The Tour de France: a celebration of 110 editions
About the Tour
23 days and 21 stages later, the 110th edition of the Tour de France has come to an end. Covering a 3404 kilometer loop that began in Spain and ended in Paris, France, The Tour de France has been an iconic event since its conception in 1903. The Tour is the oldest of the three Grand Tours in the sport and is often deemed the most prestigious.
Year after year, The Tour has united French people and the rest of the world together. After World War II, the subsequent Tour held significant symbolism for France, representing a united and determined nation that was determined to overcome the bleak times that had come before.
The Tour has had the mission of inspiring people to make cycling a part of their everyday life since the start. With goals to inspire and motivate, The Tour is committed to promoting mobility by bicycle to all people.
Organizers of the Tour this year have crafted one of the most demanding routes in decades, featuring numerous stages designed for opportunistic riding and surprise moments for attacks. Keeping with the customary pattern of 21 stages, featuring a mix of flat, hilly, and mountainous routes, this year's Tour is quite unique. Beginning in the Basque Country with three initial stages in this region before continuing back into France, this edition had a diverse range of distances throughout the weeks which made for an exhilarating yet unpredictable race.
The King of the Mountain Giulio Ciccone
Winning the Polka dot jersey is never easy. It takes a tremendous amount of grit, determination, and teamwork. The race for the Tour de France polka dot jersey shaped to be one of the most exciting categories in this 21 days stage race, with several riders vying for the opportunity to don the jersey in Paris at the last stage of The Tour de France. The symbolic polka dot jersey in the Tour de France represents the top climber in the Grand Tour. Riders who crest each categorized peak ahead of the others receive accruing points, and the individual amassing the highest number of points tally by the race's conclusion earns the title of King of the Mountains (KOM).
Choosing the top guns Vingegaard or Pogacar seemed to be at the top of the list for several at the end of week 2 of the Tour. However, many others placed their bet on Lidl-Trek rider Giulio Ciccone, who was currently in the standings for this jersey and had serious odds in his favor to win it. Being the leader of his team, Ciccone made considerable gains during the last two days in the Alps. A proven climber and crowned King of the Mountain winner at the Giro d'Italia in 2019, Ciccone has proven that he has what it takes to win a demanding feat. Ciccone is known for his feisty attacks on short and punchy climbs, ones which were characteristic for most of week three at the Tour.
It was at Stage 20 where Lidl-Trek member Mads Pederson perfectly orchestrated the Ciccone and Mattias Skjelmose duo to the front of the peloton and positioned the first climb of the day win on Ballon d'Alsace. The duo later went on to with the first four climbs of that stage day. It was at the point in the stage where Ciccone won the Category 3 KOM at the top of Col de la Schlucht that the team knew that the polka dot jersey was close to being their own.
Among all other Tour riders, no one approached the climbs with a comparable blend of tactical precision and joyful sense of freedom than Ciccone. It was a truly epic day to witness at The Tour de France and a historical one for team Lidl-Trek.