The race organisation of the Tour de France put an end to the fight for the overall classification early on stage 21, calling for a neutralisation of the riders' time for GC at the entry to the finishing circuits with 70 kilometers to go due to wet weather and slippery pavement.
They needed only finish the 109.5km stage for Chris Froome of Team Sky to claim his second career Tour de France victory by 1:12 over Nairo Quintana and 5:25 on Alejandro Valverde, both of Movistar.
The rules specify under article 20b 'Specific provisions' that the jury can decide to take the final time on GC early: "if the road surface of the Champs-Élysées has become slippery before the riders reach it, then the times may be taken for the first crossing of the finish line".
"Of course I want to start off by thanking my teammates," Froome said. "Without you guys I would not be standing up here. Richie, Wout, Ian, G, Pete, Luke, Nico and Leo. My utmost respect and gratitude. This is your yellow jersey as much as it is mine."
Team Sky principal Sir David Brailsford chalked up the win to a flawless execution of strategy by the entire team. Although they lost Peter Kennaugh to illness on stage 16, just about everything else went to plan. "I think tactically and from a team perspective it's the best Tour we've ridden," Brailsford said. "The guys didn't put a foot wrong and then of course Chris finished it off. So it's very satisfying from that point of view.
"I've been doing this for 15 or 16 years now and we've won a lot of Olympic medals. We've used that same methodology to come to Sky and create Team Sky - and the same methodology has worked again."
Froome remained humble in accepting the winner's trophy on the Champs-Elysées, giving the first thank-you to the Team Sky staff. "Your endless dedication and commitment is what has got us through the tough moments of this year's Tour de France," Froome said. "And a special mention to my coach Tim Kerrison and Team Manager Dave Brailsford. Thank you to my wife Michelle - your love and support are my strength and motivation. I can't wait for this next chapter of our lives to begin together with a baby boy.
"The maillot jaune is special, very special. I understand its history, good and bad. I will always respect it. Never dishonour it, and I will always be proud to have won it. Thank you very much."
The green jersey went to Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), who held an unbeatable lead in the points classification coming into the stage. Although he came into the Tour de France with the green jersey a secondary aim to helping teammate Alberto Contador in the GC, he was pleased to provide something for his team to celebrate in Paris.
“I’m very happy. I’m satisfied to have win the green jersey. We have different objective for the team at the start but I’m very happy to win a fourth green jersey. It’s great to finish in Paris in green yet again," Sagan said.
With no mountains on the final day, the polka dot jersey also went to Froome, while the white jersey of best young rider stayed with Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Movistar won the prize for best team over Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo.
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