Tour de France 2022 stage 21 LIVE: Jonas Vingegaard celebrates title on Champs-Elysees after Jasper Philipsen wins sprint finish

·27 min read

Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark won his first Tour de France title on Sunday as Jasper Philipsen claimed Stage 21, his second of the race, to conclude the 109th edition of the race.

The Dane came out on top of a thrilling three-week duel, edging two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar, who played one last card on the Champs-Elysees, leading out the peloton before the sprint finish when Philipsen, of Alpecin-Deceuninck, pipped Dylan Groenewegen and Alexander Kristoff to the iconic sprint finish. The 25-year-old Vingegaard became the first Danish rider to win cycling’s biggest race since Bjarne Riis in 1996. He finished 3 minutes, 34 seconds ahead of second-place Pogacar. Vingegaard, who was runner-up to Pogacar last year, built his success in the mountains.

Vingegaard crossed the line arm-in-arm with his Jumbo-Visma team-mates to confirm the victory he effectively sealed in Saturday’s time trial. Britain’s Geraint Thomas, of Ineos, took a memorable third place, his third podium finish in his Tour de France career.

The day started with Lorena Wiebes putting on the first yellow jersey of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes, beating Marianne Vos in a sprint finish to conclude a historic opening stage on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Wiebes said: “I’m really happy that I was finally able to race on the Champs-Elysees. As expected it was a hard race. It feels really special to ride here in Paris and even more special to wear the yellow jersey. I was fine with the pressure because I directly put the most pressure on myself.”

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

Jonas Vingegaard reacts to winning Tour de France

19:16 , Jack Rathborn

“It’s just incredible, I finally won the Tour, nothing can go wrong anymore.

“I’m sitting with my daughter. It’s just incredible. It’s just incredible, it’s the biggest cycling race of the year, the biggest one you can win. Now I’ve done it, nobody can take this away from me.

“I always had the feeling I could fight for the win. In the end, when I started believing, I always believed, but now I started to think, ‘something would need to go wrong to not win’, that was after Hautacam.

“That was incredible [the Danish fans], so many saw me ride in the Yellow Jersey, I appreciate it so much. Every Dane here, cheering for me for three weeks, it means everything to me.

“Tuesday I go to Holland to celebrate, Wednesday in Copenhagen, Thursday in my town, Friday I am on the couch for one week.

“Of course I’m happy for my victory, I want to celebrate, relax, but also I want more.”

Tour de France 2022: Bradley Wiggins on Tadej Pogacar

19:05 , Jack Rathborn

“The sportsmanship he has show,” Bradley Wiggins tells Eurosport.

“The smile, but underneath there’s a burning desire. I think he’ll be a force to be reckoned with over the next few years.”

Tour de France 2022

19:04 , Jack Rathborn

“It was kind of funny, it was funny because I said 2km before, here we go, the attack,” Pogacar jokes.

“I went to the roundabout but thne I was then finished.”

Tour de France 2022: Jasper Philipsen reacts to Stage 21 win

18:55 , Jack Rathborn

“I cannot believe, it's a childhood dream come true, it will take a while to realise, I'm super proud of the team,” says Stage 21 winner Jasper Philipsen.

“To finish the tour like this, it’s the cherry on the cake.

“It went ideal for me, I was in a great position. I could stay in this wheel and do my final sprint when I wanted. Super happy and proud to win in this beautiful Champs-Elysees.

“We had disappointment earlier in the tour, it didn’t go the way we wanted. But to win in style, it’s just unbelievable.”

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:53 , Jack Rathborn

“One of our best ever cyclists now, the guy is incredible, such grace,” says Bradley Wiggins to Eurosport.

“The changing of the guard from old Team Sky to Ineos, it’s been a joy.”

Tour de France 2022: Jasper Philipsen wins Stage 21

18:46 , Jack Rathborn

Now just 600m left, it’s a big push. Jasper Philipsen has too much power, the Belgian wins Stage 21 by about three bike lengths, brilliant.

Van Aert, did not contest this stage, instead soaking up the occasion and coming over with his teammates, led by the race’s winner Vingegaard of course.

