Mountain, time trial and now sprint … The Belgian Wout Van Aert completed showing the extent of his cycling range on Sunday July 18 by winning, after a massive sprint, the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysées. The Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, not worried about this gala stage, finished at the same time and therefore won his second Grand Boucle when he was only 22 years old.
In a lavish sprint, the Belgian was led by Dutchman Mike Teunissen and outscored his compatriot Jasper Philipsen. Cavendish, a four-time winner since the start, has lost the wheel of his usual ‘pitcher’, Dane Michael Morkov. Third on the stage, he was unable to win for the 35th time on the Tour and beat the record for stage victories which he holds tied with the Belgian Eddy Merckx.
For ‘consolation’, he got the green jersey he had already brought back to Paris ten years ago.
In the final standings, Pogacar beat the Danish Jonas Vingegaard and the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, who were on the podium for the first time. The gap between the first two, over five minutes, is the largest since 2014 and the success of the Italian Vincenzo Nibali.
Pogacar, which signed the second Slovenian victory in 108 editions, has accumulated three distinctive jerseys like last year: yellow (general classification), polka dots (mountain), white (young). He took off three stages, a time trial and two finishes at the top.
In the last stage, 108.4 kilometers long from Chatou, the race accelerated on the first crossing over the finish line, at the halfway point.
Under the Parisian sun, no breakaway could count more than forty seconds ahead of the final circuit of the Champs-Elysées. The last attackers (Schelling, Valgren, Van Moer) were caught 6 kilometers from the finish.