28/07/19 - 17:10
Rambouillet - Paris
Tour de France • Stage21

Rambouillet - Paris

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Thanks for joining me pretty much every day for this live Tour de France blog - and what a race it was. Be sure to return in a month's time for the Vuelta a Espana, where we'll go again... Merci et adieu!


Ewan took the win ahead of Groenewegen and Bonifazio there - with Sagan and Viviani nowhere to be seen.


Egan Bernal wins the Tour de France! The Colombian crosses the line next to Geraint Thomas to secure the one-two for Ineos.


Victory for Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal! It's three and easy for the Australian who zips along the left by the barriers to finish his debut Tour in style.


Boasson Hagen goes for a long one!


Under the flamme rouge and it's Lotto and QuickStep for Ewan and Viviani. Sagan is edging up, as is Groenewegen - but like Viviani, they will have to come from deep.


Colbrelli is back up there and Trentin, for Mitchelton-Scott, is near the front as QuickStep take it up.


Van Avermaet is reeled in before the Arc de Triomphe.


Matthews has a Sunweb teammate pacing him back but he surely won't make it - well, he's on the back now, but surely he still has too much ground to make up. With Cees Bol out, Sunweb may have to go for Nikias Arndt today.


Attack from Greg van Avermaet of CCC! The Olympic champion is going for a long one but, well, good luck with that one, Greg...


The bell sounds and we're onto the last lap! Bora and Lotto Soudal are on the front, with Trek-Segafredo in the mix for Jasper Stuyven.


Dimension Data have been doing a lot of the tempo on the front so perhaps they're going to give Edwald Boasson Hagen a pop. You often get a surprise winner on the Champs, so who knows...


Heartbreak for Michael Matthews who drops a chain and curses his luck. He needs a bike change and his chances have been scuppered.


It's all back together. Game on. Except for Colbrelli, who is still fighting back to join the rear of the peloton.


If Colbrelli's off the back behind his team car then his teammate Tratnik is the last remaining rider from the break out ahead, the Bahrain Merida man digging in - then swinging off and accepting the inevitable.


Puncture for Sonny Colbrelli who is drafting his way back to the peloton. Terrible timing and he'll struggle now to get back into the thick of it.


Bora, Jumbo and QuickStep all have riders on the front although Lotto Soudal are keeping their powder dry as the sun sets on the cobbles of the Champs-Elysees. Two more laps to go with the four ahead with just 10 seconds to play with.


Nils Politt still doing what Nils Politt does best. The gap is 20 seconds.


Three more laps until Egan Bernal can breathe a sigh of relief - although he's already celebrating, it seems, showing a V for Victory sign to a passing camera moto.


Big Nils Politt, who was runner-up in Paris-Roubaix in April, is right at home on these cobbles. he drives the pace of the break, whose lead is 27 seconds as they pass the Arc de Triomphe yet again.


Some other names to consider: Mike Teunissen, who won for Jumbo-Visma on the opening day after Groenewegen crashed; Sonny Colbrelli of Bahrain Merida, Matteo Trentin of Mitchelton-Scott, Michael Matthews of Sunweb, Niccolo Bonifazio of Total-Direct Energie; perhaps even that man Julian Alaphilippe, too. He knows how to sprint...


The pace is high and the pack is not giving this break any leeway. Thomas was paced back to the peloton by two Ineos teammates and so he can breathe a sigh of relief. It's keeping to script though, with a ding-dong bunch sprint finale expected to be fought between Groenewegen, Ewan, Viviani, Sagan and Kristoff...


The four leaders still have 18 seconds on the pack as they round the sun-drenched Arc de Triomphe once again.


Mechanical for Geraint Thomas! The Welshman will have to fight back on if he wants to defend his second place on GC, with Kruijswijk just 20 seconds behind...


Six more laps now with Benoit Cosnefroy having joined the two chasers. Scrap that: the trio have been reeled in and it's now just that quartet out ahead.


We can't forget two other former winners on the Champs-Elysees - Andre Greipel and Alexander Kristoff. Neither rider has been at their best this year, with the Norwegian more likely to do something after winning here in 2018. German veteran Greipel won here in 2016 but his highest finish this July has been 12th.


So, who will win today? Peter Sagan has never won on the Champs-Elysee and will certainly be in the mix. Caleb Ewan is looking for a hat-trick of wins in his maiden Tour but has no experience of riding here in Paris. Elia Viviani was the form man earlier this season and will be eyeing a second win. Then there's Dylan Groenewegen, himself looking for a second win. He won here in 2017, too.


The riders trying to bridge over are Joey Rosskopf (CCC) and Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Gobert). They trail the leaders by 11 seconds with the peloton another 6 seconds back.


A few punctures - including one for fourth-place Emanuel Buchmann and Denmark's Kasper Asgreen, who is one of Viviani's lead-out men.


There's a couple of riders trying to bridge over, including someone from CCC.


Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) catch Fraile and Scully so we have four riders out ahead.


The first attacks come from Omar Fraile (Astana) and Tom Scully (EF).


Here we go - the riders are onto the Champs-Elysees and rampaging towards the Arc de Triomphe. Already a few of them are preparing themselves for an attack.