Some jostling between Kristoff and Ewan, with the former confirming the latter is not happy with him, but he maintains he took the fair line.

A sixth stage win for Belgium, by the way, that is the most by any nation this year.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
Jasper Philipsen celebrates (AP)
Jasper Philipsen celebrates (AP)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:44 , Jack Rathborn

We hit 1km remaining!

Fred Wright going for a long one, phenomenal stuff.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:42 , Jack Rathborn

Now 3km to go. Ganna and Pogacar leading out still.

Ewan looks primed. A big move from Philipsen too, he’s further up. Maybe the best position of the lot?

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:40 , Jack Rathborn

Pogacar! Drama, he leads out, 5km remain.

Sensational, he couldn’t, could he? After the disappointment of not retaining the Yellow Jersey, he’s messing with the aspirations of the sprinters.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:39 , Jack Rathborn

Thomas and Ganna break away, this is fun!

The pack rides during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France (AP)
The pack rides during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France (AP)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:38 , Jack Rathborn

Now just 7km remain, tongues out in the breakaway, they will join with the peloton soon.

The bell sounds! Strap in, this should be good.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:35 , Jack Rathborn

The gap is closing fast and almost completely closed.

Now 9km remain, the breakaway look back, the peloton is coming.

It’s now just Schlachmann and Rutsch; Duchesne dropped off.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:34 , Jack Rathborn

The breakaway is just three now, the gap is just eight seconds. 10.5km remain.

Rutsch, Duchesne and Schlachmann remain, Le Gac has dropped off.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:30 , Jack Rathborn

Van Aert in the middle of the peleton, but the other sprinters right at the front, the top 20-30 or so.

The gap is 10 seconds. Now only 13km remain.

Two laps to go! The bell is coming...

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:28 , Jack Rathborn

Van Aert, Jakobsen, Philipsen, Groenewegen and Ewan; they’re all there!

This could be a really explosive finish to a memorable Tour.

That group up top is Rutsch, Le Gac, Duchesne and Schlachmann.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:24 , Jack Rathborn

Jakobsen, a real favourite to win here, is well placed. His Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team move up.

Owain Doull has been dropped off the breakaway, which is down to four riders.

Jumbo-Visma not working at all, perhaps Van Aert isn’t in the running today? Has he had enough glory perhaps for one Tour.

Now 19km remain.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:21 , Jack Rathborn

Edvald Boasson Hagen with a technical issue, a big blow and an impact on UCI ProTeam Team TotalEnergies teammate Peter Sagan.

The gap is down to 13 seconds, having briefly moved up to 22 seconds.

Now just 21.4km remaining.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:17 , Jack Rathborn

The gap nudges up to 22 seconds. Kron is leading the peloton, they’re all working really hard now.

Lotto Soudal, BikeExchange and QuickStep at the front of the chase.

The sprinters’ teams look to still have their full allocation in the race, which is bad news for the breakaway group.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:15 , Jack Rathborn

We have a 13-second gap now to the peloton.

Now just 26km remain. Groupama-FDJ duo Olivier le Gac and Antoine Duchesne make a move to join Maximilian Schachmann, Owain Doull and Jonas Rutsch.

Not the smoothest roads for the riders, tremors going through their forearms.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:09 , Jack Rathborn

The breakaway group is ballooning, which has dragged them back to the peloton.

Now onto the downhill section back to Place de la Concorde.

Back to a three-man breakaway. Schachmann, Doull and Rutsch are at the front.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:06 , Jack Rathborn

Movistar’s Jorgenson is now in the breakaway, with Tratnik, Burgaudeau, Dewulf, Bissegger and Martinez. Seven seconds still, a slim advantage.

Five laps and 34km remain.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

18:03 , Jack Rathborn

Bissegger gets the 20 points then.

Still a five-man group and seven seconds ahead of the peloton.

Martinez (Ineos) looking good, Movistar sending one more to join the group.

Mattia Cattaneo with a small issue, sorts it out and the mechanical issue won’t prevent him from completing the stage and Tour.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:59 , Jack Rathborn

Tratnik, Burgaudeau, Dewulf, Bissegger and Martinez in the intemediate sprint.

