Andre Greipel makes a 3D box for his claim to be top sprinter at the 2015 Tour de France

Photo by: Glory Cycles

Photo by: Glory Cycles

Greipel wins! Take that, pedals!

Back when I worked in an office alongside other humans, I’d often note down something I needed to do using pen and paper – like cro magnon man used to do. A day later, when I hadn’t done it and the job was now quite urgent, I’d underline the words to make that task stand out from all the others I’d scribbled down since.

Over a few days, I would tend to accumulate quite a few underlined tasks, so to highlight the most pressing, I’d extend the underlining up the sides and over the top to form a box. Then, once I had multiple boxes and again needed to identify my top priority, I would draw lines out from three corners of the box and join them to make it look kind of 3D. The stage after that was to add shading, kind of like this.

At no point would I complete the task. That would be ridiculous.

I rather feel that Andre Greipel reached the shaded 3D box stage in his campaign to be regarded as the best sprinter at this year’s Tour de France. Not in a prioritisation sense – just in a making-something-appear-more-obvious kind of way.

There were only a handful of sprint stages and Greipel had already won three of them as the peloton was buzzing up and down the Champs Elysées on Sunday night. Whatever the result of the final stage, no-one could have claimed more than the wide-mouthed German. But he won that one as well. Four wins out of five proper bunch sprints is pretty comprehensive.

The race as a whole

Feel free to pop any thoughts or questions in the now-fixed comments section of the site (excellent timing to have it break during the Tour de France). I’ll have a few reflections and highlights up here in coming days, but give me a bit. The Tour can be draining for a writer in a rather different way to how it’s draining for a rider.

My initial feelings are that this year’s edition was a particularly interesting race. Maybe the yellow jersey battle could have given us a bit more to-ing and fro-ing, but this writer at least felt it was ‘live’ right up to the final climb and unlike some, I have no problems with the winner either.

The route was perhaps the greatest success story – specifically the many different styles of stage in the first week, from hilltop finishes to cobbles to tough days in the crosswinds. I wouldn’t have said no to another sprint stage later on in the race, just to keep that story alive, but for a race with so much climbing to not seem like it was wholly decided in the mountains surely speaks of success.

Like I say, there’ll be stuff appearing on here in the next few days, but the Vuelta a Espana is our next major rendez-vous. I hope new readers stick around for what is, in all honesty, perhaps my favourite race of the year. A three-week race which always seems so much simpler to follow, it’s worth the time and there should also be TV highlights for those in the UK, which always helps.

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