At the end of a remarkable Tour de France, race debutant Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) claimed his third stage win on the Champs-Elysées as 22 year old Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) became the first ever Colombian winner and the youngest ever winner of the yellow jersey.
155 riders took the start of stage 21 in Rambouillet. Yellow jersey holder Egan Bernal had the traditional taste of champagne at the back of the peloton in front of the cameras as the peloton covered 34.4km in the first hour.
Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) successively passed the Côte de St-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and the Côte de Châteaufort in first positions with the acceptance of the rest of the field. Team Ineos led the peloton as they entered Paris for the grand finale on the traditional Champs-Elysées circuit.
Omar Fraile (Astana) and Tom Scully (EF Education First) were the first two riders to go clear off the peloton. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) caught up with the two attackers. With 40km to go, the advantage of the leading quartet didn’t exceed 20″ as sprinters’ teams Lotto-Soudal, Deceuninck-Quick Step and Jumbo-Visma got organised early.
Defending champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos) had a flat tyre with 35km remaining and made it back to the pack quickly. Fraile, Scully, Politt and Tratnik forged on and extended their lead to 25″ with 25km to go. 15km before the end, only Scully and Tratnik stayed away. Tratnik was last to surrender with the peloton with 12km remaining while his team-mate Sonny Colbrelli was chasing to come across to the pack with the help of Vincenzo Nibali after a puncture. Michael Matthews (Sunweb) also had a mechanical but got back on with 5km to go.
Daryl Impey and Julian Alaphilippe, both stage winners, respectively led the pack with 3km to go and under the flamme rouge of the last kilometre, working in the service of Matteo Trentin and Elia Viviani respectively but it was Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) who launched the sprint from far out.
Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) found an open gap and chased Boasson Hagen but it came down to a duel between Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo Visma) and Caleb Ewan. The Dutchman on the left hand side of road was pipped by the Australian on the right hand side. In taking the victory, Ewan became the first Australian to win on the Champs-Elysées since Robbie McEwen in 2002. Crossing the line in the same time as Ewan, Egan Bernal was congratulated by his team mate and last year’s winner Geraint Thomas and became the youngest ever winner of the yellow jersey since its inception of the 100 years ago.