Van Aert has long-since wrapped up the Green Jersey of course.

The Belgian is right at the back of the peloton.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:56 , Jack Rathborn

Tratnik and Burgaudeau join Dewulf and Bissegger, they have seven seconds lead to the peloton.

Ineos trying to send somebody up? Ganna might benefit from such a move?

Now we move to an eight-second gap with 41km remaining.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:54 , Jack Rathborn

Stefan Bissegger makes a move!

The breakaway is just a few seconds and can’t break away from the main group, Dewulf joins him.

TotalEnergies try to send another rider up to join them, interesting tactical trend emerging. A last hurrah for a French team to gain some headlines?

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:53 , Jack Rathborn

The French Air Force produce a wonderful tricolour above the riders in Paris.

 (Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:49 , Jack Rathborn

AG2R-Citroen’s Benoit Cosnefroy is up there now.

The gaps are emerging, this might not be easy to reign in and control.

The group turns into five.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:45 , Jack Rathborn

Through the Place de la Concorde, now we race. It’s on!

So many Danish flags, the riders curve around the Arc de Triomphe, sensational views.

Now on the downhill, the head of the course pick up speeds of 61kmph.

Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious) attacks, shortly after Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-EasyPost) had a foray.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:43 , Jack Rathborn

Bradley Wiggins on Eurosport: “I say it every year, that corner in 1993, I stood there, 10 years ago I took Mark Cavendish across here, a dream of mine.

“Who’ll get the victory? Look how narrow it is.

“This is my last Brad on a Bike, see you next year, au revoir.”

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:41 , Jack Rathborn

The riders are winding through Paris and the roar from the fans is sensational to hear.

A big Danish contingent to cheer on Vingegaard, who looks very comfortable in yellow, soaking in the biggest moment of his career.

55km left, we’re nearly at the Arc de Triomphe.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:37 , Jack Rathborn

Tremendous atmosphere on the streets of Paris, we’re now in the centre of the city.

Less than 60km remaining, it’s being wound up nicely now.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:31 , Jack Rathborn

A lot of rumours swirling about moves in the cycling world.

Jumbo Visma looking into signing Attila Valter, according to reports in Belgium. While discussion on the Eurosport broadcast centres around Primoz Roglic leaving for Ineos.

The Slovenian will want to challenge for the Tour again, but with Vingegaard now the main man for Jumbo Visma, could he be tempted away?

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21 - Tadej Pogacar discusses 2022 race

17:26 , Jack Rathborn

Tadej Pogacar on his Tour: “I can be really happy with this Tour, we wanted to win, but second and three stage wins, we can be proud of this.

“I’m looking for more challenges. Stage wins are always incredible in the Tour. It’s something I cannot describe. For me, that’s why it’s so beautiful.”

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:20 , Jack Rathborn

Simon Geschke gets the point! The German narrows the gap to Jonas Vingegaard.

It was just 1km with some sections up to 13 per cent, but Geschke is afforded the opportunity to ride clear, a nice touch.

17:15 , Jack Rathborn

There’s one point up for grabs here, although it won’t make a different to the KOM standings.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:10 , Jack Rathborn

Ok, we’re now inside 80km, time for the real racing?

The last picturesque views taken in by the riders at a leisurely Sunday ride pace, the Palace of Versailles looking splendid in these sunny conditions.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

17:05 , Jack Rathborn

Philippe Gilbert enjoying the limelight at the front, soaking in every last moment of his final Tour.

Vingegaard with his first sip of champagne then. A few glasses toasted through the window of a support car. Wonderful moment for any Tour winner.

“They’ve been the team of the Tour,” says Wiggins. “Wout is the best all-round cyclist in the world now, replacing Sagan.

“This is what the end of the Tour is about. The winning team having the procession before the Champs Elysees. It’s been a joy to watch. they now have a job to do for the rest of the day.

“It’ll be fast and frantic on the Champs Elysees.”

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

16:52 , Jack Rathborn

Geraint Thomas: “I’ve done some of my best numbers. At the same time, my best previous in 2018 I had more. It’s hard to go off that.

“I’m in top shape. Happy to have got here as well. The group of guys we’ve got. We all get on really well, the atmosphere on the bus, it’s just been good.

