Nairo Quintana won the 20th stage. And smiled.
And spread a bit of love:
Afterwards the diminutive Colombian fluttered gently to the ground.
He had not only won the stage, but also moved into second position overall, cemented his lead in the (young rider’s) White Jersey, and also netted the (mountains) Polka Dot Jersey:
The 5’5″, 57 kg, 23 y.o. rider was born at 3000 m and was raised in “precariously difficult economic conditions”.
He held the peloton off until the last 12 km climb, earning the “most combative” award for the stage. But when Sky & Saxo cranked it up, everyone was scattered. Of the remaining select group: Porte, Contador and Kreuziger were soon going backwards.
Well that’s the Tour done! All that remains is the procession from the Versailles palace to Champs Elysées finish. In this 100th year there will be a big show, it’s at night, with lasers & fireworks, the yellow Jersey will have sequins, and there will be 10 laps of the full length of the cobbled Champs Elysées.
While it won’t change the overall standings, tomorrow’s stage is the most prestigious one for the sprinters. Cavendish has never lost, and is looking for his fifth victory in a row. But at the moment Marcel Kittel is the fastest. One last epic battle.