Tour de France 2021: Stage 21 – Wout van Aert takes the Champs; Pogacar takes the Tour

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.

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Tour de France 2021: Stage 20 – van Aert scorches the TT; Pogacar seals yellow

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.

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Tour de France 2021: Stage 18 – It ain’t Christmas, so no gifts from Pogacar

Stage 18 of this year’s Tour de France was a crash-banging, head-butting, balls-to-the-wall GC battle from kilometre 0 to the summit finish on Luz-Ardiden. All the GC teams threw caution to the wind, with attack after attack all through the 130km, on the slopes of the Tourmalet and the climb to the finishing summit. Okay, that didn’t actually happen – that was my wishful thinking for the stage. In fact, today’s stage was not that different than yesterday’s stage including the stage podium.

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