29/07/18 - 15:20
Finished
Houilles - Paris
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Tour de France • Stage21
avant-match

Houilles - Paris

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Highlights 
 
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19:00
18:20

The overall standings of the 2018 Tour de France with Dumoulin and Froome confirmed on the podium alongside winner Thomas.

18:15

Confirmation of the top ten today - and with those 10 points for eighth place, Peter Sagan will have a record green jersey points tally of 477.

18:10

The moment Alexander Kristoff ended his four-year Tour stage drought with victory on the most prestigious of places...

0km

It's Alexander Kristoff's first Tour stage win since 2014. The Norwegian went early and held off John Degenkolb and Arnaud Demare for the win. With Edvald Boasson Hagen, Max Richeze, Sonny Colbrellil and Christophe Laporte all just behind, with Peter Sagan a subdued figure further back.

0km

Choo choo! And it's all smiles as Geraint Thomas punches the air as he rides towards the finish line as the 2018 Tour champion.

0km

VICTORY FOR ALEXANDER KRISTOFF!

0.5km 

Lampaert has a good gap going onto the Concorde - but Trek drive the chase and he'll be caught...

1km

Groupama lead the chase behind as Lampaert zips clear. He drops Oss and the Belgian naitonal champion has a decent gap!

2km 

Daniel Oss and Yves Lampaert have opened up a small gap on the front as they approach the under pass before the Rivoli.

3km 

Groupama-FDJ have formed their train but the others seem to be freelancing. Sagan has some Bora team-mates but Kristoff is sticking to the green jersey while Colbrelli has lost his Bahrain Merida man. As we've passed 3-to-go, it's all safe for Thomas now - who will win this Tour even if he crashes...

5km 

It's all over for Politt so it's going to come down to a bunch sprint now...

7km 

The bell rings and we have one more lap! Politt has a small gap while the others have sat up...

9km 

Just six seconds now for the six-man break as they hit the Rue de Rivoli and approach the bell. Nils Politt has ridden clear for Katusha…

11km 

It’s Kevin Ledanois who’s with Alaphilippe – but the two riders will be caught imminently.

13km

A couple of riders are trying to bridge over - a rider from Fortuneo-Samsic and also Julian Alaphilippe!

14km

The only previous winner on the Champs-Elysees in today's peloton is... the Italian veteran Daniele Bennati, who won way back in 2007.

15km

If Laporte - or Thomas Boudat - wins then they will become the first Frenchman to triumph on the Champs-Elysees since Jean-Patrick Nazon in 2003. The gap is down to 22 seconds.

17km 

Cofidis have now made their presence known on the front as they start to chip in on the chase for Christophe Laporte, who you just know will finish second or third...

20km

Three more laps! The gap is down to 33 seconds.

17:44

Ah, Paris! The City of Lights - and a f***-off huge tower!

24km

Amazingly, Phinney is still there so he must have refused a bike change. Anyway, the gap is still around the 40-second mark. Back on the front of the pack it's Gaudu and Molard who are pacing for Groupama in a bid to pave the way for Demare's second win of the race.

26km 

Phinney is hanging on in there while receiving moving assistance to his saddle by his mechanic - not an easy job while riding at speed over the cobbles. After a while they realise that they're onto a hiding to nothing and the American stops for a bike change - and that will spell the end of his time out in this break, surely.

28km 

And six became five... Taylor Phinney has been tailed off by the break with some kind of mechanical issue.

30km

Still five more laps and the gap is up to 45 seconds for the six leaders. Groupama and Bora still control the chase. Who else could win today? Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb, Christophe Laporte and Sonny Colbrelli are the obvious choices on top of Arnaud Demare and Peter Sagan. I'd be amazed - AMAZED - if one of those six riders didn't win, but you never know.

 
35km

The gap is still only 30 seconds for this sextet out ahead, who are not being given any significant leeway. The intermediate sprint just there was won by Michael Schar ahead of Gaudin, Polott, Dillier, Van Keirsbulck and Phinney. When the pack passed through there were no points for any of the sprinters so that man Sagan will have to wait to the finish to add to his tally of 467 points. He needs four more to beat his record tally from 2015.

38km 

Great to see Taylor Phinney in the break: he crashed badly on Friday's final mountain stage and broke his nose and a bone in his cheek. The injury made it impossible for the American to fly up from the Basque Country yesterday, so Phinney had to drive to Paris with the EF Education First staff and mechanics.

42km

With six and a half laps remaining, Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Taylor Phinney (EF), Michael Schär (BMC), Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) have 23 seconds to play with. Peter Sagan's Bora team have sent four men onto the front to help Groupama-FDJ with the chasing: Sagan and Arnaud Demare are the stand-out favourites today.

45km

Here was Sylvain Chavanel passing through the finish line ahead of the eight circuits... a nice moment for him on his way out.

46km

That Cofidis rider has been reeled in by the Sky and Groupama-FDJ-led peloton. The gap is just 12 seconds for the six leaders. There have only ever been three breakaway wins on the Champs-Elysees with the last coming in 2005 through Alexandre Vinokourov. But with so many sprinters not making it to Paris this year, perhaps there's a high chance that we'll see this finish going a bit off-script.

48km

We have three more riders on the front now with Guillaume van Keirsbulck (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and Michael Schar (BMC) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) joining the original three. There's a Cofidis rider trying to bridge over, too.

