happy with my work,” said Urán. “Of course, I was wanting more, but this race always puts you in the place that you were meant to be.”

Throughout July, EF Education First Pro Cycling experienced the highs and lows that the Tour typically delivers. Losing Tejay van Garderen was an early blow. Watching Woods attack the race, with broken ribs, during his Tour debut was a closing week cause for celebration.

“You can’t help but wonder what Woods would have done if he hadn’t fallen over,” noted sport director Charly Wegelius. “I would have loved to have seen what he could do without the falls.”

There are 334 days until we get to do it all over again. But who’s counting?

Charly Wegelius (DS)

“We had our ups and our downs. That’s part of three weeks of racing. I think it was a really solid team ride. We did a good work, and we can leave without regrets. The did team themselves justice.”

Alberto Bettiol

“The best thing you can say about the Tour is that we all leave in high spirits. Look around. This group leaves the negative and holds onto the positive. That says something.”

Simon Clarke

“We got into the right breakaways. We covered the right moves. We did all the right things. That was all anyone could have asked of us.”

Tanel Kangert

“I only bring home good memories from this Tour. One thing I will remember most is the super high mountains. I have never done so many high mountain passes in the Tour de France, even with the mountains that we didn’t climb because they were cancelled, we did so many 2000+ meters climbs. Those were the hardest days and the most satisfying. “

Andreas Klier (sport director)

“It was a very smooth Tour this year. The cooperation between riders and staff has been a very nice one. All the emotions were kept in check. It made this Tour my nicest one. I’m very thankful for that.”

Sebastian Langeveld

“Midway in the Tour, I crashed and had quite a bit of injury. In a normal race, I would have quit. I’m at the point in my career where the Tour is really special to finish with everyone – my teammates, the staff, my family in Paris. I’m happy I finished the Tour. It’s a race that you cannot compare to others.”

Tom Scully

“This race was a great time with a great bunch of people. Touring around France. Going from place to place, exploring the world. Highs. Lows. Times when you think: ‘Why am I doing this?’ But more times when you think: ‘This is the coolest thing ever.'”

Tom Southam (DS)

“For everyone watching, I thought it was a good Tour. It was in balance for a long time, even from our side, inside the race. There were a lot of things you could count on before that weren’t happening. Without one team dominating, it made all the teams race in innovative and exciting ways.”

Rigoberto Uran

“For all of Colombia, for all these people who support us with so much warmth, Egan Bernal’s win is a dream. I’ve been waiting many years for this moment. I haven’t won it, but it’s still a win. I’m not the winner, but Colombia, we are one person, and Colombia has been waiting many, many years for this moment. I am Colombian, and like all these people celebrating Bernal’s win, I am happy.”

Mike Woods

“I can’t verbalize the experience yet. I raced my bike for 21 days and accomplished something that I had dreamt of and was part of something I watched on TV before I was a cyclist, that I recognized the significance of before I found this sport. How do you put that into words?”

Jonathan Vaughters (CEO)

“The way I see the Tour de France is, starting in March, we were on the back foot with Rigo breaking his collarbone. Then in June Dani broke both his hands. We were fighting against the odds all along with what I thought could have been an A+ performance from one of the top teams in the Tour

“We produced an honorable performance in the face of a lot of adversity. I give us a solid B+. The dice weren’t rolling our way, and the fact that we were able to produce such a good performance in the face of adversity shows our depth. We can reshuffle and figure things out. That’s a nice feeling. If one thing goes wrong, we don’t all fall to pieces.

“I give the team an A+ for the spirit; B+ for the performance – and next year, we’ll get an A+ for performance.”