Chris Froome takes fourth Tour de France title in Paris

British rider wins third straight title; Dylan Groenewegen takes final stage

Chris Froome passes the Arc de Triomphe on the final stage  on his way to overall victory in the Tour de France. Photograph:  Robert Ghement/EPA

Chris Froome passes the Arc de Triomphe on the final stage on his way to overall victory in the Tour de France. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

 

Chris Froome savoured his fourth Tour de France title as Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen won stage 21 of the race in Paris.

Froome was able to enjoy the celebrations on the 103-kilometres stage from Montgeron to the Champs-Elysees before LottoNL-Jumbo’s Groenewegen won in a sprint from Lotto-Soudal’s Andre Greipel.

Groenewegen had time to ease off as the hard-charging Greipel left it too late, while stage 19 winner Edvald Boasson Hagen finished third.

Dan Martin finished sixth overall, with Nicolas Roche back in 32nd position.

Froome had effectively wrapped up his third straight Tour crown by extending his lead in Saturday’s time trial in Marseille.

But while the first half of the final stage to the capital is a time for celebration, the sprint on the Champs-Elysees is arguably the most prestigious setting for any sprinter to win.

No better place then for Groenewegen to record his first career Tour stage victory.

For Greipel, second place spelled the end of a proud record – the 35-year-old had until now won at least one stage in every grand tour he took part in.

Norwegian Boasson Hagen took the last spot on the podium for the third time in this Tour, with the Team Dimension Data rider also having two second places to add to Friday’s win.

Froome’s final margin of victory over former team-mate Rigoberto Uran was 54 seconds, making this the seventh-closest finish in Tour history.

Waiting for the Team Sky rider at the finish line were his wife Michelle and young son Kellan.

The stage began in Montgeron, where the very first Tour started in 1903.

As is customary for the final day of the Tour, there was a jovial mood for the first 40 kilometres.

Team Sky had changed their blue stripe to yellow on the kit and team cars, while Froome rode a yellow bike as he clinked glasses of champagne with his team-mates and directors in the car.

AG2R La Mondiale’s Cyril Gautier used the moment to propose to his girlfriend via the medium of a scrawled note on a page torn from the race roadbook, held up for the camera motorbike, while Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s Yoann Offredo went up the road alone so he could stop and say hello to friends and family in his hometown on the outskirts of Paris.

Things began to get a little more serious as the race arrived in the city, with Froome pulling over to change his bike – having begun the day with a mounted camera to capture the celebrations.

There was a change to the usual route on to the Champs-Elysees as the peloton passed through the Grand Palais, which was used to promote Paris’ bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

The attacks began almost as soon as they arrived on the Champs-Elysees, with Offredo and Orica-Scott’s Daryl Impey the first to try.

Impey was part of a nine-man group that went clear up the road as spots of rain began to fall, but their mission was doomed.

Astana’s Dimitriy Gruzdev and Quick-Step Floors Zdenek Stybar also launched fruitless late lunges before the real battle began.

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