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Radio France Internationale
Radio France Internationale

Pogacar anointed Tour de France champion as Van Aert wins final stage

Tadej Pogacar (centre) won his second successive Tour de France. Jonas Vingegaard (left) was second and Richard Carapaz finished third. REUTERS - BENOIT TESSIER

Wout Van Aert won the final stage of the Tour de France on Sunday following a sprint finish along the Champs Elysées. Tadej Pogacar cruised home further back in the peleton basking in the knowledge of a second crown in the world's most prestigious cycle race.

Van Aert completed the course between Chatou and Paris in two hours 39 minutes and 37 seconds.

Jasper Philipsen was second and Mark Cavendish, who had been seeking a record 35th stage win, finished third.

“The Tour de France has been amazing,” said Van Aert. “It’s been a roller coaster and to finish with a win like this is beyond expectations. A victory like this is priceless."

With Pogacar holding the lead since the eighth stage nearly two weeks ago, whether 36-year-old Cavendish would break Eddie Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins was the only intrigue as the riders set off in bright sunshine from Chatou.


Nearly 109km later, Van Aert had the answer to preserve the honour of his fellow Belgian.

Despite the disappointment, Cavendish took the green jersey for the most points in the sprints.

Ten years after his first green jersey, he stepped onto the podium with his three children.

The other three jerseys, white as best young rider; polka dot as "king of the mountains" and yellow as overall leader went for the second successive year to Pogacar who finished the 3,414.4km in 82 hours, 56 minutes and 36 seconds.

"I'm going to speak from the heart," said the 22-year-old Slovenian as he brandished his winner's trophy.

"Thank you to everybody who came along during the three weeks. It was amazing to be riding along the route."

Pogacar is the 21st man since the inception of the race in 1903 to become a multiple winner.

Hailing his fellow UAE Team Emirates cyclists, he added: "I cannot describe how happy I am to be part of this family. It melts my heart. I'm proud to be part of this team and this journey."

Overall, Pogacar finished five minutes and 20 seconds ahead of Jonas Vingegaard from Denmark. Richard Carapaz was third.

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