Langley rider crosses Tour de France finish line

 

Langley’s Svein Tuft had a strong end to his second Tour de France, with a top-20 finish in the individual time trial and some boisterous riding on the final stage into Paris.

Tuft, the nine-time Canadian time-trial champion, finished 15th in the 54 km stage, on the second to last day of the 21-day Tour. He was riding with the ORICA GreenEDGE team, based out of Australia.

Tuft was 3:23 behind time trial stage winner Tony Martin.

In past tours, the individual time trial has been placed in the first week of competition, leaving the riders relatively fresh.

Tuft had to haul himself over the mountain stages to make it to the event that is his specialty.

“The time trial is very different after 20 days than in the first week,” said ORICA GreenEDGE sport director Matt White. 

Time trials see riders race against the clock, starting two to three minutes apart.

On the final and 21st stage into Paris, riders frequently jostled for position at the front of the group, with multiple attacks and attempts to set up the teams’ sprinters for the final stage victory.

Tuft briefly led the peloton, at the moment the final lap around the Champs-Elysées began. He was part of a group of riders fighting aggressively for a spot in the final breakaway.

Tuft would ultimately finish up about one minute back of the leading sprinters, finishing alongside several of his teammates.

In the overall standings, Tuft was 131st out of 164 riders who survived the gruelling race. The race began with 219 riders and lost nearly a third of them to exhaustion and injury, including several possible favourites to win.

Vincenzo Nibali of Italy was the overall winner and donned the yellow leader’s jersey in Paris.

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