Egan Bernal becomes first Colombian to win Tour de France
Bernal also becomes youngest winner of race in 110 years; Caleb Ewan takes final stage sprint
Colombia’s Egan Bernal of Team Ineos wears the overall leader’s yellow jersey as he passes the Arc de Triomphe during the 21st and final stage of the Tour de France between Rambouillet and Paris. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA
The 22-year-old Bernal, the youngest rider to win the race in 110 years, gave Team Ineos – formerly Team Sky – their seventh title in the last eight editions.
He beat team-mate and defending champion Geraint Thomas of Britain by 1:11, with Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk coming home third, 1:31 off the pace.
Also the winner of the white jersey for the best Under-25 rider, Bernal did not win a single stage, but he was first at the top of the Col de l’Iseran when the 19th stage was stopped because of hailstorms and landslides in the Alps.
Kruijswijk’s Jumbo-Visma team shone throughout the race, winning four stages through Dylan Groenewegen, Wout van Aert, Mike Teunissen and the team time trial.
France’s Julian Alaphilippe, who wore the yellow jersey for 14 days but cracked in the Alps and ended fifth overall, was the race’s most exciting rider.
The world number one, who had been fighting to become France’s first winner since Bernard Hinault in 1985, was voted this year’s most aggressive rider after also winning two stages.
“Alaphilippe changed the deal of this Tour de France, no question about it,” said Tour director Christian Prudhomme.
“There was also the absence of [four-times champion] Chris Froome, which gave hope to many riders.”
Frenchman Romain Bardet won the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification, a consolation prize after he dropped out of overall contention early on.
Sunday’s stage, a mostly processional ride from Rambouillet that ended on the Champs Elysees, as it has done every year since 1975, was won by Ewan, who snatched his third stage win on his Tour debut.
Ewan burst through on the right side of the cobbled avenue to beat Dutchman Groenewegen and Italian Niccolo Bonifazio, who were second and third respectively.
Dan Martin took a solid 18th overall in the Tour de France on Sunday, finishing in the main bunch on the final stage in Paris, writes Shane Stokes.
Martin ended the three week race 44 minutes 30 seconds behind Bernal and suggested that he will soon make clear the reason why he didn’t perform as well as he expected in the event.
Compatriot Nicolas Roche’s plan to help Sunweb team-mate Michael Matthews win the final stage was derailed inside the final 11 kilometres, with the Australian rider suffering problems with his rear derailleur. Roche helped Matthews return to the peloton but it was too late for him to take part in the finishing sprint.
Martin finished 109th on the stage with Roche 137th. Roche ended the race 44th overall. Both riders are expected to line out in the Clasica San Sebastian next Saturday.