By Daniel Benson in Paris
As the curtain came down on another Tour de France, cycling legend Sean Kelly spoke to Cyclingnews and gave his take on this year's race. The former five-time winner of the green jersey is still involved with cycling and has been following this year's race as a commentator. After such a close finale the Irishman believes that the best man and the best team came out on top.
"It's been a very close race from start to finish and it's always been exciting with so many riders wearing yellow and a nail-biting time trial yesterday added to it all," said Kelly.
However Kelly reserved special praise for the team that came to dominate the Tour as it unfolded in the second week. Constantly attacking in the mountains, he explained that CSC was head-and-shoulders above their competition. "They have done a lot of work here and Sastre deserves to be in yellow. I remember seeing him at the Dauphiné and I said he wasn't going well. He was quiet then," he added.
As the race unfolded though, Kelly admitted that the Spaniard came into his element and finished as the strongest GC rider. "He was fresher than the others as the race went on, mainly due to his team-mates looking after him. You could see Evans didn't have that, and that's what made the difference in the end. Sastre only really made one big attack in this race."
Kelly also pointed to the terrain and conditions that played an important part in the race. "The mountain stages this year were tough but on several of the last climbs there was a strong headwind and that made it really hard for some of the riders to attack one another. I think if things have been different we could have seen more riders try their luck on stages like the one to Alpe d'Huez," Kelly concluded.