2021 Tour de France S21: Van Aert Champs Elysées sprint show, Pogacar wins the TDF again and renews three jerseys .
On July 18, the 21st stage of the Tour de France ended. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo–Visma) defeated Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in the Champs-Élysées sprint, winning his third stage of the Tour de France championship. Tadej Pogacar harvested three jerseys in front of the Arc de Triomphe and once again won the Tour de France championship, continuing to write his own history.
After conquering the steep and difficult mountains and weathering the unpredictable weather, three weeks are fleeting. On the evening of the 18th, people on both sides of the Champs-Elysées will be crowded, looking forward to the triumph of cyclists.
This stage is only 108.4km in length, with only a 4-level slope (1.9km, 5%) and a sprint point on the way. In the first half of the journey, the entire main car group will have a tens of kilometers long "honor ride". The leaders of all colors and their teams will take pictures and celebrate with a toast. However, after hearing the words "Mark Cavendish" and "Champs-Élysées sprint", at least before the award ceremony, who would pay attention to the routine celebrations? In any case, as the final battle, the Champs-Élysées sprint will definitely be the most exciting sprint of this Tour de France.
▲This is the last time Andre Greipel has stood in the Tour de France
The race kicked off in a joyful and peaceful atmosphere, and the cyclists rode slowly along the street in the sun to celebrate this grand event together. Tadej Pogacar is wearing a yellow jersey, Mark Cavendish is wearing a sprint green jersey, Wout Poels is wearing a substitute polka dot jersey, Jonas Vingegaard is wearing a white jersey for the best young cyclist from the bench, and Franck, who won the Tour de France Super Combativity award. Bonnamour (B&B Hotels) put on the red number plate. The Bahrain Victorious team was the team's first place, and all members were put on yellow number plates. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech) is the only cyclist who did not stand on the starting line today.
UAE Team Emirates did not lose a single member and came to today's field. Except for Tadej Pogacar, who was wearing a yellow jersey, the other seven were put on yellow and white special edition team uniforms. After the honorary ride, the eight members of the UAE Team Emirates left the main group and raised their hands side by side in front of them to cheer, enjoying the honor that belongs to everyone. Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) rushed forward entertainingly before the level 4 climbing point, and won the final climbing points of the Tour de France to the applause of his teammates. At this time, he was still 100km away from the end point. UAE Team The Emirates team returned to the main group shortly afterwards, and the celebration ceremony continued.
A scene similar to last year happened. Three Slovenians, Tadej Pogacar, Matej Mohoric, and Luka Mezgec, came to the front of the group and rode side by side. They even took out the number plate of their compatriot Primož Roglič and held them in front. Obviously they did not forget Primož Roglič to retire due to injury. The friendship between Slovenians is moving.
The UAE Team Emirates team led the main group slowly towards the Paris city. The average speed in the first hour of the race was only 30.8km/h. The cyclists will circle Champs-Élysées for 8 laps in the final 52.2km of the race. We bring a wonderful and exciting sprint battle. It is worth mentioning that Mark Cavendish has maintained a record of 4 Paris Champs-Élysées sprint wins. Can he continue to make history today? We will wait and see.
The big group crossed the Louvre square and entered the exciting circle of Champs-Élysées. The UAE Team Emirates team continued to lead the team, followed by the Deceuninck-QuickStep team, and the battle was about to start. After the big group passed the finish arch for the first time, Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo) ignited the flames of war, and many cyclists tried to attack and break through, starting a tug-of-war with the main group. Before long, Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo), Harry Sweeny (Lotto Soudal), and Casper Pedersen (DSM) widened the gap with the main group, and the Deceuninck-QuickStep and DSM teams led the pursuit in the rear.
Entering the penultimate lap, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) joined the breakout group, Julian Alaphilippe led the main group 12 seconds behind. Casper Pedersen withdrew from the breakout shortly afterwards, Valentin Madouas (FDJ) in the main group attacked, leading to a wave of chasing rhythm, and the Alpecin-Fenix team came to the lead position. Stefan Bissegger, Patrick Konrad, and Harry Sweeny passed the sprint points on the way one after another. Michael Matthews in the main group initiated the sprint, but Michael Mørkøv brought Mark Cavendish in better form. Mark Cavendish greatly surpassed Michael Matthews and won the fourth sprint point on the way. Michael Mørkøv is fifth and Michael Matthews is sixth.
There is still 32km away from the finish line, all the breakout cyclists were taken back, and the main group began to prepare a new round of offensive. Soon after, Brent Van Moer, Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Michael Valgren Andersen (EF Education-Nippo) teamed out and established a 20-second lead in the last 20km. The three joined forces against the aggressive main group, and then Fang's Deceuninck-QuickStep team took on a large number of leading tasks and fully supported Mark Cavendish's victory in the stage.
In the last two laps, Brent Van Moer, Ide Schelling and Michael Valgren Andersen still maintained a 20-second lead. In the last 10km, Julian Alaphilippe led the main group to pursue a strong pursuit, and the time gap began to decline rapidly. As the race entered the final lap, the Ineos Grenadiers team pulled out a small train, and Geraint Thomas led the main group to quickly recover the breakout cyclists. There is still 6km to the finish line, and the various teams are in a melee. The Bora-Hansgrohe team came to the front of the group and pulled out a short sprint train, followed by the Deceuninck-QuickStep team.
In the last 5km, the main group slowed down slightly, and Mark Cavendish quietly came to the front of the group. Julian Alaphilippe led the acceleration, sent assists for his teammates and fell behind. The Deceuninck-QuickStep team controlled the field strongly, and the four led Mark Cavendish into the final 3km. At this time, the main group continued to attack, the DSM and EF Education-Nippo teams all came to the front to disrupt the game. Mark Cavendish and his teammates separated and could only follow Wout Van Aert into the corner before the finish line.
The sprint train of the Deceuninck-QuickStep team was disrupted early. In the last 500m, Mike Teunissen rushed for Wout Van Aert. Mark Cavendish, who had lost the support of his teammates, had no choice but to bite Wout Van Aert. Wout Van Aert found the right time to launch the final sprint, Mark Cavendish bit his rear wheel tightly, and Jasper Philipsen rushed from the right to the front, and the three of them launched the final close match.
Wout Van Aert was fully fired, Jasper Philipsen gradually narrowed the gap to his rear right, and Mark Cavendish's overtaking route was closed, and there was no chance of overtaking. In the end, Wout Van Aert showed great strength and won the Champs Elysées sprint in one fell swoop, bringing surprises to the fans. Jasper Philipsen finished second in the stage, Mark Cavendish was third, Luka Mezgec was fourth, and Andre Greipel was fifth.
So far, the 2021 Tour de France has come to a successful conclusion. Tadej Pogacar once again won the Tour de France championship, Jonas Vingegaard won the second place and Richard Carapaz third place. Tadej Pogacar wore a yellow jersey in front of the Arc de Triomphe, a polka dot jersey for the climbing king and a white jersey for the best young cyclist. Mark Cavendish won the long-awaited sprint king green jersey. The Bahrain Victorious team won the team's first place, and Franck Bonnamour won the Tour de France Super Combativity award.