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Chris Froome wins the Tour de France, Kittel beats Greipel and Cavendish in three way sprint to take final stage

Marcel Kittel of Argos Shimano has become the first man ever to beat Mark Cavendish on the Champs-Elysees in a three-way sprint also involving Lotto Belisol's Andre Greipe, who pipped the Omega Pharma Quick Step rider to second place. Moments after the main peloton had crossed the finish line, Chris Froome, flanked by Team Sky colleagues, completed the final stage to confirm his overall victory, succeeding team mate Sir Bradley Wiggins, whom he finished second to last year.

It was the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team of Cavendish that led the peloton onto the Rue de Rivoli for the final time ahead of the flamme rouge, just as his previous teams, HTC-Highroad and Team Sky, had done over the past four years as he rode to victory.

This time, however, the result was different; by the time the peloton hit the Place de la Concorde, it was Lotto Belisol and Argos Shimano that were at the front. Onto the Champs-Elysees and the closing few hundred metres, and Cavendish was fighting it out for the win with Greipel and Kitte, but despite a desparate late burst he ran out of road as the Argos Shimano man took his fourth victory of the race.

Cannondale's Peter Sagan finished fourth to seal a comprehensive victory in the points competition that he won last year, and becomes the first man to retain the green jersey since Erik Zabel did so in 2001.

Big crowds - a big proportion of them British - lined the circuit in Paris which in a break with tradition went round the back of the Arc de Triomphe in a sweeping arc, rather than the usual hairpin bend before the monument, with the riders having not only to deal with the fan-patterned cobbles, but also an adverse camber.

After the 64 kilometre run-in from Versailles, accompanied by the usual photocalls and glasses of Champagne, Team Sky led the peloton onto the ten laps of the final circuit, running from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe, that concluded the 100th edition of the race, Froome moving alongisde each of his team mates as they came onto the Champs-Elysees.

He wasn't the only British rider in the spotlight today. Garmin-Sharp's David Millar, who wore the yellow jersey after winning the Prologue in the 2000 Tour de France and was a stage winner last year, spent most of the nine laps of the Champs-Elysees circuit at the head of the race.

The Scot launched the first attack once the race hit central Paris with 53 kilometres to go and was joined by several other riders. He and Vacansoleil-DCM's Juan Antonio Flecha soon shook off their fellow escapees, and with 31 kilometres left Millar dropped the Spaniard, too.

But his advantage never went beyond half a minute and he was back in the peloton with 20 kilometres to go as fresh attacks came out of the peloton.

The move that stuck, at least until it was brought back early on the final lap, involved BMC Racing's Manuel Quinziato, Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, and Belkin's Bram Tankink.

At around the time Millar launched his initial attack, Cavendish punctured and had to be paced back to the peloton by his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team mates, but with more than 40 kilometres to go they were back at the head of the group, controlling the race.

Also a permanent presence towards the front of the peloton was Froome, surrounded by Team Sky colleagues, as they looked to keep the yellow jersey out of trouble on a day that finishes with him one step higher on the podium than 12 months ago.

One rider who began the stage today didn't make it to the end of the race - Vacansoleil-DCM's Lieuwe Westra, who had been struggling with illness, and was off the back on the Champs-Elyees, eventually finding the pace on a humid evening to much to take.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

13 comments

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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WTF, Eurosport has "tour de France extra", interviewing the DSs, riders etc, but British Eurosport cuts away to the worlds worst punditry, all "the boy done good" platitudes etc? FFS, they don't even do picture-in-picture.

On a more positive note, Froome and Quintana have been awesome; it's enough to make me want to ride my bike.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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Sean Kelly just interviewed stage winner Kittel, in English, but BE went with that YouTube clip of one fan punching another? Unbelievable.

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Swindaloo [16 posts] 3 years ago
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PJ McNally wrote:

WTF, Eurosport has "tour de France extra", interviewing the DSs, riders etc, but British Eurosport cuts away to the worlds worst punditry, all "the boy done good" platitudes etc? FFS, they don't even do picture-in-picture.