50km 

Mechanical for Niki Terpstra, who needs a bike change. Earlier, his Quick-Step team-mate Julian Alaphilippe picked up a puncture just before the racing got under way.

52km

We have three riders out ahead: Silvan Dillier (Ag2R-La Mondiale, Taylor Phinney (EF Education First) and Damian Gaudin (Direct Energie).

55km

Sylvain Chavanel leads the peloton over the finish line - and the racing is now on: eight laps and 55km remaining before we find out who wins this final stage of the race...

 
 
60km

That's a nice touch: Sky and the peloton let Sylvain Chavanel ride ahead of the pack as the riders approach the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees in pole position. The 39-year-old Frenchman is riding his 18th and last Tour - having spent more than a year of his life on the world's biggest bike race.

65km
70km

With the riders edging past the Palace of Versailles, it's time to remind you of the breakdown of stage wins. Only 11 from 22 teams picked up stage wins in this year's race: Quick-Step Floors (four); Bora-Hansgrohe/Peter Sagan and LottoNL-Jumbo (three); Team Sky and Astana (two); BMC, UAE Team Emirates, Movistar, Groupama0FDJ, Team Sunweb and Trek-Segafredo (one). Can another team get in on the act today? If so then we'd have to see a win for Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) or Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida) - or perhaps Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie).

 
16:40
80.5km

But it was just a bluff! Froome was zipping ahead to have a chat with the race director to ask him about the plan for the laps - when the time will be taken for GC, that kind of stuff. Nice to see them being cordial. Remember - Prudhomme and ASO initially banned Froome from riding this race until the UCI threw out his case.

81km

Uh oh, maybe this race isn't over after all... we've had a Colle delle Finestre-style attack from a certain you know who!

82km

It's the second time this year that a Grand Tour podium features both Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin. Both failed in their attempts at the double but Froome was arguably closer given his victory in the first of two tests. But overall, who impressed you more?

85km

The racing has yet to get going as the procession continues towards Paris - although the pace is now much higher as Chris Froome comes to the front to do some pace-setting duties for Team Sky as domestique. It's not a role he's familiar with but his conduct in this Tour has been impeccable. It can't have been easy to go from top dog to Plan B but he's rolled up his sleeves and got on with it. After all, it was always a big ask for Froome to win a record-equalling fifth Tour this July - especially after his Giro win, the Grand Slam and the cloud over his salbutamol AAF hanging over his head. And I don't know about you, but I found the hug between Froome and Thomas after yesterday's stage very touching and extremely genuine.

90km

Meanwhile, the Movistar team may have disappointed with their much-vaunted leading trio of Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde, but they did win the team classification by 12'09" on Bahrain Merida. Although it may have been very different had Vincenzo Nibali not crashed out when in fourth place at Alpe d'Huez...

92km

Ireland's Dan Martin - who won the stage to Mur-de-Bretagne - was voted the most combative rider of the race after his series of attacks in the mountains. That means the UAE Team Emirates rider gets to wear the red bib number on the last day of the race...

95km

Here are three of those aforementioned riders: Sagan and Alaphilippe in discussion, with Latour just behind.

100km

In the other competitions, Slokavian world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will win the green jersey for a record-equalling six times and needs only three points to beat his record tally of points from 2015. Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) has won the polka dot jersey competition after his solid performances in the mountains, including stage wins in both the Alps and Pyrenees. And another Frenchman, Pierre Latour (Ag2R-La Mondiale), won the white jersey youth standings.

102km

Things may change a little today if there are splits towards the end, but as things stand, Thomas is 1'51" clear of Tom Dumoulin and 2'24" clear of team-mate Froome on GC. Those three will be on the podium while LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk complete the top five. Movistar duo Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana both dropped a spot yesterday but stay in the top ten alongside Romain Bardet, Dan Martin and Ilnur Zakarin.

 
 
 
 
105km 

I'll run through all the classifications and winners. But first up, some pictures of the winner himself and his celebrating team-mates...

110km

So, there are 145 riders who will roll into Paris and - hopefully - complete this Tour, with 31 riders having withdrawn since the start three weeks ago back in the Vendee.

115km

They're off! Although they're not really, are they? For this stage always takes some time to get going - and the first hour or so always includes celebrations, joshing around, photo posing, champagne quaffing and other malarkey...

15:25

Here's the official profile of today's final stage, which finishes with eight laps of the city-centre course in Paris - held largely on the world-famous Champs-Elysees.

Stage 21
15:20

Scenes at the start ahead of the neutralised start of this final stage...

15:15

If you've been asleep for the past 24 hours then here's the skinny: Geraint Thomas ensured that he would ride into Paris today as winner of the 2018 Tour de France after finishing third in the decisive final time trial behind Stage 20 winner Tom Dumoulin and team-mate Chris Froome. Resplendent in his yellow skinsuit, Team Sky’s Thomas set the best time at the two intermediate time checks before easing up on the final third to finish 14 seconds down on the world time trial champion Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), with Froome finishing one second back to secure the final spot on the podium. Read all about it here...

15:10

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Stage 21 of the Tour de France - the champagne-and-celebrations processional ride from Houilles to Paris, which will culminate in the annual prestigious bunch sprint on the Champs-Elysees and the crowning of Geraint Thomas as the winner of the 105th edition of the Grande Boucle.