Tadej Pogacar wins 2021 Tour de France as Van Aert takes final stage

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) sprinted to victory on the Champs-Elysées, beating Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) to the line on stage 21 to take his third stage victory of the Tour de France.

The Belgian edged out Philipsen at the line by less than a wheel length to win, while Cavendish, who had started his sprint behind Van Aert and couldn't come around, banged his bars in frustration.

Deceuninck-QuickStep may have led the way around the final corner, but it was Jumbo-Visma who had the best lead out up the 700-metre finishing straight with Mike Teunissen in front of Van Aert.

The Dutchman hit the front at 500 metres to go, with Van Aert stuck to his wheel and Cavendish next in line with his own lead out not at the front.

Van Aert launched at 230 metres to go, hugging the barriers on the left-hand side of the road as Philipsen jumped around Teunissen to the right. Cavendish couldn't make it past up the inside, even briefly freewheeling at one point late on in the sprint.

Instead of the record-breaking 35th stage victory for Cavendish then, it was Van Aert who added to his Ventoux and time trial wins, just ahead of Philipsen, who finished second for the third time this Tour.

"This Tour has just been amazing, such a rollercoaster," Van Aert said after the finish. "To finish off with a weekend like this is beyond expectations. A victory like this is priceless. Thanks to my incredible small team, especially Mike Teunissen who delivered me into a perfect position.

"It was more chance for a team like us to still come after the corner. I was fully confident that Mike was going to deliver me in the right position, I just had to hold his wheel - it was a world class lead-out today, hats off."

Tadej Pogačar crossed the line safely alongside his UAE Team Emirates teammates to claim his second Tour de France overall victory in two years. He tops the podium by 5:20 ahead of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) by 7:03.

For the second year in a row Pogačar swept up the polka dot and white jerseys too, beating Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) by 29 points to the climber's award as Vingegaard finished runner-up in the young rider's classification.

Cavendish nonetheless secured the green jersey, beating Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) by 56 points at the top of the points standings. Finally, Bahrain Victorious won the team competition by 19 minutes ahead of EF Education-Nippo, and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) claimed the super-combativity award after an aggressive three weeks of racing.

How it unfolded

The final stage of the Tour de France took the riders on a short 108.4 kilometres from Chatou to the Champs-Élysées in the heart of Paris in the traditional finish to the race, with eight laps of a circuit in central Paris to close things out.

The opening 56 kilometres would see the peloton ride in from the western outskirts of the capital, tackling the final climb of the race, the fourth-category Côte de Grès, after 7.4 kilometres.

After that – the final 52 kilometres of the stage once the riders pass through the finish line for the first time – the racing began in Paris, with the eight finishing laps left to decide the winner of stage 21.

As the flag dropped for the final time at a stage start in the 2021 Tour de France, there were – as is traditional on the final stage – no attacks as the peloton rode along at a club run pace. Instead, there was the usual parade of jerseys at the front and celebrations, with the full UAE Team Emirates squad, clad in special-edition, yellow-banded jerseys, riding off the front early on.

Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) jumped off the front at the top of the climb, jokingly celebrating his first mountain point of the race ahead of his teammates. Shortly afterwards, after the peloton passed the 100-kilometre mark, Pogačar was joined off the front by fellow Slovenians Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) and Luka Mezgec (Team BikeExchange) to celebrate together.

The team rode on the front of the peloton from that point onwards as the riders neared Paris, the average pace a pedestrian 32 kph.

The first two laps of the Champs-Élysées circuit saw a flurry of attacks from the peloton, with Harry Sweeny (Lotto Soudal), Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo), and Casper Pedersen (Team DSM) the three riders managing to get off the front with 50 kilometres to go.

They held a 30-second gap over the peloton on the high-speed laps in Paris, though that advantage was brought down to 20 seconds as the sprinters battled for the intermediate sprint at 40km to go.

There, Cavendish grabbed 13 points for fourth place as Matthews ceded two more points to the green jersey holder, ensuring that the green jersey would be his if he finished at least eighth at the finish.

The three-man break was brought back at 32 kilometres and four laps to go, prompting counterattacks from the peloton. Bora-Hansgrohe's Ide Schelling, who was in the first break of the race back in Brest, was among them as he, Michael Valgren (EF Education-Nippo), and Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) tried a move.

