He made his winner’s speech after the finish of the time trial yesterday and all Alberto Contador really had to do to ensure he was the winner of the 2010 Tour was finish the final stage. He rolled across the line with his arms aloft in 81st place. He is the champion of the Tour de France for the third time!
Four wins in 2008, six in 2009 and five in 2010 - Mark Cavendish is the best sprinter in the Tour. The top 10 in stage 20 is: 1. Mark Cavendish (GBR) THR 2. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) LAM 3. Julian Dean (NZL) GRM 4. Jurgen Roelandts (BEL) OLO 5. Oscar Freire (ESP) RAB 6. Gerald Ciolek (GER) MRM 7. Thor Hushovd (NOR) CTT 8. Matti Breschel (DEN) SAX 9. Robbie McEwen (AUS) KAT 10. Daniel Oss (ITA) LIQ
Alessandro Petacchi has become only the second Italian rider to win the green jersey at the Tour de France. He was second in the stage and Hushovd was seventh. Cavendish easily won the sprint - again by several bike lengths - but as he reminded us after his victory in stage 18 he "lost the green jersey in stage one".
Cavendish has won the final stage of the Tour for a second successive year. He has beated Petacchi and Dean to claim his fifth stage win this year.
Around the last turn and the sprint is due to begin. Cavendish is poised to strike... but Hushovd is in prime position...
There are three Sky guys at the front of the pack as they race towards the Flamme Rouge. It’s reminiscent of what Garmin did in the finale of the last stage in 2009 but now Lampre has put two riders on the front.
The bunch is inside the final 3km and all the riders are together. Sky has numbers but a Quickstep rider - Barredo? - is attacking now.
There are three Cervelo riders ahead of Hushovd and one behind him. They are moving up to the right of the lead-out that’s being controlled by the HTC team but Sky has also put it’s lead-out train on the track to the Rue de Rivoli...
The bunch is all together for the final 5km of the race. HTC-Colombia has put three men on the front, followed by two from Sky and four from Lampre. Turgot (ALM) has just returned to the peloton after his puncture.
The Lampre team is now in charge of the peloton. They have pulled back the escapees with 5.5km to go.
There are just 6.5km to go in the 2010 Tour. Knees, Kroon and Sorensen lead the peloton by 8". Casar and Pauriol are ahead of the bunch by just 4".
Casar and Pauriol are still trying to bridge to the three leaders but the rest of the escapees have been swallowed up by the hungry peloton.
There is now a rider from the Liquigas team getting in amongst the action at the front of the peloton. Are they looking to try and set Daniel Oss up for a crack at the sprint...?
Kroon, Knees and Nicki Sorensen are swapping off well at the front while eight others linger 5" behind. The peloton is 18" behind the stage leaders.
Turgot, the sprinter from the AG2R team, has had to stop for a mechanic to give him a new wheel after a puncture.
Kroon has caught Knees and Sorensen and this trio is now 19" ahead of the peloton that continues to be led by HTC-Columbia and Katusha riders.
The 10 other escapees did briefly chase down Knees but the German champion has attacked again. He was 21st overall last year. Knees has been chased down by Sorensen (SAX) and the pair have a lead of about 16" on the peloton with 10km to go.
Knees has upped the pace at the front of the stage. He is marked by Kroon and their lead is 16".
The peloton has to missions at the moment: one group that wants to set things up for a bunch sprint at the finish and another group that wants to keep the GC leaders safe. There are just two laps of the Champs-Elysées to go before the 2010 Tour de France is finished.
The Saxo Bank squad is up near the head of the main pack but the pace of the chase is still being done by the sprint teams. The escapees are still working well together at the front although the runner-up yesterday (Martin) is not doing any work. The advantage of the escape is 22".
The Lampre team has Hondo in the escape but none of Petacchi mates have yet done a turn of pace at the front of the peloton since the break formed. There are, however, a couple of pink and blue jerseys now moving forward and it looks like the lead-out train is about to be put on the rails...
As the peloton comes out of the tunnel the 11 escapees have passed under the structure used to signal the 1km to go mark. Cummings (SKY) is swapping off with Kolobnev (KAT) and Pliushin (KAT) at the front of the bunch that’s 21" behind.
The escapees are holding on to their advantage. They are 24" ahead of the peloton with 22km to go.
