Landis finishes in yellow; Hushovd brings 'em home on the Champs-Elysées
American Floyd Landis (Phonak) has secured the final maillot jaune in the 93rd Tour de France, finishing 69th in the last stage on the Champs-Elysées. The stage finished in a bunch sprint, and it was prologue winner Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) who unleashed a powerful kick in the final 200 metres to come past Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) and win by three bike lengths, with Stuart O'Grady (CSC) third. Although he claimed the maillot vert of best sprinter, McEwen said that he didn't have the legs to hold off mighty Thor today.
The stage from Antony to Paris Champs-Elysées was typically ceremonial: Floyd Landis and his Phonak men led for much of the early part as the peloton wound its way through the suburbs of Paris and into the city centre. Once the bunch his the Champs-Elysées with 52 km to go, the racing started in earnest. The most serious attack started at 40 km to go, initiated by Thomas Voeckler, Jens Voigt, Mikel Astarloza and Fabian Wegmann. They were joined by a dozen others, and the break got half a minute until Cofidis and Liquigas - who weren't represented up front - chased them down.
It was all together with two laps to go and stayed that way, despite the best efforts of Flecha, Hincapie, Popovych and Quinziato to get clear. Gert Steegmans led McEwen to the final corner in first place, with Hushovd right behind the Aussie. Then Peter Wrolich started the sprint at 250m to go before McEwen came past, but he had no match for Hushovd's power across the cobbles.