Back in the peloton Deceuninck-QuickStep and Alpecin-Fenix had taken control of the situation, holding the gap to 20 seconds ahead of the nailed-on bunch sprint finale. B&B Hotels p/b KTM sent two men on the move heading into the penultimate lap with Cyril Gautier launching Bonnamour in one final show of aggression from the super-combativity prize winner.

He was brought back at the 10-kilometre mark, while Schelling, Valgren, and Van Moer managed to hang out front until the final lap, sticking it out until six kilometres to go. More counterattacks followed, but Deceuninck-QuickStep worked hard to keep the situation under control at the front heading into the final five kilometres.

A mixture of teams – including Team BikeExchange, Deceuninck-QuickStep, EF Education-Nippo, and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – were up front heading into the final two kilometres, with no one team able to wrest control and establish a full lead out at the front.

Around the final corner onto the final run to the line – which this year was elongated from 400 metres to 700 metres – it was Deceuninck-QuickStep on the front, though not with a full train as they have previously in the race.

Nonetheless, Cavendish had the best wheel in Van Aert, who was following teammate Teunissen to the line. He launched just inside the final 230 metres, pulling off a long sprint and holding it to the finish to beat Philipsen and Cavendish.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 2:39:37
2Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
4Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
5André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
6Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
8Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
9Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash
11Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
12Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
13Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
14Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix
15Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo
16Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
17Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
18Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
19Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
20Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team
21Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM
22Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
23Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
24Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
25Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team DSM
26Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
27Michael Schär (Swi) AG2R Citroën Team
28Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
29Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
30Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
31Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
32Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team
33Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
34Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
35Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
36Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
37Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
38Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious
39Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
40Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
41Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
42Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
43Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious
44Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
45Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
46Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
47Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
48Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
49Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
50Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
51Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
52Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
53Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
54Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) TotalEnergies
55Jelle Wallays (Bel) Cofidis
56Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
57Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
58Victor de la Parte (Spa) TotalEnergies
59Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
60Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates
61Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
62Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
63Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo
64Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo
65Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
66Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
67Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange
68Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
69Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
70Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
71Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
72Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
73Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
74Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
75Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
76Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
77Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation
78Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
79Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
80Sean Bennett (USA) Qhubeka-NextHash
81Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo
82Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
83Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
84Carlos Barbero (Spa) Qhubeka-NextHash
85Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
86Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
87Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
88Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
89Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
90Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation
91Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
92Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
93Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
94Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
95Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
96Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
97Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
98Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash
99Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
100David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:29
101Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:36
102Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM 0:00:39
103Luke Durbridge (Aus) Team BikeExchange
104Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM
105Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
106Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
107Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:45
108Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
109Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:47
110Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
111Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:59
112Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis 0:01:05
113Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
114Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:26
115Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
116Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
117Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
118Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
119Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
120Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis
121Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:01:30
122Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
123Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
124Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:56
125Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange 0:02:07
126Fabien Doubey (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:02:11
127Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal 0:02:27
128Simon Clarke (Aus) Qhubeka-NextHash
129Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:31
130Jeremy Cabot (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:02:35
131Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:37
132Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM 0:02:48
133Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:01
134Petr Vakoc (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix 0:03:29
135Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
136Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo 0:03:49
137Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
138Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:24
139Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech
140Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:58
DNSJakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
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Sprint 1 - Paris km. Haut Des Champs-Élysées (3E Passage) km. 68.3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo 20
2Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 17
3Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal 15
4Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 13
5Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 11
6Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 10
7Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange 9
8Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 8
9Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 7
10Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 6
11Luke Durbridge (Aus) Team BikeExchange 5
12Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 4
13Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM 3
14Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 2
15Petr Vakoc (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix 1
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Points
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 50
2Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 30
3Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 20
4Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange 18
5André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation 16
6Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 14
7Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 12
8Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 10
9Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 8
10Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash 7
11Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 6
12Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team 5
13Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 4
14Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix 3
15Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 2
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 4) Côte des Grès km. 7.4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates 1
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Young riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 2:39:37
2Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
3Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team DSM
4Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
5Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious
7Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates
8Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
9Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo
10Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo
11Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
12Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
13Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
14Sean Bennett (USA) Qhubeka-NextHash
15Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo
16Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
17Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
18Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
19David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:29
20Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM 0:00:39
21Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM
22Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:30
23Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal 0:02:27
24Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:37
25Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM 0:02:48
26Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:01
27Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo 0:03:49
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