Andre Greipel left it late but the German champion ensured his run of winning at least one stage of a grand tour since 2008 Giro d'Italia continued with consecutive Tour de France victories on the Champs-Élysées.
The Lotto-Soudal rider was the dominant sprinter of the 2015 Tour, winning four stages, but he and his team couldn't quite seem to get it together as Mark Cavendish schooled the peloton with four stage wins. A photo finish went in the favour of Cavendish in stage 2 in Angers with sixth place in Villars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseaux Greipel's best result before arriving on the world's most famous Boulevard.
In 2015, it was an almost foregone conclusion that Greipel would take the stage 21 victory but fast forward 12-months and the 34-year-old was somewhat of an underdog making the win just that a little bit sweeter.
"I can't describe it. I'm just super proud of what we've achieved today," Greipel said. "I've raced for three weeks for that. The team kept believing in me. We've tried many times and never could succeed, now we won two stages with Thomas De Gendt [on Ventoux] and now me on the Champs Elysees."
The win is Greipel's 11th at the Tour to move him into 20th place on the all time stage winners list.
For his perseverance and sprinting prowess, Greipel earns the final Cyclingnews Rider of the Day prize for the 2016 Tour de France.
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Zeb Woodpower says: "Having missed out early at the Giro d'Italia in May, Andre Greipel proved his class to snare three stage wins and prove himself as one of the top sprinters in the world. The 'Gorilla' was off the mark in the first week of the Tour with long term rival and one-time teammate Cavendish simply a level above every other rider, but Greipel kept on going about his business, knowing his time would come.
"While some riders would be tempted to give or raise their arms in defeat, Greipel has consistently shown his winning mentality and proven that age is no barrier when it comes to sprinting with the best. His win on the Champs-Élysées is one for the good guys of the sport and evidence that if you first don't success, try, try, and try again.
"Furthermore, Greipel's stage 21 victory would have pleased his team and teammates no end but has surely created a few headaches for the German national selectors who will need to decide whether he or Kittel is the main man for Doha's sprint friendly world championships. A headache though that most nations would like to have."
Stage 21 Video Highlights
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