“It was a Subway, somebody forgot to put the food on the bus. Had a few cookies and a foot long. Can’t fault it.”

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

16:48 , Jack Rathborn

The calm before the storm, but don’t expect Jonas Vingegaard’s mood to change.

The Yellow Jersey holder has a nice conversation with American Neilson Powless, of EF Education-EasyPost.

A nice touch from Jumbo Visma, who pay tribute to the riders who didn’t make it this far, numbers held up for former GC contender Primoz Roglic, as well as Steven Kruijswijk and Nathan Van Hooydonck.

Tour de France Femmes 2022: Lorena Wiebes holds her child while celebrating becoming overall leader with Yellow Jersey

16:38 , Jack Rathborn

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
Team DSM's Dutch rider Lorena Wiebes holding her child celebrates her overall leader yellow jersey on the podium (AFP via Getty Images)
Team DSM's Dutch rider Lorena Wiebes holding her child celebrates her overall leader yellow jersey on the podium (AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

16:33 , Jack Rathborn

Bradley Wiggins on Eurosport: “It’s a procession until the Champs-Élysées, it’s hard for the riders, the mood has changed from a festive one to concentration.

“It’s difficult to go from 20kmph to 50-60kmph. Vingegaard, the new superstar of cycling.

“Him and Pogacar, Jumbo-Visma are the most complete team in the world. Even the guys who didn’t make the Tour. UAE have to rebuild their team this winter.

“Quite boring sitting here, When we get to the Champs-Élysées, it’ll be a spectacle. Oh, there’s Rigoberto Uran having a wee, that’s the highlight at the moment.”

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

16:30 , Jack Rathborn

We can expect the racing to kick off with about 80km to go, will anybody go early?

We have 100km to go and Luke Rowe and Bauke Mollema enjoying their places at the front of the pack.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

16:17 , Jack Rathborn

The riders make their way through the Foret Domaniale de Meudon.

Beautiful scenes and a very jovial mood at the front of the peloton.

To underline the relaxed nature of this pace, Luke Rowe is able to hop off and apply some sunscreen to his legs.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
The pack leave the Paris la Defense Arena (AP)
The pack leave the Paris la Defense Arena (AP)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

16:12 , Jack Rathborn

It’s a gentle start, as you might expect as we close in on the final 100km of this stage.

Phillippe Gilbert is at the front of the procession alongside Van Aert.

It’s a gorgeous day on the streets of Paris, the fans are out to welcome the riders at every corner.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

16:03 , Jack Rathborn

 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, Belgium’s Wout van Aert and Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar (AP)
Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, Belgium’s Wout van Aert and Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar (AP)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

15:55 , Jack Rathborn

Michael Woods tested positive for Covid this morning. A brutal blow after coming this far.

Vingegaard on Van Aert: “Wout has been the strongest rider in this race, to have him by my side has been incredible.”

Van Aert: “We destroyed everybody on the two hardested stages, I’ll remember that forever. Our team spirit, we enjoyed every day, every minute. It was a lot of stress. It was special to experience.”

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

15:48 , Jack Rathborn

Bit of fun and games between Van Aert and Pogacar, with Vingegaard close by.

The riders attack each other with the peloton way behind.

All three in good spirits.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

15:46 , Jack Rathborn

Peter Sagan has already swapped out his bike, a late change in pursuit of a Tour-defining win?

Here are some of the contenders for the win today:

  • Fabio Jakobsen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl)

  • Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)

  • Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)

  • Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)

  • Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikeExchange-Jayco)

  • Danny Van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe)

  • Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck)

  • Alberto Dainese (Team DSM)

Tour de France 2022: Jasper Philipsen on Stage 21

15:33 , Jack Rathborn

We’re moments away from the neutralised start...

Jasper Philipsen: “I think everybody survived well, we all made it to Paris. We can make it a nice royal sprint.

“It has to be a sprint, we can’t [go for a long one], the tourist finish to celebrate the end of the tour.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France 2022: Could traditional final stage truce for Yellow Jersey change in future?