On a more positive note, Froome and Quintana have been awesome; it's enough to make me want to ride my bike.

I like the pundit studio part for after stages, although it needs improved, but having them talking so much over the ceremony made me change over to ITV for the first time.. GAH!

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banzicyclist2 [299 posts] 3 years ago
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All in all a good TdF. Shame the manx missile hit a pot-hole at the critical moment, however we know how that feels in the UK!

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Leviathan [2275 posts] 3 years ago
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banzicyclist2 wrote:

All in all a good TdF. Shame the manx missile hit a pot-hole at the critical moment, however we know how that feels in the UK!

Pot hole was 10 metres out, it didn't make a difference.

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beej.a [40 posts] 3 years ago
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Cav flatted on one of the earlier laps of the circuit and had to chase back into the pack... who knows it may have had an impact on the over all result... either way Chapeau Kittel what a ride by argos shimano best team on the day... besides team sky of course  26

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MartyMcCann [246 posts] 3 years ago
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Swindaloo wrote:
PJ McNally wrote:

WTF, Eurosport has "tour de France extra", interviewing the DSs, riders etc, but British Eurosport cuts away to the worlds worst punditry, all "the boy done good" platitudes etc? FFS, they don't even do picture-in-picture.

.

I like the pundit studio part for after stages, although it needs improved, but having them talking so much over the ceremony made me change over to ITV for the first time.. GAH!

I have to agree with the posters above- James Richardson just would not stop wittering on, and while Daniel Lloyd and Magnus Backstedt have been great at analysis throughout the past 3 weeks, Richardson just got more and more annoying. At one stage during the presentation he was trying to figure out what jersey was being presented next, and if he had shut his mouth he would have heard the French MC telling everyone what it was.

My ideal presenting package for a GT would be analysis from Gary Imlach, Daniel Lloyd and Chris Boardman, some reports from Ned Boulting and Matt Rendell and race commentary from David Harmon and Sean Kelly, though I have no real issues with Carlton Kirby either-at least they all know when to keep quiet and let the pictures do the talking, rather than pointless, repetitive filler.

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Abdoujaparov [21 posts] 3 years ago
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I would much prefer Big Maggie Backstedt to replace Sean "Da Roiders" Kelly on ES coverage. I think Maggie did a great job on Milan San Remo and other races this year.

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Pitstone Peddler [104 posts] 3 years ago
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Fabulous Tour  3

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sneakerfrfeak [103 posts] 3 years ago
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Kelly gave his backing to McQuiad, tells me all I need to know about him.

Bring back Duffers i say.

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LeDomestique [34 posts] 3 years ago
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Didn't James Richardson used to do the American football on Channel Four but with more hair? What's he know about cycling? Chris Boardman was excellent on ITV4 and although they've been around for ages the race commentary team there were much less annoying that Carlton Kirby. Sean Kelly must get sick of correcting his half-arsed platitudes

Overall ITV4 whopped Eurosport despite being only an occasional coverer of cycling. Why doesn't the BBC do itself a favour and snap a bit of mass participation sport whilst it's going cheap? They could put John "I'm a sexist git" Inverdale on it as punishment for stuffing up Wimbledon!

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SlowSPDRider [29 posts] 3 years ago
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On the whole Eurosports coverage is better than ITV4s but ITV4 has some good pundits (namely Chris Boardman). James Richardson is a crap presenter right enough but the Liggett and Sherwen annoy me too much.

Harmon is excellent and I like Carlton Kirby (though by the sounds of this I am in a minority!). Eurosport does more on the interactivity side with tweets etc too. My dream line up is not massively dissimilar to Otis to be honest.

Agree the BBC needs to get this pronto.

Not Inverdale though, he's worse than Richardson IMHO.

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LeDomestique [34 posts] 3 years ago
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Just joking on Inverdale. Someone should hit Boardman as a front man. He may not be a professional broadcaster but e could hack it with authority a la Gary Linneker.