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Tour de France 2019: Stage 21


Hello, as the CN blimp takes hight over Rambouillet, we can see the riders signing on and preparing for the final 128km stage.

The sun is out for the evening stage to the centre of Paris.


This final stage ends, as per tradition, with a race around the Champs Elysees.


We're expecting the usual celebrations for race winner Egan Bernal and then the attacks on the Champs before the high-speed sprint.


About half of the riders have now signed on. We're expecting 155 to race today and so celebrate finish this year's Tour de France.


Bernal has already signed on. He seemed slightly emotional and a little nervous. 




Bernal will have a special yellow Pinarello. 



Bernal said: "It’s a great day, a special day. I hope to take to yellow to Colombia very soon and celebrate too."


Geraint Thomas signs on now. 


With 10 minutes to the roll out, the riders are lining up for the start. 


"It's been unbelievable," Thomas said.

"I'm going to enjoy today and want to thank everyone for  the incredible support.. Thank you. 

"This final stage can be difficult if you're  not ready for it," he warned. 



Julian Alaphilippe also signed and got a huge cheer. He won't win the Tour but is the new idol of the French fans.




"Thanks for all the support at the Tour de France. It's been very special," Alaphilippe said, emotionally.  


As the seconds tick down to the roll out, race director Christian Prudhomme walks through the riders, shaking their hands and thanking them. 


They're off! It's time to ride to Paris.


The riders face 72km towards the centre of Paris before the nine laps of the Champs Elysees circuit.


First they face 3km of neutralised riding before the flag drops.


We can see Bernal riding with Alaphilippe, Sagan and Bardet - the other jersey winners.  


The early kilometres of the stage pass through the forests outside of Paris. They then hit the outskirts of Paris at Boulogne Billancourt, where the famous team was once based.


128km remaining from 128km

The flag drops, the stage has started but there's no racing yet. It's time to cruise and celebrate.


Bernal is riding and chatting with Vincenzo Nibali.


We can expect the champagne to flow very soon.


Bernal drops back to the Ineos team car and is given a flute of champagne. He makes a toast with Brailsford and other staff people and guests. 


Bernal is wearing lots of yellow, but has traditional black shorts.


All his Ineos teammates also have special clothing with a yellow touch. 


They have yellow edges to their shorts and jerseys, plus yellow mitts.  


This is a screen grab of the celebrations.



Bernal stops for a bike change but also has a spare yellow bike.


119km remaining from 128km

It is still time for the celebrations, with the riders rolling along in a double line as Ineos pose for photos behind.


Some of the riders, including Nairo Quintana, are riding in bandages after crashes and injuries but they all wave to the TV cameras and are happy to reach Paris. 


114km remaining from 128km

The riders are perhaps chatting about their plans for the post-race celebrations tonight.

Each team usually enjoys a special dinner before the celebrations continue late into the night. 


111km remaining from 128km

While the GC riders and domestiques relax, the sprinters are nervous about the finish. It's their big last chance to win on probably the most prestigious stage on the sport.


As we wait for the racing to come alive, why not listen to our latest podcast, that includes the best interviews from after stage 20 to Val Thorens. 


Click here to listen.


The kilometres are ticking down but the pace is still steady. Traditionally the riders cruise to the centre of Paris and then start racing on the eight and bit laps of the Champs Elysees.


104km remaining from 128km

The speed is definitely higher as Warren Barguil (Arkea) leads the ploton. 


This is the feeling on the front, check out Bardet's rainbow stripes! 

Click here to our news story that Bardet could target the 2020 Giro d'Italia. 



100km remaining from 128km

100km till the end of the 2019 Tour de France! 


E Voila! 


Julian Alaphilippe has been named the most combatif rider of the whole 2019 Tour de France.

He's had the yellow jersey for 14 days, was often on the attack and won two stages.

He lost the yellow jersey to Bernal but will have his moment on the podium.



Ineos began celebrating before the start. Here are the riders and staff together. 



In Belgium they were cheering for Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt but they get a moment on the front of the peloton to celebrate their Tour.


This is another shot of the Ineos celebrations.



90km remaining from 128km

Tim Wellens had the polka dot jersey for 15 days scored one more point atop the côte de St-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse just now.