The peloton is led by three teams: HTC-Columbia, Team Sky and one rider form the Katusha team.
The points for the 2nd intermediate sprint were won by: 1. Karsten Kroon (BMC) 6pts 2. Sandy Casar (FDJ) 4pts 3. Christian Knees (MRM) 2pt Their 11-man breakaway was 22" ahead of the peloton at the 25km to go sign.
The peloton is 25" behind as it cross the line to be used for the finish for the fifth time. The leaders are about to contest the second intermediate sprint of the stage (with 25km to go).
The peloton is 25" behind the 11 escapees but there are two teams trying to bring them back to set up a sprint. HTC-Columbia has several riders leading the bunch but Flecha for Sky is also in the mix and swapping off with the team-mates of Cavendish.
Of the 11 in the lead of the 20th stage, four have previously won a stage of the Tour. They are: Nicki Sorensen (SAX), Sandy Casar (FDJ), Karsten Kroon (BMC) and Christophe Riblon (ALM).
the 2008 Tour champion had just seven days of racing between the Tour of 2009 and the Giro d’Italia but he arrived ready to compete in Rotterdam three weeks ago. He never got higher up the general classification than 12th (after stage eight). When the race was in the mountains, though, he was still prepared to animate the action. He attacked on the stage to the Tourmalet, just after Samuel Sanchez had crashed, but it was ultimately futile - other than to say: I’m still in the race!
The 11 leaders are 21" ahead of the bunch as it crosses the finish line for the fourth time. There are 33km to go in the stage.
The 11 escapees are now 18" ahead of the peloton.
There are now three men from HTC at the front of the bunch. The riders in the lead are:
Nicki Sorensen (SAX)
Sandy Casar and Anthony Roux (FDJ)
Christophe Riblon (ALM)
Tony Martin (THR)
Karsten Kroon (BMC)
Christian Knees (MRM)
Remi Pauriol (COF)
Alan Perez Lezaun (EUS)
Danilo Hondo (LAM)
Ruben Perez Arrieta (FOT)
Roux has been chased down by the 10 other escapees. The 11-man breakaway is now 15" ahead of the peloton that’s led by two HTC-Columbia riders.
From the group of 11, Anthony Roux has jumped ahead on his own. He has: Sorensen (SAX), Casar (FDJ), Riblon (ALM), Martin (THR), Kroon (BMC), Knees (MRM), Pauriol (COF), Perez Laudun (EUS), Hondo (LAM) and Perez Arrieta (FOT) in pursuit.
There is less than an hour of racing to go in the 2010 Tour. We’ll stop our review of the riders on LeTour.fr now and focus on the race that’s going on - and we can report that 11 men are now ahead of the peloton by 8".
This is to be the last day of racing for the leader of the RadioShack team. He will return to the podium at the end of the stage to collect the prize along with his team-mates for winning the team classification in the 2010 Tour. It’s the second time that he’s been on a team that’s won this prize.
The Boss was back in the bunch again this year and this time he experienced misfortune. In the stage to Morzine-Avoriaz, he crashed early but got back on the bike… only to crash again twice before the finish. He lost over 10 minutes on the second day in the mountains and declared his race for the title was “over”. But he found the inspiration to go on the attack again later in the Tour. On the road to Pau he put himself in an escape group and finished sixth… (Continued.)
He’s won the title seven times and Lance Armstrong had little more to proof about his cycling panache after the 2005 race when he declared that he was officially retired. Then, at the end of 2008 he announced his comeback. He finished third in the Tour last year and helped his team at the time, Astana win the TTT in Montpellier. (Continued…)
The points for the first sprint were won by: 1. Aliaksandr Kuchynski (LIQ) 6pts 2. Marcus Burghardt (BMC) 4pts 3. Ruben Perez Moreno (EUS) 2pts
Kuchynski has been caught by the peloton which is led by BMC’s Marcus Burghardt.
The stage is led by Kuchynski who is 13" ahead as he approaches the first intermediate sprint.
Kuchynski, Pliuschin, Riblon, Perez Moreno, Tjallingii, Auge are the riders in the lead of the stage.
There is a group of six riders who have a slight advantage on the peloton at the 54km mark. They are on the Rue de Rivoli right now and have an advantage of about 100m.
