Stage Report: It wasn’t to be Mark Cavendish’s day as Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) showed again his phenomenal ability on a bike by winning on the Champs Élysées. The day did belong to Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) taking his second Tour de France.
What can’t Wout do?
– The final kilometre of Stage 21 and read our full report and pics below:-
Tadej Pogačar is the winner of the Tour de France 2021. The 22-year-old Slovenian adds his name to the honours list of the world’s largest bike race for the second time. The final stage to Paris was won by Wout van Aert, who was fastest ahead of Jasper Philipsen and Mark Cavendish in the bunch sprint on the Champs-Élysées.
Stage 21 profile
Tour boss Christian Prudhomme describes stage 21: “Chatou is the happy “chosen one” for this fourth consecutive start of the final stage in the department of the Yvelines that will carry on doing so until 2023. The Yvelines has become a land of cycling, it has indeed welcomed the start of Paris-Nice for ten years now and will be hosting the discipline (road, track, mountain bike and BMX) for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.”
Tour winners: Pogačar and Contador
The final stage started as always with lots of jokes, autographs, conversations and photo opportunities, the champagne was missing this year. Also absent: Jakob Fuglsang, who felt sick and didn’t start with a view to Tokyo. There was a party with Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates teammates. The team wore a white jersey with a yellow chest band especially for this stage to Paris.
The jerseys at the start in Chatou: Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick Step), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) and stage 20 winner Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
Bike problem for Mark Cavendish?
At around 6.15pm, Paris time, the peloton turned onto the local circuit on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the heart of the French Capital. The first attacks came from Jonas Rutsch and Brent Van Moer, but the first group that actually escaped consisted of Stefan Bissegger, Harry Sweeny, Casper Pedersen and Patrick Konrad. Pedersen dropped back to work for sprinter Cees Bol. At the intermediate sprint, 40 kilometres from the finish, it was Cavendish in the peloton who was led-out perfectly by Mørkøv to beat Matthews.
The three jerseys of Tadej Pogačar and the green jersey
The victorious UAE Team Emirates
The control then remained in the hands of the sprinter’s teams, but the attacks continued. Especially when Bissegger, Sweeny and Konrad were caught. Ide Schelling and Philipe Gilbert, and others, came to the front. The Dutchman, who showed himself on the offensive at the start of the Tour and wore the polka dot jersey for a few days, eventually had Michael Valgren and Van Moer with him. The trio took more than 20 seconds.
Will this be Alejandro Valverde’s last Tour?
Deceuninck – Quick-Step getting ready for the sprint
Twelve kilometres to go, Schelling, Valgren and Van Moer were still ahead by 20 seconds. B&B Hotels also saw an attacking opportunity with Cyril Gautier and Franck Bonnamour, the winner of the Super Combatants, but that attempt quickly failed. In the peloton, the weight was put on the shoulders of Alpecin-Fenix, Israel Start-Up Nation and also DSM, who were still supported by Deceuninck – Quick-Step in the final.
The peloton passing Versailles on the way to the Champs-Élysées
The peloton going round the Arc de Triomphe
The leading trio still had a minimal lead when entering the final lap on the Champs-Élysées, but due to an acceleration of INEOS Grenadiers that also ended. After that acceleration there was some chaos at the front of the pack, where several trains tried to take their position. All the important names were well up front in the twisty final.
No problems for the yellow jersey
That climb up the Champs
The final sprint was led by Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who could not set up a train for green jersey Cavendish. Mike Teunissen then managed to do an ideal lead-out for Wout van Aert, who chose the right moment and impressively held off Jasper Philipsen and Mark Cavendish for his third stage victory of this Tour. After a mountain stage and a time trial, Van Aert also put a sprint stage to his name in this Tour.
Cavendish ready for the intermediate sprint
Another perfect lead-out from Mørkøv for the intermediate sprint
A disgruntled Cavendish hit his handlebars because of his defeat, was the record just too much? He remains stuck on 34 stage victories in the Tour, on the same level with Eddy Merckx. The retiring André Greipel finished fifth.
The doomed break of the day
Not long to go for Todej Pogačar
Yellow jersey wearer Tadej Pogačar had no problems in the final, allowing him to celebrate the overall victory with his teammates from UAE Team Emirates. On the final podium in Paris, he will be joined by Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers). Pogačar also picked up the KOM jersey and the best young rider jersey. After 2011, Mark Cavendish received the green jersey for a second time.
A crazy difficult sprint
Stage winner, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Actually, I can’t believe it. This Tour de France has been amazing. It has been such a rollercoaster. To finish with three victories in my pocket is just out of my expectations. A victory like this is priceless, although I have to catch my flight to Tokyo tonight. Thanks to my small team and especially to Mike Teunissen, who put me in the perfect position ahead of the sprint. It was key to be delivered on a good position after the final right-hand turn. I was confident Mike could do it, and he did it perfectly.”
Mountain, time trial and now sprint win for Wout van Aert
Final overall winner, Best Young Rider and KOM, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It is just crazy here on the Champs Elysées, coming in the yellow again with an incredible team. We enjoyed today and now it’s time for celebration. We will have a good time and that counts as a celebration. The start of the stage was nice, taking it easy. We enjoyed chatting with each other. Then we came here on the cobbles and it was full-gas racing again, like every day. I cannot express my feelings of how happy I am. With the people I have around… it’s another level. I will remain motivated in the coming years, but what come next will come next… I’m not stressed about it. It’s quite different. Last year, I felt strong, incredible emotions. This year I’m again here, standing atop the podium, but the feelings are quite different. The new Cannibal? I don’t like to compare myself to other riders. Each rider has his own style and personality. Every rider is unique. I don’t think there is anything left. I just enjoy life, I work hard, I love cycling – and those are the most important things.”
The top three of Tour 2021
Tour de France Stage 21 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 2:39:37
2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange
5. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
6. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
8. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
9. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash
11. Daniel Oss (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
12. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar
13. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
14. Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix
15. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo
16. Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
17. Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
18. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
19. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea-Samsic
20. Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar
21. Cees Bol (Ned) DSM
22. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
23. Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
24. Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
25. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM.
Tour de France Final Overall Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 82:56:36
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:20
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:03
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 10:02
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 10:13
6. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 11:43
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 12:23
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 15:33
9. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 16:04
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 18:34
11. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 21:50
12. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 24:58
13. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 37:48
14. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 38:09
15. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 39:09
16. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 50:35
17. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious at 51:40
18. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 54:10
19. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 57:02
20. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:02:18
21. Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash at 1:03:12
22. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 1:04:35
23. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:06:20
24. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:07:50
25. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 1:09:16.