The Tour de France is always epic. And with so many memorable moments it’s hard to choose the best. But as we turn our gaze to the 101st Tour, and the Grand Departe in of all places Yorkshire, here’s Carbon Addiction’s best effort to choose some of the stand-outs, albeit with a reasonable Aussie bias. Agree? Great. Disagree? Even better. Be sure to let us know your favourite moments…
Best (Non-Kenyan born, South African raised, somehow British) Rider of the Race
Winner: Nairo Quintana, please please PLEASE let him be clean – this little bloke is awesome.
Honorable mention: Marcel Kittel, won four stages and outsprinted Mark Cavendish twice head-to-head, but still couldn’t claim the green jersey (in fact, he only finished 4th).
The Kelpie (loyal dog) Award
Winner: Richie Porte, hopefully he’ll get his turn off the leash next year, if not at this year’s Vuelta.
Honorable mention: Michael Rogers, did everything he could to help Contador, was brilliant in the cross-wind breakaway on Stage 13.
The Biggest Surprise
Winner: Orica-GreenEDGE winning the Team Time Trial to put Simon Gerrans into yellow for 2 days, and then Impey for two more, brilliant.
Honorable mention: Jan Bakelants winning Stage 2 on Corsica, no-one seemed more surprised than he was.
Stage of the Race
Winner: Stage 18, Alpe d’Huez x 2 – sensational racing, crazy fans and free beer!
Honorable mention: Stage 13 from Tours to Saint-Amand-Montrond, saw Saxo-Tinkoff seize a highly opportunistic moment on a seemingly transitional stage, and breathe new life into the race taking time out of Chris Froome’s lead for one of the few days in the entire race.
The Invisible Man Award
Winner: Matt Goss, was he even there? Or did he get left behind on Corsica? Finished the race with less points (33) than four of his team-mates.
Honorable mention: Philippe Gilbert, I saw the rainbow stripes several times on telly. But did he actually do anything? Maybe Lelangue should have brought Thor instead.
Winner: Koen de Kort (is it just me or does he have an Aussie accent?) for getting a Marcel Kittel haircut, now there are three Ivan Dragos.
Honorable mention: Mark Cavendish tweeting about having diarrhoea on Stage 17, thanks for that.
Winner: SBS streaming several stages live from the very beginning, hopefully they can do it for all stages in 2014 and every Tour until at least 2023. It was great to watch.
Honorable mention 1: ASO for ending the race in the Parisian twighlight for the first time, a beautiful city, even more beautiful at sunset.
Best trick rider
Winner: Peter Sagan’s mid-race wheelie as he was caught by the peloton on Stage 18 was as cheeky as it was impressive. He did another one that was even better, 100% hands free, a bit later whilst climbing Alpe d’Huez. The fans loved it.
Honorable mention: AG2R’s Christope Riblon, who went cross country on the way to winning Stage 18. He ended up in a ditch on the decent from the Col de Sarenne, but somehow managed not to crash.
The Maxwell Smart “Missed by that much” Award
Winner: Michael Albasini, pipped on the line by Matteo Trentin in Stage 14 – so close.
Honorable mention: Teejay Van Garderen on the slopes of Alpe d’Huez in Stage 18, very nearly colliding with a spectator (whom he punched for good measure!) but stayed upright – superb skills.
Dirty Pool Award
Winner: Team Sky, for breaking the feeding rules whenever it suited them, especially when Froome was on the verge of a sugar bonk in the Alps. Not cool guys. Doesn’t send a good message to the kiddies.
Honorable mention 1: Mark Cavendish sending Tom Veelers to the deck at 70km/h in the Stage 10 sprint. Karma struck and he didn’t win anyway. Kittel did.
Honorable mention 2: Every team for their ‘sticky’ bottles. But I guess if everyone else is doing it, maybe it’s not really wrong, isn’t that right US Postal?
Winner: Gerraint Thomas, rode pretty much the entire Tour with a fractured pelvis – epic.
Honorable mention: Tony Martin, went from unconscious and bleeding in an ambulance to stage winner in the space of 9 days. A worthy world champion in his craft.
Winner: Jens Voigt, a non-stop crack up, especially on Twitter.
Honorable mention/s: Adam Hansen and John Degankolb, both grabbing a beer when passing Dutch Corner on Stage 18. A bit of personality, that’s what the fans want!
Winner: Holland’s Lieuwe Westra, DNF, just 38 km from home on the final stage. All that pain for no finisher’s medal.
Honorable mention 1: Ted King, eliminated by just 7 seconds after getting dropped by his Cannondale team-mates in the Stage 4 team time trial. To make matters worse, his own SRM showed a different time that was within the cut-off.
Honorable mention 2: Alex Pichot, the French champion gets an unprecedented two flats (with two different wheels) in the space of 10km on the Champs-Elysees in the final stage.