Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the conclusive stage of the 110th Tour de France in Paris/Champs-Elysées in a bunch gallop that saw Jasper Philipsen and Dylan Groenewegen rounding out the podium in a very tight finish. Jonas Vingegaard became the 14th twice winner of the Tour de France, the first to achieve the Critérium du Dauphiné-Tour de France double since Geraint Thomas in 2018. Tadej Pogacar attacked on the Champs-Elysées but remained second overall. The same two riders finishing first and second two years in a row didn’t happen since Bernard Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk in 1978-79. The same two riders in the first two places at the end three years running is a first in the history of the race.
CAMPENAERTS AND CICCONE CELEBRATE THEIR ACHIEVEMENT
The start proper of stage 21 was given to 150 riders at 16.38. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny) attacked from the gun with the consent of the peloton to celebrate his super combative award but he sat up quickly this time! After the traditional toasts and pictures, Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) crested the côte du pavé des Gardes (cat. 4), the only categorized climb of the day, in first position, cheered up by his team-mates Mads Pedersen and Mattias Skjelmose.
POGACAR ON THE ATTACK
In the real race, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) attacked with 49km remaining. It forced Nathan van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma) to catch him and Alpecin-Deceuninck to chase them down. The Slovenian won the intermediate sprint. A group of ten riders came across but it was all together again 33km before the end. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) and Frederik Frison (Lotto-Dstny) rode away with 30km to go. They got a maximum advantage of 20’’ with 20km remaining. It was bunched up again 10km before the end. The times were taken one lap before the finish as it started raining in Paris.
MEEUS, A PIECE FOR A MUSEEUM
Uno-X brought former Champs-Elysées winner Alexander Kristoff to the front. Cofidis also showed up in the first positions for Bryan Coquard with 3km to go. Alex Kirsch (Lidl-Trek) took the lead for Mads Pedersen. They were followed by Bora-Hansgrohe setting up the sprint for Jordi Meeus. Pogacar didn’t have enough racing as he passed the red flame of the last kilometre in first position while Vingegaard let himself distanced to celebrate with his team-mates as the times had been taken at bell lap due to the rain. Jonas Rickaert took the lead to pilot Philipsen to a second win in a row on the Champs-Elysées and a fifth on this Tour de France but his compatriot pipped him on the line in a tight finish that required watching the photo. Meeus was chosen by Bora-Hansgrohe to substitute Sam Bennett, the winner in Paris in 2020. He waited for his time to come. 6th in Bordeaux was his best result so far. This is his first Grand Tour victory in his first participation in the Tour de France.