July 21, Stage 21: Versailles - Paris - Champs-Elysées 133.5km
Tour de France: Stage 21
May 29, 2013, 05:28,
June 18, 2013, 02:23
Versailles - Paris - Champs-Elysées 133.5 km
Showdown after sunset
Wanting to end this 100th edition of the Tour de France in style, Christian Prudhomme and his route organisers have thrown everything they can into this stage, which will leave the winner with some unique memories. Starting in the shadow of the palace at Versailles, the parcours rolls into Paris through the Chevreuse hills, where the King of the Mountains will have one final chance to show off his colours. By the time the peloton reaches Paris, it will be the early evening. Convention dictates the team of the yellow jersey leads the race onto the Champs-Elysées finishing circuit, which, for the first time will circle the Arc de Triomphe rather than turning in front of it. The peloton will complete 10 laps of the circuit and its speed will only increase over the course. Coming out onto the Champs-Elysées for the final time, everyone will be expecting Mark Cavendish to bullet away from the pack and romp to a fifth successive victory in the highest profile bunch sprint of the year.
Stephen Roche: "It'll be huge to see the Tour going round the Arc de Triomphe – one of the world's great monuments. I'm looking forward to watching this stage from the special grandstand with other Tour finishers. It's great ASO to see remembering those who've made the Tour's history."
You have to go back to 2008 to find the last time the Tour de France didn't end with Mark Cavendish taking victory on the Champs Elysées. His four wins have all been impressive but the pick of them was arguably his first, when he was so far ahead of his rivals it was almost embarrassing.