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  • 26.07.15

    Tour de France 2015: Top Banana, stage 21

    Banana Sunday: Who is head of the bunch? It's got to be Geraint

    Words
    Ian Cleverly
    Photographs
    Marshall Kappel

Where to start choosing an overall winner after three weeks of heroics, triumph and - if not tragedy - then certainly triumph in the face of extreme adversity.

Adam Hansen of Lotto-Soudal, maybe, finishing his thirteenth consecutive Grand Tour having dislocated his shoulder in a crash on stage 3? His humour remained intact, at least: “I eat pain for breakfast. Bring it on!” he Tweeted the same day.

Or Perrig Quéméneur, spending an inordinate number of kilometres in breaks, coming close on stage 6 in a Tour that frequently rewarded the brave rouleurs? 

How can we not recognise the efforts of Jean-Christophe Péraud, badly hurt during a nasty stage 13 off, determined to soldier on in service of his Ag2R team-mates?

Serge Pauwels, with a nod to the MTN-Qhubeka squad, punching so far above their weight that many a WorldTour team’s efforts were put to shame?

Many of you put Peter Sagan in the frame, understandably: an outstanding performance from start to finish from the most exciting racer in the Tour, hands down. But as he gets the green jersey as a consolation prize [eh? - Ed] to our coveted Top Banana, Sagan doesn’t quite fit the bill.

It has to be Geraint Thomas.

From guiding Chris Froome expertly across the potentially treacherous cobbles of stage 4, to being at his side all through the Pyrenees, to carrying through into the Alps - including an alarming head-butt of a telegraph pole on the treacherous descent of the Col de Manse - the Welshman was the ultimate super domestique. 

Had it not been for one jour sans on stage 19 to La Toussuire, the unassuming Thomas would have been contending a podium position - phenomenal considering the work he’d put in over the three weeks. 

Could he be a Grand Tour contender in his own right? Absolutely. If he really wants it.

Only Geraint Thomas knows the answer to that one. Over to you.

And we hope he finds suitable replacements for those lovely white Oakleys that went over the edge of the mountain. It's the least he deserves.

 

 

2015 Tour de France: Top Banana Winners
Stage 1: Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team)
Stage 2: Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo)
Stage 3: Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal)
Stage 4: Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
Stage 5: Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step)
Stage 6: Perrig Quemeneur (Team Europcar)
Stage 7: Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team)
Stage 8: Cannondale-Garmin
Stage 9: IAM Cycling
Stage 10: Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge)
Stage11: Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka)
Stage 12: Romain Bardet (Ag2R-La Mondiale)
Stage 13: Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2R-La Mondiale)
Stage 14: Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagene Seche Environnement)
Stage 15: Lotto-Soudal
Stage 16: Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling)
Stage 17: Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin)
Stage 18: Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) 
Stage 19: Wout Poels (Team Sky)
Stage 20: Winner Anacona (Movistar)

Rouleur's Top Banana is awarded after every 2015 Tour de France stage. It goes to an unsung hero who has caught the eye or deserves recognition for his efforts, rather than necessarily the stage winner or the most attacking rider.

 

 

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