15:29 , Jack Rathborn

Eurosport pundit Adam Blythe: “It’s a gentleman’s agreement, we might see it change.

“I still think if he [Pogacar] was a second behind, he might have a little play?

“I’m all for it. But yes, it’s a sprinter’s day.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Pidcock reflects on maiden Tour de France

15:22 , Jack Rathborn

“It’s more going through it, learning, writing stuff down. Every little thing makes a difference,” Tom Pidcock said.

“When I joined the team, they said I should write stuff down as I learn and here every day I’ve been writing everything down. So, I’ve got a pretty good idea for next year, a pretty good routine and everything.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21

15:14 , Jack Rathborn

OK, so attention turns to Stage 21 in the men’s Tour de France.

Glory for Vingegaard, but who will win one of the most prestigious stages in all of cycling?

Tour de France Femmes 2022: Kasia Niewiadoma reacts to Stage 1

15:00 , Jack Rathborn

Kasia Niewiadoma on Stage 1: “It was surprisingly easy, I expected it to be hard. Nice to open the legs out.

“There was nothing crazy happening. I expected a chaotic race, fighting for positions, but it seemed relaxed, maybe due to quite wide roads.

“The last lap was all about fighting for position to get to the front, but I feel like a lot of things for GC riders, everybody is looking forward to this. You have to be conscious of the other riders.

“My teammate got punctured one and a half laps to go. A bit of a panic. It was a little preparation for Paris-Roubaix.

“I just want to stay safe in these stages. I’m happy everybody stayed relatively up without injuries.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tour de France Femmes 2022: Pfeiffer Georgi reacts to Lorena Wiebes win

14:54 , Jack Rathborn

After Wiebes pipped Vos, third went to Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx).

Pfeiffer Georgi on the team win: “It’s pretty special. The final sprint was crazy, I had to do a bit of moving up.

“It was pretty hard. We always come in with a perfect plan, but today was hectic, you have to adapt. The girls did a good job to cover the moves.

“It’s 800m from the corner, it’s a long way, Lorena is in position, so she can win.

“Today is a monumental day, she doesn’t show it feeling the pressure. Karaoke on the bus.

“Good vibes before the start, she doesn’t show the nerves. It’s a monumental day but we tried to treat it like any other bike race.”

Tour de France Femmes 2022: Lorena Wiebes reacts to Stage 1 win

14:43 , Jack Rathborn

“It was a chaotic sprint. I was quite relaxed before the start, we did everything as normal.

“Of course there were nerves towards the final. It’s amazing, I’m really, really happy with this.

“The whole team deserves this. We’re ready for the next one.

“It was really close, luckily I could accelerate one more time and hold it to the finish line.”

Tour de France Femmes 2022

14:41 , Jack Rathborn

Vos on Wiebes: “She had a deserved win.”

Netherland's Lorena Wiebes, right, celebrates as she crosses the finish line (AP)
Netherland's Lorena Wiebes, right, celebrates as she crosses the finish line (AP)

Tour de France Femmes 2022: Lorena Wiebes (DSM) wins Stage 1 and becomes first leader

14:36 , Jack Rathborn

It’s Lorena Wiebes who takes it, that was a drag race to the line.

Vos pipped, incredible finish!

Huge win for Wiebes, she took the outside line and then matched Vos on a long sprint home, superb.

There are tears as she celebrates on the Champs-Élysées. Magic.

Tour de France Femmes 2022

14:34 , Jack Rathborn

Biannic and Vos primed, Henderson leads out...

Norsgaard could go long.

Tour de France Femmes 2022

14:34 , Jack Rathborn

Marianne Vos is well primed and Gladys Verhulst has been caught.

Just 2km to go.

The final lead-out, drama coming!

Tour de France Femmes 2022

14:32 , Jack Rathborn

The pack speeds down the Champs Elysee (AP)
The pack speeds down the Champs Elysee (AP)
 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Tour de France Femmes 2022

14:29 , Jack Rathborn

Gladys Verhulst still just ahead of the peloton, less than 5k to go now...

Only 13 seconds ahead, this could be a fun finish.

Tour de France Femmes 2022

14:18 , Jack Rathborn

There’s a battle for each jersey in the first stage here.

