The 100th Tour de France requires a fitting finale and the city of lights will be lit up for an evening showdown for the sprinters for a stage that begins at 5.45pm and is expected to conclude at around 9.30pm. The race from Versailles to Paris is 133.5km long and features 10 laps of a circuit up and down the Champs-Elysées. The traditional circuit features an innovation never before done since the race first concluded on this famous avenue in 1975: instead of turning in front of the Arc de Triomphe, the peloton will race around the Place de Etoile.
The big questions about the result of the 2013 Tour de France have already been answered. All Chris Froome, Peter Sagan and Nairo Quintana have to do to win their respective prize jerseys – yellow for the Brit from Sky, green for the Slovakian from Cannondale, and white and polka-dots for the Colombian from Movistar – is finish the stage.
These results had been confirmed by the end of stage 20 but it was only the last climb that finalised the podium: first is Froome, second is Quintana, and third is the runner-up in Annecy Semnoz, Joaquim Rodriguez.
The one answer left is: who will win the final stage?
If we consider the events of the Parisian stages of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 then the favourite's name is conjured. Mark Cavendish is seeking a fifth successive victory on the Champs-Elysées. He's already won two stages in the 2013 race but his speciality is the sprint across the Place de la Concorde behind a committed lead-out train and into the wind once the peloton rushes around the final turn of the 3,404km race.
The winners of the sprint stages in 2013 are: Marcel Kittel, Simon Gerrans, André Greipel, Peter Sagan and Cavendish... they are all still in the race. Just because ‘Cav' has won the final stage so often, it doesn't mean the others will hand it to him without a challenge – but it would be hard to nominate a greater favourite.