He'll remain third in the KOM classification behind Bardet and Bernal. 


87km remaining from 128km

The sprinters are preparing for the  final showdown.  Their lead outs will also have to be at their best for the high-speed finish.   


84km remaining from 128km

Team Ineos is now on the front, upping the pace. They seem keen to get to Paris. 


Egan Bernal is also moving up to the front. The team of yellow jersey traditionally lead the peloton onto the Champs Elysees and we're getting closer to the centre of Paris.


77km remaining from 128km

Van Baarle, Moscon and Kwaitkowski are on the front for Ineos. 


75km remaining from 128km

With 75km to go, the riders are near the Periferique ring road of Paris.

It's time for a last natural break before the speed rises.


Now the Colombian riders hit the front for a photo. 

Sergio Henao, Nairo Quintana, Egan Bernal and Rigoberto Uran want a photo together.  


This is Team Ineos lined out across the road in celebration.



70km remaining from 128km

Thousands of fans are waiting for the riders on the Champs Elysees. 


Of course, a lot of them are Colombian, ready to celebrate their first ever Tour victory with Bernal.


Bernal enjoyed his glass of champagne.




66km remaining from 128km

Geraint Thomas is now on the front as the riders officially enter the city limits of Paris. 


The riders face eight full laps of the Champs Elysees. Each lap is 6.5km long and includes the up and down ride on the famous Avenue plus a loop around the Jardin des Tuileries.  


60km remaining from 128km

The Tour's final stage has long been a victory parade, with the yellow jersey and his teammates leading the race onto the Champs-Élysées for several laps of fast and furious racing, concluding with arguably the most prestigious bunch sprint of the season and well-deserved laps of honour.


Yet it hasn't always unfolded like this.


Four decades ago, Bernard Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk produced an unforgettable duel that began in the Chevreuse hills west of Paris and continued right to the line, where the pair finished more than two minutes ahead of the remnants of the bunch.


Although shorter than that 1979 stage, the final approach to the French capital does present the opportunity for a repeat in as much as it passes through the Chevreuse, crossing two fourth-category climbs before heading into Paris for eight laps on the Champs-Élysées circuit.


This bunch finale will be contested by a very select members of the sprinting fraternity: those who have made it to Paris.


Alexander Kristoff won last year's stage on the famous avenue, and one of the most resilient of sprinters it would be little surprise to see the Norwegian in contention for a repeat.


Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen, the winner here in 2017, is another to watch for.


From the CN blimp we can see the Pantheon. The riders will soon pass near Notre Dame, which was hit by a fire a few months ago.   


57km remaining from 128km

They now cross the Pont Neuf and turn left.


This is new. The riders pass through the centre of the Louvre museum. 


Nobody does 'Grandeur' like the Tour de France.  


54km remaining from 128km

Thomas leads the peloton on the Champs Elysees as the sun sets and lights up Bernal's yellow jersey. 


The riders quickly climb up to the Arc du Triomphe and on the descent we have a first attack!


It's Tom Scully of EF and Omar Fraile of Astana.


Bernal looks a little nervous as he tastes the speed on the Champs Elysees. 


The peloton is lined out along the side of the River Seine. It will be 60km/h until the finish.


48km remaining from 128km

Tratnik and Politt have joined the move.


Seven laps to race.


The sprint teams have now taken over the chase at the head of the peloton. 


46km remaining from 128km

Scully stamps on the pedals as the Champs Elysees rises up to the Arc.


The riders loop around the Arc de Triomphe and dive down the descending side of the Champs Elysees. 


The 4 lead by 20 seconds. They're brave but will soon be swept up. 


The riders cut across Place de la Concorde and dive down the Quai des Tuileries.   


Bernal will make history as the youngest ever winner of the yellow jersey - there was no yellow when Henry Cornet win in 1904 at just 19.  


Peter Sagan will also make history as he wins a seventh green jersey. 


41km remaining from 128km

The riders hit the finish again but there is no respite in the speed.


Earlier Sagan said: "Lets make history!"


"I've got the green jersey and one win, maybe another today. It's another opportunity."


Here's Sagan on the ride to Paris.



