The final showdown of the 2021 Tour de France is likely to be a sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées, where Sam Bennett celebrated last year.
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 riders clip into their pedals in Chatou, which is situated on the Seine river just 13 kilometres shy of the finish line on the Champs-Élysées. Obviously, the riders will approach Paris’ city centre via a détour. A glass of champagne, a photo shoot, a very slow pace – those are the ingredients of the parade stage on the final day of action. But once the riders hit the cobbles on the Champs-Élysées 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 awhile ago in the period 2009-2012. In subsequent years Marcel Kittel (2013, 2014), André Greipel (2015, 2016), Dylan Groenewegen (2017), Alexander Kristoff (2018), Caleb Ewan (2019), and Sam Bennett (2020) powered to victory.
Bennett’s sprint victory on the Champs-Élysées had a green lining, as the Irishman also won the points competition. Cavendish could do the same. And add something extra to the mix: the all-time record of 35 stage wins at te Tour de france.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
The final stage of the Tour de France starts at 16.15 and the race is expected to finish around 19.05 – both are local times (CEST).