Tour de France 2018

July 7-29, Noirmoutier-En-L'Ïle, France, Road - GT

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Patrick Fletcher

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2018 Tour de France hub page
2018 Tour de France start list

Stage 20: Dumoulin wins time trial as Thomas cements overall victory
Geraint Thomas bursts from his bubble before Tour de France procession into Paris

Chris Froome still believes that Giro-Tour double is possible

Dumoulin: Thomas was the absolute strongest over the last three weeks

  1. 16:16:23 CEST

    Bonjour! It's the final day of the Tour de France, and we're on our way to Paris. 

     

    Geraint Thomas has really already won the race, but today will see the I's dotted and the T's crossed, not to mention a final hurrah for the sprinters - or whoever's left of them - on the hallowed Champs Elysées. 

  2. 16:18:30 CEST

    Thomas is late to the start, but he does eventually line up alongside the wearers of the other jerseys - Peter Sagan in green as winner of the points classification, Julian Alaphilippe in the polka-dots for king of the mountains, Pierre Latour in white as best young rider, and then for good measure we also have Sylvain Chavanel, the veteran Frenchman who is about to complete a record 18th Tour de France. 

     

  3. 16:18:57 CEST

    The riders roll out and this final stage is officially underway

     

  4. 16:26:23 CEST

    The riders reach kilometre-zero. There's not even a joke attack as the peloton ambles along having a chit chat. It'll be like this for much of the stage, with the champagne on ice back in the Team Sky car.

     

  5. 16:29:23 CEST

    As expected, Geraint Thomas has been kitted out with a special-edition yellow bike for this final stage

     

     

  6. 16:35:24 CEST

    In fact, Team Sky have gone overboard today in celebration of their sixth Tour de France title in seven years. There are custom kits and yellow bottles for all Thomas' teammates, and an garish Ford sports car with an even more garish '6' screaming out of the side. Here they all are.

     

     

     

     

  7. 16:36:57 CEST

    The champagne is out. Thomas and his teammates drift back to the team car - a more modest Mondeo or something - to grab a flute of bubbly and pose for the classic photos. 

     

  8. 16:40:13 CEST

  9. 16:41:09 CEST

    Alaphilippe there on a special polka-dot bike. Quick-Step have also applied red polka-dot stickers to their team car

     

  10. 16:42:09 CEST

    Thomas finishes his champagne and gives his empty glass to Froome to dispose of. How the mighty have fallen. 

     

  11. 16:47:20 CEST

    Provided Thomas stays upright, he'll be crowned Tour de France champion in around three hours' time. He had shielded himself from the possibility for much of the race, preaching the 'day-by-day' mantra, but when it was all virtually wrapped up in yesterday's time trial the bubble burst and the emotion came flooding out. Here's Daniel Benson's piece from yesterday evening. 

     

    Geraint Thomas bursts from his bubble before Tour de France procession into Paris

     

  12. 16:48:30 CEST

    More photos now as Thomas grabs a Welsh flag. He drafts teammate and compatriot Luke Rowe for a joint snap. 

     

  13. 16:56:48 CEST

     

  14. 97km remaining from 116km

    17:02:38 CEST

    Luke Rowe and Michal Kwiatkowski hit the front of the peloton and raise the pace slightly. The celebrations, it seems, are over, and people want to get to Paris before sunset. 

     

  15. 17:03:11 CEST

    Team Sky enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne during stage 21 at the Tour de France

     

  16. 17:13:01 CEST

    Geraint Thomas wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey and teammate Luke Rowe hold the Welsh flag as they ride during the 21st and last stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France

     

  17. 17:14:04 CEST

    The riders hit a gentle downhill section and mess around on their top tubes. 

     

  18. 17:19:48 CEST

     

  19. 17:21:33 CEST

    When the race does hit the Champs Elysées, Peter Sagan should be in the mix for the stage win. Other than him, Arnaud Démare (FDJ) is arguably the strongest 'pure sprinter' left in the race after most of them missed the time cuts somewhere in the mountains. Alexander Kristoff (UAE) will be in the mix, as will Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo). 

     

  20. 17:21:57 CEST

    Then again, with so few top-tier sprinters, could we see a rare breakaway triumph on the Champs?

     

  21. 17:28:10 CEST

    Speaking of which... Pat Malach has written this feature on Jeff Pierce and his solo victory on the Champs in 1987. In the second half of the piece, Pierce gives his first-person blow-by-blow account of that successful attack, and it's a great read. 

     

    Triumph on the Champs-Elysees: Jeff Pierce recalls his solo '87 win in Paris

     

  22. 17:37:39 CEST

     

  23. 17:42:56 CEST

    Chris Froome heads up to Christian Prudhomme in the race director's car and the two have a brief conversation. Prudhomme places his hand on Froome's. The same Prudhomme who banned Froome from racing the Tour a week before the Grand Départ and a couple of days before his salbutamol case was suddenly settled. The air, it seems, has been cleared. 

