Stage 18: Nibali wraps up the Tour at Hautacam
On the day the final mountain stage of the Tour de France was won by Vincenzo Nibali at the Pyrenean ski resort of Hautacam, the Telegraph Cycling Podcast, supported by Jaguar, includes the latest on-the-ground analysis and interviews.
Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe are joined for the second time on this Tour by the doyen of French cycling writers, François Thomazeau. Having covered the Tour since 1986, Thomazeau is well-placed to discuss the French renassiance, with Thibaut Pinot, Jean-Christophe Péraud and Romain Bardet all challenging for the final podium in Paris on Sunday.
Thomazeau says that the home success has had a big effect in France, with younger fans, in particular, identifying new heroes in the swashbuckling pair of Pinot and Bardet. But, with France searching for its first winner since Bernard Hinault in 1985, Thomazeau is unsure whether either is a future overall winner.
We have an interview with the man who gave the oldest of the French trio, Péraud, his chance in a road team, Marc Sergeant, who runs the Lotto-Belisol team. Péraud was a world class mountain biker before he made the switch in 2010, aged 32. “He was a good mountain biker and when we heard about his ambition to ride professionally on the road, we said, ‘Why not give it a try?’” says Sergeant.
“In the beginning it was hard for him to be in a team. Mountain bikers are all by themselves. It took him a while to realise what it meant to be in a team. If you asked him to do something for someone else, he said, ‘Why?’ But he has learned now.”
We also hear from Juan Antonio Flecha, the recently retired Spanish rider, formerly of Team Sky, who discusses life post-cycling.