Sam Bennett claimed a well-deserved stage win in front of world champion Mads Pedersen and mega-star Peter Sagan on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, after he imposed himself in prestigious cities like Rome, Dubai and Istanbul at the end of other national Tours. The last winner of the conclusive stage with the green jersey was Mark Cavendish in 2011. Tadej Pogacar won his first Tour de France as well as the King of the Mountains competition and the best young rider prize.
VAN AVERMAET, PERICHON, SWIFT AND SCHACHMANN IN ACTION
146 riders started stage 21 in Mantes-la-Jolie with Tadej Pogacar in the yellow jersey for the first time of his career. It was time to celebrate for the Slovenians and UAE Team Emirates. As the peloton entered the final loops in Paris, Neilson Powless (EF) was first to attack. Following several skirmishes, four riders managed to go clear with 42km to go: Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis), Conor Swift (Arkéa-Samsic) and Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe). Behind them, Sam Bennett won the sprint of the peloton for the fifth place of the intermediate sprint. The winner of the beautiful stage on the Ré island had therefore mathematically secured the green jersey to become the first Irishman to do so since Sean Kelly in 1989.
REMI CAVAGNA BRIDGES THE GAP FOR SAM BENNETT
The leading quartet that had not much more than 20’’ lead stayed away until Swift got dropped with 7.5km to go, the other three being reeled in after a strong pull by Rémi Cavagna 4km before the end. Several teams including Sunweb and Lotto-Soudal geared up for the final sprint but Deceuninck-Quick Step had the best organisation to deliver a perfect bunch gallop for Bennett despite a strong acceleration by Trek-Segafredo for Pedersen on his last day of racing in the rainbow jersey. Bennett timed his effort really well to fend off his opponents and get the best victory of his career so far.