After puncturing just as the pace of the peloton picked up, George Hincapie (BMC) has returned to the bunch after a chase of about 4km.
When he first took the lead of the general classification, Sylvain Chavanel was the only rider who raced through to the finish in Spa. The rest of the peloton rolled to the line together – without contesting the sprint for second place – because it was showing “solidarity” after numerous riders crashed on the descent of a wet climb. Chavanel has been awarded the ‘Super Combative’ title for the second time in three years. Bravo Sylvain!
There was an attack group of eight with a very small advantage on the peloton but the bunch has caught them again before the end of the first lap.
He won stage two, took the yellow jersey and the lead of the points classification… Chavanel’s first day in the yellow jersey ended with a sequence of flat tires on the cobbled roads of stage three. He was frustrated but not yet finished with. He attacked again in stage seven and helped Jerome Pineau take extra points for the polka-dot jersey and then surged again on the final climb. He arrived at the finish with sufficient time gains to reclaim the yellow jersey.
The ‘Super Combative’ rider from the 2008 Tour was up to his usual attacking antics in 2010. He can’t resist the temptation to try his luck and as early as stage to he set off again. Usually his missions accomplish little other than bringing fatigue to the legs sooner than those seeking shelter in the peloton but Chavanel is an old-school cyclist who loves to race. And this year he netted big rewards for his aggression.
The Australian coined the phrase “bleeding carrots” – a term that he used to describe the Euskaltel team in the first week. “The only thing I couldn’t understand about the race,” he told LeTour.fr, “is that you could be riding along on a nondescript section of road, and there they’d be lying on the ground like a bleeding carrot. Often they would crash but they seemed to do it again to make sure that their wounds didn’t heal…”
Expect the pace to pick up now. The Astana squad has led the peloton over the line that will be used for the finish of the stage in 50km... as it does so, Hincapie (BMC) has punctured.
The winner of the climbing classification at this year’s Giro d’Italia is about to finish his second Tour. He learned to walk again after a crash in the Amstel Gold Race in 2009 when he fractured five vertebrae, but then recovered and “learned to love the bike again”. He was a valuable help for Jurgen van den Broeck who is the first Belgian to finish in the top five of the Tour in 25 years.
As is tradition, the team of the race leader is at the front of the bunch as it arrives for the finishing circuits. Once the peloton crosses the line for the first time, we should see the Lampre, HTC-Columbia and Cervelo teams shift into overdrive because the green jersey has not yet been decided.
The Footon-Servetto team has just one rider on the whole roster that had ridden the Tour before 2010. Still, it received an invitation to participate and on the first day in the mountains we saw an impressive attack from Rafael Valls Ferri on the approach to Station des Rousses. Sylvain Chavanel had already bolted ahead but the young Spaniard proved that he is a rider for the future. He finished second after a stunning ride over the climbs of the Jura.
The bunch is about to arrive on the Champs-Elysées. There are then eight laps of the 7km circuit before the finish. The forecast rain is holding of and the clock will keep on ticking until the finish - which would not have been the case had it been wet for the peloton’s arrival (as the jury would have taken the time for general classification on the first crossing of the line on the Champs-Elysées).
The bunch is about to arrive in Paris. It is at the 39.5km mark, near where the headquarter of race organisers ASO are based.
Caisse d’Epargne was forced to put a different plan of action into effect for the 2010 Tour after its leader Alejandro Valverde was suspended from racing a month before the start. LL Sanchez is ranked 11th overall and the team’s sprinter Jose Rojas is fourth in the points classification thanks to consistent sprinting. He was in the top 8 in seven stages but victory still eludes the Spaniard who is about to finish his second Tour.
He won the French championship on the Sunday before the Tour and promptly set about showing off his tricolor jersey as often as he could. The ambitious rider always animates the action and it was no different in this year’s race. He has worn the yellow and white jerseys before and won a stage in Perpignan in 2009. This year he was the winner of the stage to Bagnere-de-Luchon thanks to a wonderful attack on the preceding climbs.
During the course of the live coverage on LeTour.fr most riders receive at least one mention at one time or another. There have been a few rare exceptions and, in 2010, the Katusha rider Eduard Vorganov has been duly doing his domestique duties… but he’s remained un-named on LeTour.fr’s live call – until now. Happy to see you in the coverage Eduard.
