road.cc Fantasy Cycling: Tour de France stage 21 preview
Creteil > Paris Champs-Elysees
The Champs-Elysees has hosted the finish of the Tour de France every year since 1975, and only in 1975 and 1976 has it been shorter than today’s 95km parcours. You know the drill – Champagne, photo ops and high jinks for the jersey wearers ahead of the peloton sweeping past the golden statue of Joan of Arc onto the Rue de Rivoli for nine fast and furious laps ahead of what will almost certainly be a bunch sprint.
Thought for the Day
Last year, Mark Cavendish became the first man to win the Champs-Elysees stage two years running, and this time round he can become the most successful rider ever at pro cycling’s most famous stage finish - Djamolidine Abdoujaparov is the only other rider to have won twice here
For all the fun, it's still a race and you give it one last big hit, for instance last year Edvald Boasson Hagen was up for it. It's a challenging circuit as well, that drag up to the U-bend after the finish, the wind can be difficult and the cobbles can take their toll especially after three weeks of racing. What you don't want is rain, with the cobbles, oil in the middle of the road and all the manhole covers. Obviously it's a day for the sprinters and Cav has shown what he can do here the past couple of years.