Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE), outgoing winner, won the Tour de France for the second time, Sunday July 18, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, after the 21e stage masterfully won by Belgian Wout van Aert (Jumbo). The Belgian champion won in the final sprint at the expense of Briton Mark Cavendish, third on the stage.
The 26-year-old van Aert captured his third success since the start, his second in two days. Exceptional performance, he won a mountain stage (the day of the double climb of Ventoux), a time trial (Saint-Émilion) and a massive sprint (Paris Champs-Élysées). 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”, the Dane Michael Morkov. Third in the stage, he could not win for the 35e times 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.
Three jerseys for Pogacar
In the final standings, Pogacar beat the Dane 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.
→ THE ROUTE. Find the map of the 2021 Tour de France stages
In the last stage, 108.4 kilometers long from Chatou, the race accelerated on the first crossing over the finish line, halfway through. Under the Parisian sun, no breakaway could count more than forty seconds ahead of the final circuit of the Champs-Élysées. The last attackers (Schelling, Valgren, Van Moer) were caught 6 kilometers from the finish.
→ FIND the complete classification of the 21e stage of the Tour de France 2021
→ AND ALSO: The general classification of the Tour de France 2021