As part of a team with high hopes for a good result in the general classification, this versatile Spaniard became part of the crew chasing consolation. He was an asset for Wiggins on the cobbles of stage three, the stomping ground of Flecha each April, and helped Boasson Hagen in the lead-out for sprints. He put himself in escapes and was always prepared to follow team direction. Wiggins may not have delivered what Sky had hoped for but Flecha was part of an exciting time for the British team.
Several riders are pulling over to the side of the road to answer the call of nature. They are in Chatenay Malabry, the suburb where an anti-laboratory is based.
He won the torturous third stage – over the pavé and in the dust of the race to Wallers Arenberg – and put himself in the green jersey that he’s already won twice before. He then led the points classification for 11 days, swapping green regularly with Petacchi. The Norwegian is still the win in the sprinters’ prize. He has won on the Champs-Elysées before (2006) and another such success would nudge him ahead of his Italian rival in the points rankings.
This year saw a record number of Australian starters in the Tour - 11. Two broke bones and had to abandon - Adam Hansen who quit after stage one and Simon Gerrans abandoned with a nasty elbow facture. Mark Renshaw was evicted in Gap. The eight remaining Aussies have just gathered in the peloton for a photo session. They are: Stuart O’Grady (SAX), Wes Sulzberger (FDJ), Brett Lancaster (CTT), Matt Lloyd (OLO), Michael Roger (THR), Cadel Evans (BMC), Luke Robert (MRM) and Robbie McEwen (KAT).
The bunch continues to idle along to Paris. It is at the 25km mark after almost an hour of racing...
In his first Tour, this Frenchman put himself in the thick of the action in sprint stages. Although he doesn’t yet have the kick to take on the likes of Cavendish and Petacchi, he was consistent. For three days in a row he was sixth – in Reims, Montargis and Gueugnon – and for all but three days he was in the top 10 of the points classification. Turgot may not be a name many are familiar with but the 25-year-old gives France some hope for sprint stages in the future.
After the quick-fix upon replacing his jersey, the numbers of the seven-time - soon-to-be-retired (again) - Tour champion were put on all askew before the start today. Craig Geater of the RadioShack team has just leaned out of the window of the car to remedy the crooked numbers on Lance Armstrong’s jersey.
The peloton is being led by several Rabobank riders as they reach Vauhallen at the 19km mark of today’s short stage to Paris.
In his Tour debut, the Lithuanian time trial specialist was a regular animator of stages – be it as a member of an escape, a lead-out man for Thor Hushovd, or a super-domestique for Carlos Sastre. During the stage to the col du Tourmalet, he was prepared to go on the attack early and then wait for Sastre after the 2008 Tour champion who countered half an hour later. Konovalovas may be well down the rankings but he’s a class act, with poise on the bike and an attitude team-mates would relish.
The German time trial sensation was second in the prologue and second again yesterday. In Rotterdam he had to wait almost all day to find out if he would win his first stage of the Tour – from two starts – but on both occasions the triple time trial world champion, Fabian Cancellara would relegate him to second place. Martin admits he suffered terribly fatigue in the third week but he’s sure to be on the front of the bunch in Paris working for a fifth stage win for Mark Cavendish.
He has contested every Tour since 1997 and crashed out twice with broken bones but ‘The Freckle’ is a survivor. The winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2007 was a key ally of Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara during their time in the yellow jersey and a super-domestique for the Saxo Bank squad. He can ride on the front of the peloton for hour after hour to limit the gains of escapees and his tactical sense is an asset. His sprinting days may be over, but hopefully he’ll ride a 15th Tour in 2011.
He won the first stage in Brussels after several main rivals were caught up in crashes in the final 3km but Alessandro Petacchi backed up his initial success with another victory two days later when Hushovd, Farrar, McEwen, Cavendish – and all the other sprints specialists were there. In 2003, when he last rode the Tour, he abandoned during stage seven while in the green jersey, something he regrets to this day. He insisted he wanted to make it to Paris this time. He’s about to do just that...!
Andy Schleck has stopped to swap his bike around the 10km mark of the 20th stage.
Twice this year, the only New Zealander in the Tour has finished second in a stage (in Reims, and Bordeaux). He was original put into the Garmin-Transitions line-up to fulfill the role of lead-out man, a job he did with great effect in the past while on the team of Thor Hushovd. Now he is the key man for Tyler Farrar who broke an arm early in the Tour and survived 10 more stages before finally succumbing… then Julian went for the sprints himself.
