This year’s Tour de France ended, of course, on the Champs-Elysees with Jumbo-Visma’s answer to Iron Man, Wout van Aert, took his third stage win of this Tour, disappointing a third placed Mark Cavendish. A lot of fans are sad that Cav couldn’t surpass Eddy Merckx‘s record for Tour stage wins this year, but hey, look on the bright side – he’ll almost certainly be back next year … Tadej Pogacar takes home his second consecutive maillot jaune, with Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz flanking him on the podium.
This year’s Tour de France feels like it could have, and probably should have, come to a close after the final mountain stage (Stage 18) on Thursday, with all but the green jersey classification signed, sealed and delivered to Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates). Alas, the race sluggishly rolls on towards Paris, and Stage 20 saw the final competitive stage for the GC riders. A 30.8km flat time-trial saw very little change in the general classification – in fact, there was only one insignificant change in the whole of the Top 20. Second and third place on GC were secured by Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz, respectively.
However, it did see Wout van Aert storm to an emphatic stage victory, his second of this year’s Tour. That’s three Tour stages and a second step on the podium in Paris for a team that is going into Paris with just 4 riders left.
Stage 19. Would this be a day for the break or the sprinters? Would Mark Cavendish get that stage winning record all to himself?
Spoiler alert!! It wasn’t a sprint and Cav will have to wait for Paris. Instead, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) soloed his way to a second victory on this year’s Tour de France. The Slovenian made the first break of the day, survived the fierce feistiness of a 20 rider super-break, before leaving everyone behind with 25km to go. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Team DSM’s Casper Pedersen completed the stage podium. The rest of the field doodled their way to the finish line some 20 minutes later – just making the time cut! Oh and YES! there will be mentions of Mohoric’s victory salute – read on mes amis