Andre. too late to party
Somebody forget to tell Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) that the sprint for victory down the most famous street in Paris was happening. Hurry, Andre, hurry!!!!
By the time Greipel noticed, a kid named Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) scored the biggest win of his young career and his first grand tour victory, taking the final stage of the 2017 Tour de France.
Closing fast but arriving too late was Greipel, who had to settle for second place on what has been a hugely disappointing Tour for the fastman from Rostock, Germany.
Greipel has won the last two sprints on the Champs-Élysées, so you’d think he would have his timing down to the millisecond. However, he’s made the wrong decisions, followed the wrong wheels and started his sprints at the wrong time for three weeks straight.
Earlier in the Tour, we read some quote or commentary to the effect that Greipel can be a little tentative, a tad hesitant sometimes in the heat of battle when decisiveness is often rewarded. While sprinters like Mark Cavendish, Andre Demare, Peter Sagan and Nacer Bouhanni were more than willing to take risks, Greipel seemed, well, careful.
That’s not a good personality trait for a sprinter in the biggest race of the year.
It was a golden opportunity to salvage his Tour with Cavendish, Sagan, Demare and Marcel Kittel, who’d won five stages, all gone. Based on his past success on the Champs-Élysées and the absence of half the top sprinters, his odds were high.
Only two years ago in Le Tour, he’d won four stages and looked invincible. He was hardly imposing today and fortune instead smiled on the young Dutchman. Coming into the final corner, Groenewegen shoved his way between the two Katusha riders driving on the front an positioned himself perfectly. He launched early and while Greipel accelerated to max speed, he had miscalculated time and distance.
Andre Greipel won himself second place on the Champs-Élysées and that qualified as tardy.