The peloton is now passing through the Colonnade de Parrault of the Palais Royal du Louvre and then past the famous Pyramid before swinging onto the Rue de Rivoli, which is engulfed in sunshine.


The riders are now rolling down the Boulevard Saint Michel as they head towards the Seine. Soon they will cross the river on the edge of the Ile de la Cite with the poignant backdrop of the tragically hit Notre Dame in the background, two months after a terrible fire devastated the cathedral's roof.


Geraint Thomas, the defending champion, is now on the front of the Ineos train as the winning team leads the peloton into Paris and past the Eurosport offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux. They then hand a right to pass the France TV offices.


The race's four Colombians - Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) - have come to the front of the peloton to pose for pictures on this historic day for their country.


Paris on the horizon...


The aerial cameras are having a field day today and just caught some stunning images of the Palace of Versailles.


Team Ineos have sent three men to the front as the race passes the Aqueduc de Buc and the pace has risen considerably, but that may well be down to the fact that they're riding downhill. Dylan Van Baarle enjoying the limelight as the peloton passes through dense woodland.


Offredo gets that KOM point at the second pop, the Frenchman edging clear on the Cat.4 Cote de Chateaufort (900m at 4.9%). That's his fourth point of the race, moving him up to 43rd in the KOM standings. Not that he or anyone else is bothered about that nugget of imformation.


We're onto the first of two categorised climbs, the Cat.4 Cote de Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse (1.3km at 6.1%) and this may explain Wellens' presence - he wants a reminder of what his Tour used to be about. And yes, it's the Belgian who zips clear to take the solitary point which puts him up to 75pts - still three below Bernal and 11 behind Bardet. Yoann Offredo, who was Lanterne Rouge of the race for so long until Sebastian Langeveld dropped beneath him yesterday, put on a show to out-sprint him there, but he was only joshing.


Belgian duo Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt have been leading the peloton for the past 10-odd kilometres. We're used to seeing them in breakaways or in polka dot jerseys (Wellens lead the king of the mountains competition for most of the race before conceding it to Bardet). Both riders will hope to deliver Lotto Soudal teammate to a third stage win today on the Australia's first foray onto the Champs-Elysees.


This is Frenchman Amael Moinard's final Tour de France stage - the Arkea Samsic rider is retiring at the end of the season. We can probably expect an attack from the 37-year-old today as the race enters Paris.


French national champion Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) is on the front of the pack now, all smiles. He was going through the motions this season until he won the national title, which gave him some belief entering this race. He attacked a lot but couldn't rediscover the form which saw him win two stages and the polka dots in 2017. But yesterday he did rise up to 10th place at the expense of Richie Porte, and so he'll be pleased with that, which equals his highest previous finish on the Tour (also in 2017).


The champagne phase of today's stage didn't seem to drag on as much as usual and the pace is now much higher as the peloton edges towards Paris, albeit still under 30 kmph.


The final jersey to catch up with is the white jersey, which will be won by 22-year-old Bernal, but is today worn by David Gaudu of Groupama-FDJ, who trails the Colombian by a huge 23:29 on GC.


There are two Cat.4 climbs on the menu today but that's just two points and so Romain Bardet's eight-point lead over Bernal remains intact in the polka dot jersey king of the mountains classification. The Frenchman had a rotten Tour and only finished 27th place but this will be some consolation - even though he was clearly saved by that final climb to Tignes being cancelled (Bernal would have taken either 10pts for winning or 8pts for finishing behind Simon Yates).


A reminder that Peter Sagan will win a record breaking seventh green jersey today. His lead in the points classification is unassailable: 309pts to Elia Viviani's 224pts.


Limited edition jerseys and bibs with a yellow band for the Team Ineos riders today.


And they're off! Well, they're not really, but you get the drill... 155 riders are left in the race and barring terrible luck, they should all get through today's stage and make it to the end.


Bernal is currently chewing the fat with the man who wore the yellow jersey before him for 15 days - Julian Alaphilppe. The Frenchman lit up this race with two stage wins and his long stint in yellow, but in the end Bernal proved too strong and the race caught up with Alaphilippe, who dropped off the podium to fifth place. But there will be a visit to the podium in Paris for the star of this year's race, who was named the most combative rider of the Tour.


The riders are rolling through the neutral zone in Rambouillet ahead of the official start to today's final stage - although, to be fair, things will remain pretty much neutralised until the riders cross the finish line for the first of those eight laps around Paris.


And here he is ahead of his day of destiny...


Here's the final top 10 following yesterday's stage - baring huge misfortune or even bigger controversy.


The defending champion and champion elect came home together as Bernal crossed the line arm in arm with Ineos team-mate Geraint Thomas for fourth place on the last competitive stage of the race to confirm Colombia’s first yellow jersey. Bernal will lead an Ineos one-two in the 106th edition of the Tour with Welshman Thomas 1’11” down on his team-mate ahead of Sunday’s processional stage into Paris.

Video - Thomas: We've taken flak, but we've proven ourselves again


Bonjour le Tour! Hello and welcome to live coverage of the final stage of the Tour de France - a largely processional 128km ride into Paris which culminates with eight laps of the cobbled city centre circuit on the Champs-Elysees.