     

  24. 17:50:10 CEST

    Dan Martin didn't finish in the top three but, true to his character, he barely stopped attacking at this Tour de France, and for that he will visit the podium in Paris this evening to collect the award for the 'most combative' rider. Here's the full story and Martin's reaction.

     

    Dan Martin makes Tour de France podium with 'super combative' prize

     

  25. 56km remaining from 116km

    18:04:02 CEST

    Here they are... the riders hit Paris.

  26. 18:05:23 CEST

    As the peloton comes down the Rue de Rivoli and towards the Champs Elysées, Chavanel is allowed off the front on his own to take it all in in what is his last Tour de France.

     

  27. 18:10:03 CEST

    And now, with the champagne digested, the racing begins...

     

  28. 18:10:17 CEST

    Chavanel is brought back and we have six riders on the attack

     

  29. 18:13:04 CEST

    The six riders in the break are:

     

    Taylor Phinney (EF-Drapac)

    Michael Schar (BMC)

    Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale)

    Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin)

    Guillaume Van Keirsbluck (Wanty Groupe Gobert)

    Damien Guadin (Direct Energie)

     

  30. 18:13:48 CEST

    A Cofidis rider is trying to get across now but doesn't make it. The French team have Christophe Laporte for the likely bunch sprint.

     

  31. 18:14:48 CEST

    FDJ take control of the peloton for Arnaud Demare, who won in Pau on Thursday. 

     

  32. 18:15:41 CEST

    The riders head slightly uphill and into a light headwind on their way up to the Arc de Triomphe. We're on the second of eight laps of the famous Champs Elysées.

     

  33. 18:16:14 CEST

    Sagan's Bora team now head to the front to assist FDJ in keeping this breakaway under control.

     

  34. 18:21:07 CEST

    The riders head right around the Arc de Triomphe and then downhill back towards the Place de la Concorde. They jink right to head along the river Seine before a sharp left takes them through a tunnel under the Tuileries gardens. Another sharp left takes them back onto the Rue de Rivoli and then they come onto the cobbles back through Concorde and onto the Champs once more, up towards the Arc. The finish line is about a third of the way up. 

     

  35. 36km remaining from 116km

    18:27:31 CEST

    The six leaders have 30 seconds on the peloton with just over five laps remaining.

     

  36. 18:29:44 CEST

    The gap remains stable as the escapees cross the finish line. Five to go. 

     

  37. 18:33:47 CEST

    Bora and FDJ continue to manage the gap. They've both put their climbers on the front in a bid to save their bigger riders for the lead-out later on. 

     

  38. 27km remaining from 116km

    18:38:05 CEST

    The six leaders cross the line with four laps to go now, and the gap has grown to 45 seconds. 

     

  39. 18:39:00 CEST

    Mechanical for Phinney. He's getting some help from the neutral service car. 

     

  40. 18:39:49 CEST

    And now Phinney's team car comes up to him. It looks like something's wrong with his seat tube, and he's getting some rolling repairs. 

     

  41. 18:40:36 CEST

    After all that, Phinney stops and the mechanic jumps out of the car. A new bike is needed. It's a quick change but he's going to have to chase hard to get back on to the break.

     

  42. 20km remaining from 116km

    18:48:15 CEST

    Phinney is back on as they go through the finish line once again. Three laps and just over 20km to go.

     

  43. 18:50:25 CEST

    Peter Sagan moves up now with a good few teammates ahead of him. 

     

  44. 18:50:50 CEST

    Cofidis have now put three men up towards the front, right in the middle of the Bora train.

     

  45. 18:53:01 CEST

    Cofidis hit the front now. What can Laporte do today? He was second to Demare on Thursday. 

     

  46. 13.5km remaining from 116km

    18:54:58 CEST

    2 laps to go!

     

    13.5km to go and our six leaders have 20 seconds over the peloton.

  47. 18:56:43 CEST

    The escapees are digging in and holding their advantage here as the road tilts uphill towards the Arc.

     

  48. 18:57:24 CEST

    Attacks from the peloton. Julian Alaphilippe sets off in the polka-dots, with a Fortuneo rider for company. 

     

  49. 18:58:10 CEST

    A slight lull in pace allowed the Frenchman to attack and he's up and around the Arc and back onto the downhill.

  50. 18:58:27 CEST

    Team Sky are up right behind FDJ's only rider on the front.

     

  51. 18:58:33 CEST

    Alaphilippe is caught.

     

  52. 18:59:09 CEST

    The six breakaway riders come past Concorde with a lead of 10 seconds. 

     

  53. 19:00:28 CEST

    Sagan and his team are looking strong. The world champion crashed heavily in the Pyrenees and was well below full strength in Pau. How has he recovered?

  54. 19:00:53 CEST

    Trek are making their presence felt for the first time now. They're working for John Degenkolb.

  55. 8km remaining from 116km

    19:01:22 CEST

    Up out of the tunnel and Politt attacks the break.

