Van Aert completes phenomenal triple on the Champs-Élysées

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) completed an impressive triptych, winning the mountain stage over Mont Ventoux, winning the second time trial and then backing up the next day with the famous final sprint over the Champs-Élysées cobbles.

Van Aert made the most of a strong leadout in the final kilometres by Jumbo-Visma to accelerate away and win the final stage of the 2021 Tour de France just a day after he'd claimed victory on the Stage 20 time trial.

“This Tour has just been amazing. It’s been such a rollercoaster and to finish off with a weekend like this, it’s beyond expectations," said van Aert.

"A victory like this is priceless. Thanks to my small team and especially Mike Teunissen, who delivered me in perfect position."

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Harry Sweeny (Lotto Soudal), Patrick Konrad (BORA - hansgrohe) and Stefan Bissegger (EF Education - Nippo) made an attack after the traditional procession had finished. The Australian and his companions tried to push out their advantage, bu the peloton had other ideas, with Team BikeExchange trying to keep things together for the intermediate sprint for Michael Matthews and his slim hopes of winning the green jersey. 

The front three swept up the top three positions, but Mark Cavendish and his Deceuninck-QuickStep team made sure to claim the top available points, with the Manxman then only having to claim seventh or higher at the finish - even if Matthews won the stage - to win the green jersey.

The front trio were caught soon after, with a new triplet to replace them with Ide Schelling (BORA - hansgrohe), Michael Valgren (EF Education - Nippo) and Brent van Moer (Lotto Soudal) pushing their way clear. The three riders never got a great advantage, and a late attack by Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels) the 'super combative' (most aggressive) rider of the 2021 Tour de France tried to bridge across to the front. 

He was swallowed up by the chasing peloton and the sprint trains came to the front of the race to position their fast men for the famous finish. 

An attack from INEOS Grenadiers through the final lap saw the breakaway swallowed up and a number of teams try last-ditch attacks. All were neturalised on the final rounding of the Arc de Triomphe, and the sprint teams took control again. 

Deceuninck-Quickstep went to the front with strength with four kilometres to ride, but a surge on the other side of the road from Cofidis and Team BikeExchange saw a new spearhead emerge at the front. Deceuninck-QuickStep and Jumbo-Visma were able to recover their way to the front of the race. 

Jumbo Visma led the way through the final corner and Wout van Aert exploded off the front to win on the Champs-Élysées ahead of Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and Cavendish third, banging his handlebars with his hand after coming so close to his fifth win of the 2021 Tour de France.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) came across the finish line to claim the overall race win, successfully defending his title from 2020, winning by five minutes and 20 seconds over Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) with Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) in third, seven minutes and three seconds behind the race winner.

Mark Cavendish claimed the green jersey, Bahrain Victorious the team classification, while Pogačar won the yellow, white (young riders) and polka dot (mountains) jerseys.


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3 min read
Published 19 July 2021 at 3:56am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS