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Virtual Tour de France: Stephens and Clarke triumph on the Champs-Elysées

TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank win the women's race, NTT Pro Cycling take the men's edition...

The sixth and final stage of the Virtual Tour de France has seen victory in the women’s race go to jersey Lauren Stephens of TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, while Trek-Segafredo’s Will Clarke won the men’s race, both held on a simulation of the iconic Champs-Elysées circuit in Paris.

Both races were held on Zwift over six laps of the 6.6-kilometre circuit, with overall victory in the women’s race went to Stephens’ TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank team, while NTT Pro Cycling kept their lead in the men’s event.

Some 63 female and 84 male pro cyclists took part in today’s concluding stages on the virtual platform from all around the world – including Chris Froome, who joined in from a Team Ineos training camp at Mount Teide on Tenerife.

Britain’s Dani Christmas, of Lotto-Soudal, was one of the main animators in the early laps of the women’s race winning the final two intermediate sprints, but by the final lap a group of 23 riders were off the front.

The victory of Stephens, in the yellow jersey, confirmed the overall win for her team with 499 points, in front of Team Twenty20 on 306 points and Drops Cycling with 292 points.

In the men’s race, Clarke outsprinted Team Ineos rider Filippo Ganna and NTT Pro Cycling’s Ryan Gibbons to win on cycling’s most famous finish line – but the latter’s team scored an emphatic overall victory with 500 points, with Rally Cycling a distant second on 267 points and Trek-Segafredo completing the podium 232 points.

Held over the past three weekends, the Virtual Tour de France formed part of the race organisation’s efforts to support charities during the coronavirus pandemic, with the professional races accompanied by three separate editions of a Virtual L’Etape du Tour.

The last of those, taking place on the Mont Ventoux climb up to the observatory at the peak, is still available to ride on Zwift.

Here's the highlights of yesterday's pro races, which stopped further down the mountain at Chalet Reynard.

 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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