The introduction of the Champs-Élysées as the grand finale in 1975 added a new dimension to the Tour de France, and the famous finish beneath the Arc de Triomphe is an intrinsic part of the race’s appeal.
In its 40 years on the Tour, the Champs-Élysées has been the site of so many dramatic moments, from Greg LeMond’s defeat of Laurent Fignon in 1989 to Djamoladine Abdoujaparov’s crash in 1991 to Mark Cavendish’s sequence of four successive wins.
As the Tour celebrated the anniversary of its first visit to the Champs-Élysées, a number of past riders spoke to inCycle and shared their memories of racing on the most beautiful avenue in the world.
“It’s difficult to imagine anything bigger than the Champs-Élysées,” said Bernard Hinault, who wore yellow there five times and won the final stage on two occasions for good measure, beating Joop Zoetemelk in a two-up sprint in 1979 and winning a bunch finish three years later.
In this inCycle video, Robbie McEwen, Jens Voigt and Greg LeMond also describe their emotions at riding on the Champs-Élysées for the first time and pay tribute to cycling’s most evocative finishing straight.