As he crossed the line on the Champs-Elysees, Carlos Sastre turned and embraced his nearest team-mate, Stuart O'Grady, as the third consecutive Spanish Tour de France champion. He followed Alberto Contador, missing from this year's edition due to his Astana team's past doping problems, and Oscar Pereiro, who inherited the title after Floyd Landis was disqualified for doping.
Sastre, a devoted family man, proudly brought his two children onto the podium with both clad in yellow shirts to match his own. At 33, he is the oldest first-time winner of the Tour, and the eighth Spaniard to stand on the highest step in Paris.
"It was beautiful to have my children with me on the podium," he stated, underlining their importance. "It's great to win the Tour de France but my kids represent the biggest victory in my life. They are so important to me and I want to share that moment with them and have them close to me.
"Today was a really nice day," Sastre said. "The team has done everything to make this Tour as easy as possible for me and even as we came to Paris for the final stage, they continued to work for me. It's a great atmosphere now; relief has set in and now everyone is happy."
Sastre's season is far from over, and after the post-Tour criteriums, he has some major objectives still ahead. "Now I have a couple of races to do in Belgium and Holland before I go to the Olympic Games and then start to consider the Vuelta a España."