This has to be one of the best photos of the 2013 Tour: Nairo Quintana at the finish on the Ventoux. Nairo gives very little away when he climbs but as he crossed the line his head dropped and the lights went out. He later admitted having gone too early again. Before that, on the slopes of the Giant of Provence, he knew he was going to win. Then he was caught, then dropped, then he regained Froome’s wheel. Finally he was dropped a second time, towards the summit. There was no fighting back to Froome’s wheel, only the need to race on, as fast as possible.
His soigneur drapes a fresh long sleeve jersey on his shoulders, a bottle of pink spanish recovery fluid awaits. Nairo’s left hand lies open by his leg. His head hangs with exhaustion and disappointment. This soigneur has to do his magic now as Quintana has left it all on the Ventoux.