Mantes-la-Jolie is located on the Autoroute de Normandie, almost 50 kilometers to the west of Paris. The town of 43,000 inhabitants has a long history. It is situated halfway between Paris and Rouen, once settled upon by Norman rulers. Also, during the Hundred Year’s War between France and England (1337-1453), the town changed hands numerous times.
Yet, Mantes-la-Jolie is sure to host a peaceful start of the Tour de France’s last stage. A glass of champagne, a photo shoot, and an occasional cigar – those are the ingredients of the parade stage. But once the riders hit the cobbles in the centre of France the bunch accelerates. The stage ends with eight fast laps of almost 7 kilometres.
For four consecutive years Mark Cavendish was the fastest sprinter in Paris, but that was a while ago in the periode 2009-2012. In subsequent years Marcel Kittel (2013, 2014), André Greipel (2015, 2016), Dylan Groenewegen (2017), Alexander Kristoff (2018) and Caleb Ewan (2019) powered to victory.
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!
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
Another interesting read: stage results and finale GC 2020 Tour de France.
Tour de France 2020 stage 21: routes, profiles, more
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