Ramblings of a Tampa engineer

On July 23, 2023 the Tour De France ended again. This time the winner stayed the same with Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma reinforcing that he is the best rider out there beating Tadej by almost 8 minutes.

Before the tour started though it didn't seem like too many teams had General Classification (Yellow Jersey) goals. I could only really count a few people that looked like serious contenders for the jersey.

  • Jonas from Jumbo-Visma
  • Tadej from UAE Team Emirates
  • Pidcock from Ineos Grenadiers
  • Hindley from Bora Hansgrohe

It was great to see Mark Cavendish coming back for his presumed last tour. Tied with the most stage wins everyone would be waiting on edge for the stage win to beat the record. However, each sprint he tried Jasper Philipsen got the win and the unfortunate stage 8 hit where Mark crashed out and left the tour - the record would remain tied.

The green jersey this time was earned by Jasper Philipsen with his explosive technique of sprinting, but I learned after multiple occurrences through the tour - hes a bit of a bully. Many times leaving his line or pushing riders into the wall to solidify his victory.

The white jersey will be forever with Tadej Podacar until he ages out of that category which will be the next tour. There was almost no fear of Tadej ever losing that white jersey during this year.

The Polka Dot jersey much like every tour bounced around to many hands finally landing on 20th stage to Giulio Ciccone. It was a bit refreshing to have someone intentionally targeting the jersey and winning it. What seemed to happen year after year was the GC winner winning the Polka Dot just from a few mountain stage wins.


Stage 1 had such an insane pace with breakaways occurring towards the end. Such a unique finish with two brothers on different teams competing and sprinting for the finish. This time Adam Yates of UAE taking the win and first yellow jersey.


Stage 3 had the sprinters going at it and there appeared to be what looked like some line breaking, which caused nearly a 20 minute delay in announcing the winner. In my personal opinion it did look like Jasper above broke his line putting another into a path with the barrier. However, after a ton of waiting - Jasper was announced the winner.


Stage 5 had some excitement with Jai Hindley taking the stage and the yellow jersey. This really shook things up with all the contenders falling into various places from 2nd to 7th.


Stage 6 had Tadej taking his 10th stage win and stealing back time on his goal to take the yellow jersey. This was the first of many battles where it seemed like the only competitors on the road were Jonas and Tadej.


Stage 7 would let the sprinters battle it out, but it was interesting to watch the dynamic of mind games between UAE and Jumbo as the gap between Tadej and Jonas continued to either stay the same or shorten. At this point Tadej was only down 25 seconds to yellow jersey Jonas.


Stage 9 had a massive summit finish so all expected a battle and one surely occurred. Tadej for the first time in days gained some time back and was only sitting 17 seconds away from the yellow. The Polka Dot riders battled it out to the top of the mountain with Michael Woods taking the stage.


Stage 12 had Cofidis winning another stage, which was quite odd as they were on such a bad luck streak for the past few years. So winning the 2nd and now 12th stage was amazing for them. The top two places in the yellow didn't move, but the remaining top ten were constantly shifting places.


Stage 14 had some tough climbs and was another journey of the breakaway getting away, but this time an interesting group of riders. At one point during the last few kilometers the group was 5 riders in the top ten. This was an intense race with Tadej/Jonas neck and neck with no time change between them.


Stage 16 was our one and only time trial and it delivered. Wout van Aert went 3rd to last and set the best time, but as Tadej was racing he was on pace to beat Wout's time by over a minute. This was insane as it looked like Tadej was going to blow the 10 second gap out of the water.

However, Jonas kicked off a few minutes later and appeared to be doing even better than Tadej on every single kilometer. It seemed originally that Tadej was going to take the yellow, but Jonas had another plan. He demolished the competition putting over a minute back onto to Tadej.


Stage 17 was basically the end of the tour for the yellow jersey competition. It was a sad sight to see for those following Tadej as he cracked on the journey to the summit while Jonas seemed to have excelled. Tadej fell behind with his shirt unzipped losing to Jonas dropping a large 5+ minutes. Jonas was moving up the mountain at insane speeds but couldn't catch the breakaway of Felix Gall who took the stage.


Stage 20 was the last tough stage before the trip into Paris. It once again had an immense battle between Tadej and Jonas and showed that Tadej felt normal again. He won the stage by just a few meters against Felix Gall and Jonas Vingegaard. He had no chance of coming back at this point, which is maybe what released the pressure and allowed him to just race.


Stage 21 was on the cobbles and the famous 8 laps around Paris. This was an insanely fast stage which started having rainfall with 2 laps to go. The Tour organization made an announcement that times would be counted on the 2nd to last lap so the sprinters could go all out on the final lap without a chance of harm to the GC riders. This meant on the final lap that the yellow jersey and teammates calmly raced together on the way to finish line.

The real exciting battle was for the sprint at the end and it was great to see. Like we saw over the last 20 stages Jasper always had a bit of drama following his victories due to various reasons. This time we saw sprinters catch on to his style and try and block him in. All these battling between sprinters let the Bora rider on the top squeeze in the victory.

All in all - this tour was a building year I'm guessing. There weren't many competitors to the GC and many were retiring. This next year will be the real challenge with tons of riders coming back and teams switching up.

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