Rouleur Classic

Tour de France 2016: Top Banana stage 21

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Marcel Sieberg crossed the finish line on the Champs-Elysees without fanfare at the back of the action, as he has done on every other finale. The difference was that his captain Andre Greipel won this evening.

Sieberg is a consummate, unseen – impressive for a man of 6 foot 4 – diligent domestique, beavering away to help Greipel and get bottles for him, come rain or shine, mountain stages or flat drag-strip days. A workhorse, a true cyclist’s cyclist.

Overall, it has left him near the rear of the pack, almost five hours down on Chris Froome – a whole 160 kilometres or so. Not that he’ll be bothered.

The Lotto-Soudal team area was an explosion of champagne and cheer after the race, a sudden release of the pressure of three weeks without a stage win. Sieberg deserves our final Top Banana award: he won’t catch the eye, but Greipel could not have won without him; pro cycling wouldn’t function without figures like him. This win in Paris is the reward for his Grand Tour of selfless work.

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