In his third season with Team Sky, Mikel Nieve has finally fulfilled his ambition of winning the Tour de France with Chris Froome. "When I joined this team, I had one dream: to reach Paris with Chris in yellow. And being part of it is a very good feeling and a huge prize."
The Spaniard, along with Wout Poels, has often been among Team Sky's last line of defence in the mountains with the squad effectively nullifying the opposition on several occasions.
"The truth is the team worked perfectly. We've all given a high level," he said in a statement. "We have always had to take the responsibility for the race and carry the weight of the race. The truth is that we responded very well. I think we've done a very good Tour."
Nieve, 32, has proven his abilities in the mountains this year, winning the first high mountain stage in the Giro d'Italia and taking home the mountain jersey in the race. During the Tour Nieve has worked alongside the rest of Sky's climbing contingent.
"We all have better and worse days. On Friday, for example, I did not have a good day," Nieve said. "The important thing was to have someone always near Chris to help him if necessary."
"Every day we have been there and I think we proved to be the strongest team in this Tour."
Now, however, Nieve's long season is drawing to an end. "I need to rest, especially psychologically, after many months of work and it's hard to spend all day taking care of yourself and sacrificing. Now I think more about being with the family, with my wife. I will stay on for San Sebastian because it is close to home. From there, I'll take it very quietly. I do not know if I will race any more this season."