Procycling - - Debrief -

He might be 38 years old, but Syl­vain Chavanel is still churn­ing out con­sis­tent results and oc­ca­sional wins for Di­rect Energie. The French vet­eran was 25th over­all at the Tour, which was less a sign of a GC chal­lenge than his reg­u­lar­ity. (One of his quirks this year was that he was a con­stant pres­ence in the first third of the bunch – he fin­ished in the top 50 of ev­ery Tour stage ex­cept two, one of which was Paris. This doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily sug­gest he was close to a win, but he ob­vi­ously got through the race with­out prob­lems in an event which in­vari­ably mag­ni­fies weak­ness.) Chavanel’s only win of 2017 has been a stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk, but he was ninth in the Tour of Flan­ders, which demon­strates his strength and ex­pe­ri­ence. If he car­ries on and com­petes in the Tour next year, he’ll be­come the out­right record holder for starts in the race, with 18.

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