Champs-Élysées is French for Elysium, the final resting place of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous in Greek mythology. What a place to end the World’s biggest annual sporting event!
For four consecutive years Mark Cavendish was the fastest sprinter in Paris, yet it’s been seven editions since his last win. In subsequent years Marcel Kittel (2013, 2014), André Greipel (2015, 2016), Dylan Groenewegen (2017) and Alexander Kristoff (2018) powered to victory.
So a Champs-Élysées victory is already on the resume of Mark Cavendish and one may wonder whether the Manx Express is still able to deliver at 34 years of age. A successful (late) attack is another unlikely scenario. We have to go back to 2005 for the last rider who managed to hold off a charging peloton on the Champs-Élysées. Aleksandr Vinokourov pulled it off, while Yves Lampaert came close in 2018. Yet, the Flemish rider was caught by the chasing peloton with 300 metres to go before Alexander Kristoff outsprinted John Degenkolb and Arnaud Démare. It was a sprint of survivors as the fastest men were already home. Following the onslaught in the Alps Fernando Gaviria, Dylan Groenewegen (who both won two stages), Marcel Kittel, André Greipel and Mark Cavendish abandoned the 2018 Tour de France.
Usually, the concluding race of the Tour de France starts at a slow pace, but once the riders hit the the cobbles in the centre of France the bunch accelerates. The stage ends with eight fast laps of almost 7 kilometres.
Time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three riders on the line in the 21st stage of the 2019 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2019 stage 21: route map, Google Maps, and more
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