     

  56. 19:02:25 CEST

    Politt heads back up the Champs Elysées and he can hear the bell. The other five riders are slipping back.

     

  57. 7km remaining from 116km

    19:02:47 CEST

    Last lap!

     

    Politt has six seconds over the peloton.

     

  58. 19:03:19 CEST

    Phinney, Van Keirsbulck and Schar dig in but can't deny the inevitable. They're caught now.

     

  59. 19:03:35 CEST

    It's just Politt left out in front. 6km to go. 

     

  60. 19:03:56 CEST

    Politt is in the smooth gutter on the right-hand side of the road, but Bora are powering up the left-hand side.

     

  61. 5.7km remaining from 116km

    19:04:07 CEST

    Politt is caught. All together.

     

  62. 19:04:28 CEST

    Trek hit the front with one rider but behind him there are three Bora jerseys in front of Sagan.

     

  63. 19:05:04 CEST

    Up around the Arc de Triomphe for the final time.

     

  64. 19:05:30 CEST

    Bahrain are moving up now.

     

  65. 19:05:44 CEST

    Thomas is safe towards the front of the bunch.

     

  66. 19:06:09 CEST

    Bahrain will be working for Sonny Colbrelli

     

  67. 19:06:32 CEST

    Gorka Izaguirre leads down the Champs for Bahrain

     

  68. 19:06:54 CEST

    FDJ try to reassert themselves now, moving up on the right.

     

  69. 19:07:11 CEST

    Kristoff and his UAE teammates are tracking FDJ.

     

  70. 2.5km remaining from 116km

    19:07:36 CEST

    Through the Place de la Concorde and onto the banks of the Seine... 2.5 to go!

     

  71. 19:07:55 CEST

    A flyer from Marco Marcato (UAE)...

     

  72. 19:08:14 CEST

    The attack sparks counter-attacks. Yves Lampaert is tracking it with Daniel Oss.

     

  73. 19:08:27 CEST

    FDJ, panicking surely, hit the front as they turn to the tunnel.

     

  74. 19:08:38 CEST

    Oss and Lampaert have a small gap...

     

  75. 19:08:55 CEST

    Onto the Rue de Rivoli and Oss peels off. Lampaert goes it alone

     

  76. 19:09:00 CEST

    1km to go!

     

  77. 19:09:12 CEST

    Big gap for Lampaert!

     

  78. 19:09:26 CEST

    Too late to close this down? It looks like it...

  79. 19:09:44 CEST

    Lampaert leads onto the Champs but the gap is coming down fast...

     

  80. 19:09:50 CEST

    He's not going to do it.

     

  81. 19:09:55 CEST

    Degenkolb goes!

     

  82. 19:10:10 CEST

    Kristoff comes back but here comes Demare...

     

  83. 19:10:16 CEST

    Kristoff gets it!

     

  84. 19:10:33 CEST

    Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 21 of the Tour de France

     

  85. 19:10:57 CEST

    Geraint Thomas sits up and rolls across the line. He has officially won the Tour de France.

     

  86. 19:11:22 CEST

    Degenkolb sas second there, Demare third. It looked like Laporte fourth.

     

  87. 19:12:25 CEST

    Boasson Hagen was in fact fourth. Laporte fifth, Richeze sixth, Colbrelli sixth, Sagan seventh.

     

  88. 19:12:37 CEST

    Big win for Kristoff

     

  89. 19:17:10 CEST

     

  90. 19:18:55 CEST

    1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 02:46:36
    2 John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
    3 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
    4 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
    5 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
    6 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
    7 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
    8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
    9 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
    10 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal

     

  91. 19:19:04 CEST

    Final general classification after stage 21


    1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 83:17:13
    2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:01:51
    3 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:02:24
    4 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:03:22
    5 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:06:08
    6 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:06:57
    7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 00:07:37
    8 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 00:09:05
    9 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 00:12:37
    10 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:14:18

     

  92. 19:24:44 CEST

    Kristoff speaks

     

    "It's a dream come true. I've dreamt about this victory for many years. I've been close many times before butnevermanaged to beat the faster guys like Cavendish, Greipel, or Kittel, but today they're not here, they're out after the mountains, and today I was the fastest, so I'm super happy. 

     

    "I was a bit far back after the tunnel but I was with [Roberto] Ferrari then Trek did a really good lead-out from behind and I managed to get John's wheel. I started in a good position and passed John, and it was still far out but I saw nobody and in the last 20 metres I was sure I was going to win. I'm so happy I managed to do it."

  93. 19:33:14 CEST

    Here's Thomas

     

    "It's unbelievable. It's going to take a while to sink in. Normally that stage is really hard but today I just seemed to float around it. I had goosebumps going around there. The support from the Welsh, British flags... it's unreal. It's the Tour de France. To ride around wearing this [yellow jersey] is a dream. With the boys, that's the main thing for the whole three weeks, we stuck together through some tough times, stayed strong."

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