If the peloton contested the 3,539.4km raced before today in the 2010 Tour de France at one time, the distance between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck after 19 stages and a prologue would have been 429.49 meters. That’s what 39 seconds equates to after 89 hours 16 minutes and 27 seconds of racing.
In his first Tour he won the stage on the opening day. Millar is one of the senior statesmen of the peloton, an articulate speaker in a variety of languages. He is a cosmopolitan character, who is now an outspoken anti-doping ambassador – admitting that error of his ways earlier in his career was “stupid”. The TT specialist was 17th in the penultimate stage and a survivor on a team that lost three riders during the course of the race because of accidents in the first week.
The race leader, Alberto Contador has come to the front of the peloton to raise a glass of champagne and toast their success. Later today the defending champion will be awarded the winner’s trophy for a third time from four starts.
Robbie was fourth in five stages this year and is always present in the sprints even in his twilight years… well done Aussie!
The three-time points classification winner (2002, 2004 and 2006) is about to complete his 12th Tour de France. He has 12 stage wins to his name already at the Tour, the most recent being stage one of the 2007 race. This year he was injured in a nasty crash in stage two, and essentially struggled all the way through the Alps and Pyrenees to make sure that he’s still in the race for the finish in Paris where he has twice won the stage.
He was ranked last in the general classification several times during the 2010 Tour but Bert Grabsch was often seen on the front of the peloton. The 2008 time trial world champion was a key man for Mark Cavendish, as he set the pace of the peloton once an escape had been established and four times before today his efforts have helped his team leader earn a stage win. “Grabschie is a machine,” says team-mate Bernhard Eisel. “When he’s on the front any breakaway should be afraid.”
Adriano Malori (LAM) is the rider ranked last in the general classification – four hours 26 minutes and 26 seconds behind Alberto Contador. If the 3,539.4km were raced all at once, the difference between the first and last rider would the 176.05km. Malori will be the first Italian since Rodolfo Massi to be the ‘Lanterne Rouge’ at the Tour de France.
During the early phase of the 20th stage, when the riders are likely to race at a tranquil pace, the editors of LeTour.fr will post a review of a selection of riders and offer a comment on their contribution to the 97th edition of the Tour. We will go from the last rider on the general classification – ie. the ‘Lanterne Rouge’ – and work our way through the result sheet. Obviously, every rider in the race has contributed to animating the action and we salute the 170 who have made it to Paris.
The two intermediate sprints for the 20th stage are both on the Champs-Elysées. The first is at the 58km mark (on the 2nd lap of the finishing circuit), the second at 77.5km (on the 5th lap).
This is the shortest road stage since the abbreviated ninth stage of the 1996 Tour. That was just 46km long but was cut short because of weather conditions (ie. snow covered the passes that were meant to be raced). The shortest road stage (ie. not a time trial) before today was in 1988, when the itinerary had the bunch riding 93.5km from Ruelle sur Touvre to Limoges.
The RadioShack team has won the team prize in its first start in the Tour. With Chris Horner in 10th overall, Levi Leipheimer 13th and Andreas Kloden 14th, the squad is the most consistent in the 97th Tour. It will be the second time that Lance Armstrong has stood alongside his team-mates on the Parisian podium, following Astana’s success in the first year of his comeback, 2009. RadioShack leads Caisse d’Epargne by 9’15” in the team rankings while third is held by Rabobank, at 27’49”.
Lance Armstrong’s numbers have been pinned on in such a rush that they’re flapping in the wind like a first-year juvenile rider might start their first race. He is yet to arrive at the site of the official start but he has Popovych alongside for assistance should the peloton decide to start racing.
The official start time of stage 20 is 2.58pm. There was a mock attack from an Astana rider at the front of the bunch but Armstrong is the center of attention as a lady helps him pin on his race numbers.
The official start his going to be called while Lance Armstrong is riding without the regulation outfit.
The stunt continues to gain exposure for the winning team. The whole bunch has to come to a halt but the race jury has said that racing will commence in "one minute". Lance Armstrong has changed his jersey but now he needs some race numbers to pin to the back...
