Chris Froome joined the legends of professional cycling by winning his third edition of the Tour de France. Mark Cavendish returned to the top of Grand Tour sprinting and Peter Sagan reinforced his reputation as cycling's most versatile rider and its greatest showman.
The results might be settled but the latest edition of Procycling, out now, lingers a while longer on the world's biggest race and brings you 21 behind the scenes stories packed with colour, analysis and quotes from events that will go down in Tour history.
Mark Cavendish, the most successful sprinter ever, made a triumphal return to the race upon which he has built his incredible career. His four victories propelled him to second on the all-time stage winners' list but the first of those, on Utah Beach, was the most vivid. Procycling spoke to the Dimension Data team around the Manx Missile to find out just how he rekindled his best form.
The day the Tour broke: the sight of Chris Froome running up Ventoux was wild, crazy – and the defining image of the Tour. But given that the Tour sails close to the wind at all times it's a wonder it hadn't happened sooner. Procycling asks if the Tour is creaking under its own weight and whether the race will be forced to make changes to cope. Will it ever be the same again?
We interviewed Greg Van Avermaet – now an Olympic gold medallist – after he took a stage win and the yellow jersey with a tenacious display of climbing in the Massif Central. He told us he treated the stage like a one-day race. "I'm a Classics rider and sometimes in a one-day race you find some extra power," he explained.
We spoke to breakaway artist Stephen Cummings, who pulled off another tactical coup with his victory in the Pyrenees and proved he is one of the most dangerous stage hunters in the peloton. When the dust had settled on his victory at Lac de Payolle, he gave us a fascinating account of the mental and physical calculations he made to take the win he didn't just want, but said he needed.
What next for Tom Dumoulin? Handsome, charismatic and prodigiously talented, he won his first Tour stage on the Arcalis, a mountain that is building a reputation as a climb for confirming the promise of future Tour winners. We look at the next two years of the Dutchman's plan to become a Grand Tour contender.
While Sky kept the race in a chokehold, there was great entertainment to be had from the inimitable Peter Sagan. The Slovakian attacked at will and often at the most unlikely of times and yet he still ended up with three stage wins and the green jersey. Procycling went in search of the real Sagan from the people who know him best.
Elsewhere, the team analyses why French hope Thibaut Pinot misfired and Romain Bardet thrived, speaks to the young Americans who fought every kilometre of the way and parses Chris Froome's victory that started with the sensational descent of the Peyresourde.
Get the stories behind the story of the Tour in the latest edition of Procycling, out now. Find it online and in all good newsagents.
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