We pay tribute to Alpecin-Fenix for their spectacular debut at Le Tour de France!
Looking back over the past three weeks in our photo essay we start with the emotional tribute paid to Raymond Poulidor. The special commemorative jersey revealed at the team presentation caught the imagination of the public, resulting in the team being invited to wear the iconic design during stage 1 of the race.
Stage 2 saw a first Tour de France stage win for Mathieu van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix, along with the capture of the yellow jersey which Mathieu dedicated to the memory of his late grandfather in an emotional interview after the stage. Stage 3 saw another victory, this time for Tim Merlier, and throughout the rest of the race, the team battled to contest the bunch sprints on flat stages.
Twenty-one days of exhilarating racing through two countries. 23 teams and 184 riders started in Brest, but only 141 completed the full distance of 3,414.4 km to arrive in Paris. These three weeks of racing in France have brought us two stage victories, six days in yellow, seven podium appearances and a lifetime of memories - Chapeau Alpecin-Fenix!
Merci Poupou! Alpecin-Fenix revives the classic retro kit of Mercier, first made famous by French cycling legend Raymond Poulidor, grandfather of Mathieu van der Poel.
Following the reveal of the retro design, the subsequent calls from the public for the team to race in the iconic kit meant a race against time to produce and deliver the special Brios road suit for Mathieu van der Poel to wear on stage 1.
Stage 2 brought an audacious manoeuvre on the Mûr-de-Bretagne from Mathieu van der Poel, who slipped away from the peloton towards the end of the race, achieving his and the team's first-ever victory at Le Tour de France.
The victory on stage 2 saw Mathieu take over the lead of the general classification, meaning he also got to wear the yellow jersey, something his grandfather never managed throughout his illustrious career.
Stage 3 brought yet more success for the team, Jasper Philipsen leading out former Belgian road race champion Tim Merlier for the win, adding victory in France to his Giro d'Italia stage win earlier this season.
Mathieu and the team successfully defended the yellow jersey for six days in total, including the first individual time trial, also showing off special edition yellow trim shorts and yellow bike from Canyon.
A common sight throughout the flat, "sprinter" stages of the race was Alpecin-Fenix riding on the front of the peloton, controlling the time gap to the breakaway, helping to set up a sprint finish for Jasper Philipsen.
Jasper Philipsen was able to reach the podium on several occasions, however, each time, there was in particular one other guy wearing green who was just a little bit faster.
When the race went into the mountains the team tactics evolved, here with super-domestique Jonas Rickaert and Swiss road race champion Silvan Dillier attacking.
Team celebrate completion of the Tour de France in Paris on the Champs-Élysées.