The sun is setting in Paris as the riders dive around the Arc de Triomphe. 


Today celebrates the winner of the Tour de France and 100 years of the yellow jersey.




Geraint Thomas has stopped on the road side because of a mechanical. He is away quickly and tucks in behind the tam car with two teammates.


The break away of 4 swept up the highest points at the intermediate sprint. 


Nils Politt took 20 points ahead of Jan Tratnik, Tom Scully and Omar Fraile.


They lead by 20 seconds after  big turn by Thomas de Gendt.


31km remaining from 128km

Less than five laps to race.


The speed is steady at 60km/h! 


Alexander Kristoff won the sprint last year and wants it again. 


"It's a special victory. I did it last year and it's one of my greatest wins. I'd love to do it again and something similar this year." 


"I wasn't great in the Alps but fortunately they were reduced so i hope it helps my legs feel fresh." 


27km remaining from 128km

The four attackers have pushed the gap out to 27 seconds.


Tratnik leads theme over the line one more time.


The peloton is lined out with Deceuninck also moving up near the front.


26km remaining from 128km

Nils Politt does a huge turn on the front of the break.  


22km remaining from 128km

The sunset is making the Champs Elysees shine like gold. Thousands of people are on each side of the Avenue. 


UAE Team Emirates, riding for Kristoff, are now part of the chase at the head of the peloton along with Quick Step, Lotto-Soudal and Jumbo-Visma.


Three laps to race!  


The gap to the 4 attackers is just 22 seconds.


Egan Bernal is caught by the moto TV and holds up two fingers in a sign of victory. 


He is safely in the peloton protected  by his Ineos teammates. 


Peter Sagan is about to win his 7th green jersey but he has never won on the Champs-Elysées.


The last green jersey holder to win the conclusive stage was Mark Cavendish in 2011.


19km remaining from 128km

Thomas is safely back in the peloton, so his second place overall is secure.


15km remaining from 128km

The 4 attackers lead by just 8 seconds now. 


Colbrelli is hit by a mechanical. That will surely end his chances for the sprint.


13km remaining from 128km

Colbrelli is in the slipstream of his team car but he will have to fight to get through the peloton. 


Here comes  Dimension Data. They hit the front, riding for Edvald Boasson Hagen. 


Wow. The sun pours through the Arc de Triomphe as the riders climb to the turn. 




11km remaining from 128km

The rider speed around the traffic island and dive down the Champs Elysees yet again.


Mechanical for Matthews! His rear gear is broken. 



He gets a bike change but it takes time. Surely its too late to get back on and sprint. 


Colbrelli is back on and is moving up. 


Sagan is also moving up on the outside.


6km remaining from 128km

The fast finale has ended the hopes of the break. 


Gruppo compatto! 


The bell rings. Last lap!


Greg van Avermaet tries a solo attack! 


Matthews is in the cars but he's stick at the back with teammate Roche.


5km remaining from 128km

It's a race to top of the Champs Elysees to be well placed for the descent down the other side.


3km remaining from 128km

Mitchelton-Scott hit the front on the descent.


Bernal is in the thick of the peloton.


2km remaining from 128km

Mitchelton are riding for Trentin.


Deceuninck hit the front and take control. 


1km remaining from 128km

But it's early.


Under the tunnel! 


1km remaining from 128km

Last KM!!!


Alaphilippe leads it. 


Morkov takes over. 


Viviani is too far back! 


Boasson Hagen goes early. 


But Ewan comes late and wins!


Groenewegen was on the other side of the road but was beaten. 


Egan Bernal crossed the line just behind, celebrating with Geraint Thomas.


He then sees his family and celebrates his Tour de France victory. 


Bernal and Thomas pointed at each other as they crossed the line.


Ewan celebrates with his team. This is hist first Tour and he's won 3 sprints! 


Ewan seemed boxed in with 250m to go but he waited and then when Groenewegen went left, he dived to the right, going passed Bonifazio to surge along the barriers and win. 


Here is Ewan winning the sprint.



This is the top ten for the stage:


1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 3:04:08
2 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
3 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
4 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Deceuninck-QuickStep
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
6 André Greipel (Ger) Arkéa Samsic
7 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
10 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe.   


