Cycling

Vincenzo Nibali was the 2014 Tour De France's most impressive rider

Nibali had luck and skill on his side  (©GettyImages)
Nibali had luck and skill on his side (©GettyImages).

Many riders impressed during the Tour de France but here I take a look at the three cyclists that I believe stood out above the rest.

1. Vincenzo Nibali

Obviously I couldn't leave this man out. Nibali was outstanding throughout the whole race and even though some of his main rivals crashed out, he continued to be professional and ended up winning four stages.

From the moment Nibali first wore the yellow jersey after winning stage two he looked comfortable. During the cobbled sections of stage five he rode extremely well and for me this was one reason why he won the Tour de France. Most of his rivals struggled on the cobbles but he didn't.

The Italian also wasn't matched by any of his rivals in the Alps or the Pyrenees and on most mountain stages he managed to extend his lead at the top of the general classification.

There was only one person who deserved to win the Tour and it was Nibali.

2. Rafal Majka

Majka was the eventual winner of the King of the Mountains classifications after being the most consistent climber as well as the winner of two stages.

For me Majka was the only person who climbed better than Nibali and he really made his mark on the race.

After coming sixth in the Giro d'Italia this year, a lot was expected of the Tinkoff-Saxo rider and he lived up to expectations. The departure of Alberto Contador meant Majka was allowed to dominate in the mountains and could try to win stages for himself.

The 24-year-old could certainly challenge Chris Froome or Nairo Quitana in the mountains next year and in my opinion he was by far the best climber in the race this year.

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3. Marcel Kittel

After winning four stages of the Tour de France last year including the Champs-Elysees, Kittel went into this race as the best sprinter alongside Mark Cavendish.

He proved once again that he really is the quickest sprinter in the world at the moment as he claimed another four stage wins including the final stage for a second year in a row.

Kittel was impressive throughout the Tour and if there was a bunch sprint at the end you always knew he would be somewhere at the front.

The German has so much more explosive power than the other sprinters and seems to generate a lot more speed. I think he rides similar to Andre Greipel.

Topics:
Cycling
Tour De France
Vincenzo Nibali

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