Fun fact: Paddy Bevin has been the most in-demand of our Tour de France team in regards to pre-race media requests and interest. It’s seems Kiwis are proudly backing the 26-year-old as he embarks upon his highest profile challenge yet. Here’s the first story out of New Zealand about Bevin’s Tour debut.
Taupo rider Patrick Bevin will become the 14th New Zealander to line-up in cycling’s most acclaimed race when the 105th Tour de France wheels into action in Germany on Sunday.
Bevin, who rides for the Cannondale-Drapac World Tour team, will line up with three other New Zealanders led by Tour of California winner George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors) and fellow debutant Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).
They will endure 21 stages over 3500kms initially from Dusseldorf in Germany, through Belgium to France before its celebrated conclusion in Paris on 23 July.
His call-up was not on his plans until Bevin rode brilliantly in the Tour of Switzerland, a key lead-up race for Le Tour, placing second in a sprint finish along with a fourth and sixth in sprint finishes in two other stages.
“Without The Tour hanging over my head, it had not been a huge bother but given the reception I have had especially from New Zealand which has been really big and has made me rethink how much of an achievement it is. It’s exciting. It is the biggest race we have and exciting to get my first start there.”