And this is the final general classification after stage 21.


1 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 82:57:00
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos 0:01:11
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:31
4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:56
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:04
6 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:23
7 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:05:15
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:05:30
9 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:12


Caleb Ewan was emotional after his big win in Paris.

“When we rolled onto the Champs Elysees, I almost had tears in my eyes, it was such a surreal feeling. I can’t believe I just won the stage,” he said. 


Ewan added: 


“The Tour de France started off quite slow for me. It was like I could never get there. But the second half has been unbelievable, I’ve won every sprint in the second half.”


Ewan came from behind to win and talked about his sprint.


"The sprint was quite messy and we were quite far back but I was patient and waited," he said.


"I didn’t know how many guys were in front of me and so I waited and then ran at the three guys across the road."


"I went down the right, most sprinters I’ve talked to, said don’t go down the right because its bumpy. But luckily I had the speed to come through in the end.”


Ewan is the first to  climb on the massive podium in the middle of the Champs Elysees.


Ewan wins the stage!



Next on the podium is Julian Alaphilippe as the most combatif rider of the Tour.


Despite missing out on the yellow jersey, he gets his moment in  the spotlight.   


Next up is Peter Sagan, who pulls on his seventh green jersey.

No show from Sagan for now.  


Now Romain Bardet pulls on the polka-dot KOM jersey. It's his consolation prize after struggling overall.


Bernal is on stage for the best young white jersey. 


It's all done quickly and he's soon back to pull on the winner's yellow jersey. 


He waves to the crowd and pulls on the jersey. 


Bernal is the first Colombian winner of the Tour de France. 

Bernal beat 2018 winner Geraint Thomas by 1:11, with Steven Kruijswijk third at 1:31.


Bernal is joined by Thomas and Kruijswijk on the podium.


He bows to the crowd and shakes hands with them.  


Bernal climbs onto the top step of the podium and the Colombian national anthem rings out across Paris.


Bernal holds his heart as he sings along with the crowd.


Bernal again struggled to achieve what he had achieved.


“Wow. It’s incredible. It doesn’t seem true. I’ve won the Tour de France but I’m struggling to understand it all. I’ll need some days to realise what has happened,” he said.  


Bernal added: 


“I saw my family after the finish and we celebrated together. It’s all incredible.”


The Colombian fans at the finish called out Bernal’s name.

“It’s the first Tour win for a Colombian and so everyone is so happy. I’m very proud to be the first Colombian to win the Tour. Now I want to go home, celebrate with my family and take it all in,” Bernal said.


Here is Bernal at the Arc de Triomphe. 



Now all four jersey winners are on the podium. There are three: Sagan, Bernal and Bardet. Bernal also won the best young rider white jersey. 


This is the moment Egan Bernal was crowned as theTour de France winner.



Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was happy and playful on the podium.


"It’s nice to win the green jersey, it’s nice, at least it’s something. I’m very happy and very glad that I could achieve something like this because the green jersey is something like yellow for the GC riders. I’m happy that I could hold the record," he said of winning seven times.


'My favourite moment of the Tour de France? The stage victory and when I crossed the finish line today."



Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) finished second overall behind Bernal.


"It’s slightly mixed emotions, but I can be proud," he said.


"Two years ago, I was here with my broken collarbone, watching [Chris] Froome win his fourth, and devastated that I was even able to ride my bike."


"Two years on, I’m slightly disappointed not to win a second Tour de France, which is crazy."


"I’m proud of how I managed to get myself in shape. It hasn’t been a smooth run into the Tour. This team is incredible and it was a pleasure to be a part of."


"To be part of Egan winning his first of may … and to be on the podium in second is an achievement."


Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) was third overall.


"For us it was super. We had four stage wins and a podium in Paris, so I think we achieved everything we wanted," he said.


"We also showed that we can work as a team together with different goals, and we help each other a lot. We were one of the best teams in this Tour de France. We can be happy that everyone enjoyed this race and said it was exciting, so I’m happy to have been part of it."


This is the late evening shot of the podium.



To read our full stage report and see our 50-image photo gallery and full results, click here.  


To read all the instant reaction from the riders and teams, click here.



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