Sunday 27 July 2014 - 19:25

Tour de France Stage 21: OPQS fight until the end! Finish 5th and 8th in Paris

Tour de France Stage 21: OPQS fight until the end! Finish 5th and 8th in Paris

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step never hesitated to keep fighting after losing Mark Cavendish following a Stage 1 crash at the Tour de France. The Belgian based cycling team with an international impact still managed to earn three victories, and also be protagonists in every stage. Stage 21 in Paris was no exception.

Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi finished 5th and 8th in the traditional bunch sprint finish, with Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) beating out Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) for the win of the 137.5km final stage. Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) was 3rd.

Vincenzo Nibali won the 101st edition of the Tour de France by 7 minutes and 37 seconds. Jan Bakelants was the top GC finisher for OPQS, in 24th place (+1:06:28).

Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) launched the first attack of the stage with 54km to go, but it was Richie Porte (Team Sky) — who attacked out of an original four-rider escape group — who had to be pulled back by the peloton with 7.4km to go just before the bell rung for the last lap. Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEDGE) attacked out of the peloton in the final kilometers, but the peloton was simply too determined for the bunch sprint to give him room to stay away for long.

Giant-Shimano, Lotto-Belisol, Garmin-Sharp, Cannondale, and OPQS all battled on the front for position. Going into the final kilometer a bit of control was lost on the front, and it came down to Kristoff and Kittel for the victory.

The three stage wins for OPQS included Matteo Trentin winning Stage 7 by the depth of a tire, Tony Martin winning the first Tour de France road stage of his career solo in Stage 9, and the dominating ITT victory of Martin in Stage 20. He won by more than a minute and a half.

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