Three riders battling for the Polka Dot jersey; Marta Lach, Femke Markus, and Anne Dorthe Ysland.

Two points on offer for the first place and one for the next one through.

Meanwhile, Gladys Verhulst is 20 seconds clear.

Tour de France 2022: Geraint Thomas’ gilet makes its way to Paris

14:13 , Jack Rathborn

What a Tour for Geraint Thomas, a sensational ride with smart tactics throughout.

A podium finish later today is his reward.

And don’t forget the gilet, it’ll take its prideful place in Paris.

If you want a piece of history, you can buy a raffle ticket for it here with the proceeds going towards the Geraint Thomas Cyling Trust.

Tour de France Femmes 2022

14:07 , Jack Rathborn

 (EPA)
(EPA)
Riders take the start of the first stage of the Tour de France women's cycling race (AP)
Riders take the start of the first stage of the Tour de France women's cycling race (AP)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Tour de France Femmes 2022

14:00 , Jack Rathborn

Meanwhile in the women’s race, there are 32km to go.

Pauline Allin has a 12 second advantage, if she can negotiate the next 5km, it’s then the second intermediate sprint.

Henrietta Christie is now keeping her company.

Tour de France 2022: Stage 21 odds

13:50 , Jack Rathborn

  • Jasper Philipsen 9/4

  • Fabio Jakobsen 7/2

  • Wout van Aert 7/2

  • Dylan Groenewegen 5/1

  • Caleb Ewan 8/1

  • Mads Pedersen 10/1

  • Alberto Dainese 25/1

  • Peter Sagan 28/1

  • Christophe Laporte 33/1

  • Jasper Stuyven 50/1

What it feels like to ride up a Tour de France mountain

13:30 , Jack Rathborn

lpe d’Huez is brutal. No, it’s not the longest climb in the world, nor is it the steepest, but it is relentless. It is 14.4km long and 1100m high and has an average gradient (or steepness) of around 7.9 per cent – a flat road being 0 per cent.

What it feels like to ride up a Tour de France mountain

‘We are totally clean, every one of us’: Jonas Vingegaard defends Jumbo-Visma dominance at Tour de France

13:15 , Jack Rathborn

Jonas Vingegaard maintains every member of Jumbo-Visma is “totally clean” and nobody is “taking anything illegal” after clinching the Yellow Jersey at the Tour de France.

The Dane’s victory caps a dominant race for the Dutch team, who have picked off six stage victories, including three for Wout van Aert, who triumphed in Saturday’s Stage 20 time-trial to Rocamadour.

Vingegaard, who has two wins, while Christophe Laporte also has a stage victory, was asked following the Stage 20 whether Jumbo-Visma should be trusted, a question posed to each Tour winner since the Lance Armstrong scandal, which has contributed to much of cycling’s murky past.

And despite no implication or evidence of any wrongdoing, from either Vingegaard or his team, the rider answered candidly, explaining the team set-up and training philosophy.

‘We are totally clean’: Jonas Vingegaard defends Jumbo-Visma dominance

Annemiek van Vleuten eager to make mark at inaugural Tour de France Femmes

13:00 , Jack Rathborn

Race favourite Annemiek van Vleuten has declared herself “ready” for Sunday’s start of inaugural edition of the Tour de France Femmes.

The former world champion will be one of 144 riders who will race down the Champs-Elysees when this long-awaited ‘proper’ women’s edition of the Tour gets under way.

The 82km sprint around Paris will be merely an hors d’oeuvres for the eight-day race, which will cover 1,029km on its way to a climax on La Super des Planche des Belles Filles on July 31.

Van Vleuten, the 2019 world champion who is in her penultimate season at the age of 39, goes into the race full of confidence after securing her third Giro Donne crown earlier this month.

