Bloodied, beaten but on the podium after all

Rider Chris Anker Sørensen named Tour de France’s most combative after continuing race despite nearly severing fingers

Chris Anker Sørensen was hoping that when the Tour de France reached the finish line in Paris tomorrow, he would be wearing red polka dots. And while red will be the colour the rider will claim tomorrow during the three-week race’s closing ceremony, it was red blood spatters that helped him secure the combativeness award as the most aggressive.

Despite nearly losing two fingers when his hand got stuck in his wheel during Thursday’s stage, Sørensen not only finished that stage, but continued in the race. 

Sørensen's dreams of polka dots ended in a spatter of blood (Photo: Scanpix)

During today’s time trial, the second-to-last stage, he maintained his 14th placing overall and his third placing in the climbing competition.

Sørensen took part in breakaways in the Alps and in the Pyrenees, but the award comes as something of a surprise, as he was never awarded a stage combativity title nor won a stage.

Other riders, including fellow Team Saxo-Bank Tinkoff Bank rider Michael Mørkøv, had been more overtly aggressive, but the panel awarding the recognition said told team owner Bjarne Riis that the 27-year-old had “done his part to help make the race what it was”. 

“And they were also impressed that he continued after his accident. They wanted to reward the team for their teamwork,” Riis said.

Sørensen himself told the press that credit for the award, which carries a €20,000 purse with it, went to the team. 

“This is something we can be proud of and we fully deserve to be able to show our colours on the podium in Paris.”