Chris Froome of Team Sky has won the Tour de France for the third time in four years after completing the final stage in Paris, won by Andre Greipel of Lotto-Soudal, the second year running the German has triumphed on cycling’s most iconic finish line.
Froome had held the race lead since attacking on a downhill finish in the Pyrenees and in a 103rd edition of the Tour that had no shortage of drama, he steadily took time from rivals including on the crosswind affected stage to Montpellier and in the two time trials.
He also extended his lead on the shortened Bastille Day stage to Chalet Reynard on the slopes of Mont Ventoux despite crashing when motorcycles in the group he was in were unable to get through the crowds, Froome running briefly towards the finish line until a spare bike could be found.
On Friday, a crash on a wet descent left Froome cut and bruised, but he still managed to build his lead further, starting today's final stage 4 minutes 11 seconds ahead of runner-up Romain Bardet of AG2R-La Mondiale, with Nairo Quintana of Movistar third.
Today’s 113 kilometre stage from Chantilly began with the usual photo opportunities of the jersey winners – besides Froome in yellow, fellow Briton Adam Yates of Orica-BikeExchange was best young rider while Tinkoff’s Peter Sagan won the green points jersey for the fifth year in a row, with team mate Rafal Majka taking the polka dot jersey as king of the mountains for the second time.
With the winners of both the yellow and white jerseys and a total of seven stage wins – two by Froome, while Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish, who left the race on Tuesday to prepare for the Olympics, took four stages and his team-mate Steve Cummings one, it is the most successful Tour de France ever for British riders.
After the processional ride into Paris this afternoon, racing began in earnest after the peloton, led by Team Sky in celebratory yellow kit and the race winner, crossed the courtyard of the Louvre to swing left onto the Rue de Rivoli to start the XX laps of the closing circuit.
As ever, attacks came immediately and eight riders got away – Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lawson Craddock (Cannondale-Drapac), Markus Burghardt (BMC), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept).
With around 40 kilometres left, Etixx-Quick Step’s Tony Martin, struggling with knee pain, abandoned the race, and shortly afterwards his team mate Marcel Kittel, seeking his third career win on the Champs-Elyseees, needed a wheel change and was visibly angry as a result of his misfortune.
Team Sky’s Luke Rowe subsequently spiced things up by attacking from the peloton to join the break. But with Direct Energie, working for their sprinter Bryan Coquard, chasing hard, the break was doomed, although BMC Racing’s Greg Van Avermaet also chanced his arm.
As the bell was sounded at the start of the final lap, the peloton was all together, but Direct Energie’s efforts were in vain as Coquard suffered a mechanical problem with just 2 kilometres remaining.
Coming under the flamme rouge to signify the beginning of the final kilometre, Greipel’s Lotto Soudal team were forcing the pace.
Kittel was on his compatriot’s wheel ahead of the Place de la Concorde but seemed to lose position as another rider swung into his path, and it was Greipel who took the stage win ahead of Sagan.
Froome meanwhile came home safely to claim his third victory in cycling’s biggest race – and Team Sky’s fourth in five years.
Same with me! Hope they reset the counter soon, so I can enter the new competition.
Alleged camber issue not obvious in the picture; would it not be easier to close the road all together, rather than have all the broken wing mirrors?
There are plenty of worst MGIFs than that
Manufacturing defect, send it back for a refund. Could be any number of reasons. Inconvenient but it won't take long to fix.
It's not the same without a lirpa loof reference, but that's going back a few years now
I'm pleased that local businesses seem to be more aware of issues than the council are - maybe they should volunteer to walk/cycle along the path...
That is true but I'm not sure that Shell's sponsorship of cycling will have much of an impact on the climate either....
Totally apropos that the Shell logo appears to be British Cycling up in flames
The review certainly isn't wrong, but I do find it slightly amusing that 9.6kg is considered 'light for a children's bike'. As cycling adults many...
I just remembered the epic fail on Southeasterns part. Further to my reply to a comment here, as mentioned Dartford station has these double decker...