Annemiek van Vleuten eager to make mark at inaugural Tour de France Femmes

How Jonas Vingegaard and Jumbo-Visma broke Tadej Pogacar’s stranglehold on the Tour de France

12:45 , Jack Rathborn

One of the beauties of the Tour de France is the myriad ways in which it can be won. Sometimes a rider bullies from start to finish, like Bernard Hinault, who intimidated rivals with his presence and crushed them at every opportunity en route to Paris in 1981. Time-trial specialists mark rivals on the climbs and hurt them on the clock, as Miguel Indurain did so emphatically in 1992, and again in 1994. Chris Froome used Team Sky’s stranglehold on the peloton to suffocate his opponents, while Tadej Pogacar’s back-to-back wins in 2020 and 2021 displayed his individual, unpredictable brilliance.

Jonas Vingegaard is the latest man to win the Tour, and for all his unerring strength and resilience across these past three weeks, the race was won in a decisive hour in the Alps, when Jumbo-Visma’s team tactics isolated and outwitted Pogacar and stripped the yellow jersey from his back.

Head to head, there has not been much to choose between the two leading protagonists of this year’s compelling story. Both are capable time-triallists, both strong climbers, both clearly able to handle the unique pressures that come with leading a team in a grand tour. Pogacar had a slight burst of flat speed that helped him edge stages seven and 17, and the punchier legs that saw him surge to victory on stage 6, back when it seemed his race to lose. Vingegaard had the edge in the highest mountains, where he never cracked despite Pogacar’s best efforts.

How Jonas Vingegaard broke Tadej Pogacar’s stranglehold on the Tour de France

‘It changes everything’: Why the Tour de France Femmes is a historic moment for women’s cycling

12:30 , Jack Rathborn

After years of failed attempts and half-hearted gimmicks, women’s cycling will finally have a Tour de France worthy of the name when it begins in Paris on Sunday. The brand new Tour de France Femmes is the most lucrative ever women’s cycling race, bursting with talent on a varied and challenging eight-stage parcours built to entertain, and organiser ASO has perhaps finally planted the seeds of a race which will grow and blossom for many summers to come.

There have been several different incarnations of a women’s Tour de France stretching back to 1955. The race peaked during the 1980s but faded away, and when it returned under the guise of the one-day La Course in 2014, thanks to sustained pressure and campaigning, it always felt like a token gesture, an afterthought tacked on to the men’s race. ASO’s claim that it was unfeasible to have both a men’s and women’s Tour only ever seemed like an excuse.

Now the Tour de France Femmes stands alone as a multiple stage race in its own right, with the resources and the momentum to flourish. Virtual cycling giant Zwift is the lead sponsor, signing a four-year deal and helping fund a prize pot of more than £200,000, with around £40,000 for the winner. More significant is that TV coverage of the race will be wide-reaching, even if it is a shame ITV will not be showing the action free-to-air as it has done for the men’s edition. UK fans can watch via Eurosport, Discovery+ or Global Cycling Network.

Why the inaugural Tour de France Femmes ‘changes everything’

Tour de France 2022 stage 21 preview: Route map and profile of Paris finale

12:21 , Jack Rathborn

The 2022 Tour de France comes to a close on Sunday with a 116km jaunt to the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

The traditional stage 21 truce means Jonas Vingegaard will get to enjoy the procession to the French capital alongside his Jumbo-Visma teammates at the end of a long, hard month, and modern tradition dictates the winning team drink champagne as they ride.

They may well have sore heads from Saturday’s celebrations after sealing the yellow jersey in style, earning a one-two on the stage 20 individual time trial with the green jersey of Wout van Aert pipping teammate Vingegaard to the victory.

It has been a sensational Tour for both riders and Van Aert will try to pick up his fourth stage win of the race when the pack arrive on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday afternoon for what is typically a bunch sprint.

The superstar Belgian may be the favourite for this one but he will face competition from those sprinters who struggled through the Alps and Pyrenees to get to this point, all desperate to win the prestigious Paris stage. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Fabio Jakobsen (QuickStep), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin) and Dylan Groenewegen (BikeEchange) are among those who will hope to challenge.

Geraint Thomas will ride to Paris to confirm the third podium position of his Tour de France career, the dethroned Tadej Pogacar will win the young rider’s white jersey, and Vingegaard will collect the polka dot jersey to go along with yellow, after his efforts in the Pyrenees saw him rise to the top of the King of the Mountains classification.

Tour de France 2022 stage 21 preview: Route map and profile of Paris finale