Andy Schleck is destined for the podium in Paris for the third time from three starts in the Tour de France. He won the white jersey when he was 11th overall in 2008, and again in 2009 when he was second to Alberto Contador (by 4’11”). This year he won two stages and led the general classification for six days and is second overall again, this just just 39” behind Contador. The Luxembourger is the second rider to win the youth classification three times.
Lance Armstrong has his red RadioShack jersey on, but it’s over the black one with "28" on the back. He is yet to swap the race numbers and he’s riding along while team-mates are changing their ’dossards’. The start of Lance’s last day of competition is beginning with controversy...
Anthony Charteau is going to be the first French winner of the climbing classification since Richard Virenque in 2004. The Bbox Bouygues Telecom rider is ranked 44th overall, 1h24’12” behond Alberto Contador but his advantage over compatriot Christophe Moreau – the oldest rider in the 2010 Tour – in the race for the polka-dot jersey is 143pts to 128. The only others with more than 100 points are Schleck (116pts) and Contador (112pts).
The peloton is sauntering to the site of the official start. The reason for the late start is RadioShack’s antics... a publicity stunt was conducted and now the riders have to remove their special-edition black jerseys, remove their race numbers and do a road-side swap with their official jerseys. The riders are now sitting in the gutter doing what the rule book says they should have done all along.
If Petacchi wins the green jersey, he’ll be only the second Italian to do so since Franco Bitossi in 1968.
The green jersey is the only one of the four prize jerseys that is yet to be decided. The battle is essentially between three men: the current leader Alessandro Petacchi (213pts), Thor Hushovd (203pts) and the quadruple stage winner Mark Cavendish (197pts). It would take a strange scenario for the Brit to win the green jersey that he has not worn at all in 2010, but he is within striking distance and the real favorite for the final stage.
The UCI commissaire has announced that RadioShack MUST change their jerseys and wear the official race number. If they do not swap their black tops for the red ones, they will not be allowed to start the race. It’s a gesture for a charity but now all riders have to wait for the change over because of this publicity stunt.
The special black jerseys that are being worn by RadioShack riders will only be used in the neutral zone. The UCI has insisted that the nine riders who are leading the team classification must swap the black jerseys for the traditional red colors otherwise they won’t be allowed to start.
One of the reasons for the peloton leaving the ’depart fictif’ six minutes later than scheduled is because the RadioShack riders have decided to race today’s stage in kit that is different to their official colours.
The 27-year-old Spaniard, Alberto Contador, is about to win the Tour de France for the third time. He has a lead of 39 second over Andy Schleck in the general classification, the fifth closest in Tour history. The Astana rider won the second Tour he contested (2007) and was first again in his next appearance (2009). He joins Greg LeMond (USA), Louison Bobet (FRA) and Philippe Thys (BEL) as a three-time champion of the world’s biggest bike race.
While the bunch makes its way through the neutral zone, the four riders in the four prize jerseys are at the front. Alberto is talking to Alessandro and Andy chats with Anthony... before the race begins, we’ll start our review of the various prize categories in the Tour de France.
The peloton has begun riding to the site of the official start. There are huge crowds in Longjumeau and even bigger ones already lining the 7km finishing circuit in Paris.
Riders from the squad at the top of the team rankings, RadioShack, are wearing black jerseys for today’s stage. There is a large number "28" - which represents the 28 million people living with cancer.
Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador are on the front row of the peloton as it awaits starters orders in Longjumeau. There is a 5.2km neutral zone fore the race will start. This is expected to be at around 2.42pm. Contador has a full yellow frame, yellow cranks, yellow pedals, yellow bar tape, yellow seat post, yellow saddle... oh, and a yellow jersey.
The temperature for the start of the 20th stage is around 22 degrees Celsius. There is cloud cover over Paris but it’s dry for the moment. The weather bureau is forecasting rain and temperatures of around 24 degrees.
As we wait for the riders to start rolling the publicity caravan has arrived on the streets of Paris. It is driving around the 7km circuit at the finish which riders will race around eight times today.
The final stage of the 97th Tour de France is sheduled to start at 2.30pm. This is the shortest road stage (ie. not a time trial) of the Tour since 1996 at just 102.5km. Riding from Longjumeau to Paris, the peloton is sure to start at a tranquil pace before arriving on the streets of the French capital at the 41.5km mark (around 3.40pm). Live coverage of the race will commence shortly.