Jonas Vingegaard seals Tour de France title as Jordi Meeus takes shock stage win

Tadej Pogacar (left) and Jonas Vingegaard - Jonas Vingegaard seals second successive Tour de France title as Jordi Meeus takes shock stage win

Tadej Pogacar (left), the runner-up at this year’s Tour de France, congratulates overall winner Jonas Vingegaard – Getty Images/Marco Bertorello

Jonas Vingegaard was crowned Tour de France champion for a second consecutive year as Jordi Meeus won the final stage in a photo finish on the Champs-Elysees.

As the Paris finale came down to the customary sprint finish, all eyes were on Jasper Philipsen, winner of four stages in this Tour, and Dylan Groenewegen on the right-hand side of the road as they bounded over the cobbles, but it was Meeus who shot down the left to nick it with a bike throw.

Four riders came to the line almost together, with Philipsen taking second, Groenewegen third and Mads Pedersen fourth.

Jordi Meeus

Jordi Meeus pulled off the biggest result of his career – Reuters/Marco Bertorello

Vingegaard came home arm-in-arm with his Jumbo-Visma team-mates to confirm his victory by a margin of seven minutes and 29 seconds from two-time winner Tadej Pogacar, with Britain’s Adam Yates in third.

Meeus, making his Tour debut, could not immediately celebrate his win, looking around at his rivals as he asked if any of them could say for sure who finished first.

But when the result was confirmed, the Belgian celebrated wildly with his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates.

“I knew from the previous sprints that more was possible than the results I showed so far and today everything went perfectly and I’m super happy to finish it off,” he said.

“I felt good all day…and from the moment we went full gas my legs felt incredibly good. Marco Haller did a perfect job with positioning, I had the wheel of Pedersen then I could just come out of his slipstream and catch it on the line.

“It’s my first Tour, it was a super nice experience already so far and to take the win today is an indescribable feeling.” PA

Tour de France, stage 21: As it happened. . .

Table of Contents

07:00 PM BST

Vingegaard speaks . . .

“I’m proud and happy of course,” the newly crowned Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard has just said. “We’re winning it for a second time and it’s really amazing…I have to say thank you not only to my team but my family and all of Denmark, they supported me and I’m really grateful for this.

“It’s been a long journey but it went by so fast. We raced every day. It’s been a super good fight between me and Tadej and I really enjoyed it all the way. Of course I hope to come back next year to see if I can take a third win or at least try. That will be the plan.”

06:55 PM BST

Vingegaard seals his second Tour de France

Jonas Vingegaard has won the Tour de France after the Jumbo-Visma rider completed the 21-stage race 7min 29sec faster than runner-up Tadej Pogacar.

Vingegaard sealed back-to-back titles on the Champs-Élysées after having delivered the decisive blow to Pogacar’s hopes of taking home a third yellow jersey with a phenomenal ride in Tuesday’s time trial.

General classification final top 10

General classification final top 10

After going into the relatively short hilly 22.4-kilometre time trial with just 10sec separating the pair, Vingegaard gained a massive 1min 38sec on Pogacar to all but bury any hope the Slovenian had of taking top spot on the podium.

The following day on the road to Courchevel, Pogacar collapsed dramatically allowing Vingegaard to extend his lead out to an unassailable 7min 35sec.

Pogacar may have bounced back to win Saturday’s penultimate stage, but the race for the yellow jersey had already been won.

Tour de France, stage 21 live: Latest updates from final day with Vingegaard poised to win
Jonas Vingegaard on his way to winning the second Tour de France title of his career – EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson

Briton Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) finished third overall, finishing ahead of his twin brother Simon (Jayco-Alula).

Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) won the mountains classification, while Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) topped the points classification. Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), still 24, sealed a record fourth white jersey as best young rider.

Mountains classification final top 10

Mountains classification final top 10

Points classification final top 10

Points classification final top 10

Youth classification final top 10

Youth classification final top 10

Teams classification final top 10

Teams classification final top 10

06:39 PM BST

Paris snatch: Meeus is the surprise stage winner

Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) has just pulled off one of the biggest surprises of this year’s Tour de France after throwing his bike over the line to beat Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Al Ula) and Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) in a four-up photo-finish. What a result that is for the man who was picked over Irishman Sam Bennett. Until today the Belgian had done little of note, but that win will elevate the 25-year-old’s status no end.

Speaking afterwards, Meeus said: “I knew from the previous sprints that more was possible than the results I showed so far and today everything went perfectly and I’m super happy to finish it off.

“I felt good all day…and from the moment we went full gas my legs felt incredibly good. Marco Haller did a perfect job with positioning, I had the wheel of Pedersen then I could just come out of his slipstream and catch it on the line.

“It’s my first Tour, it was a super nice experience already so far and to take the win today is an indescribable feeling.”

06:35 PM BST

It’s a photo-finish

Jasper Philipsen was delivered perfectly by Mathieu van der Poel, but the green jersey got blocked behind Dylan Groenewegen briefly. Philipsen, however, regained his composure before opening up his sprint alongside Mads Pedersen. On the uphill drag, the four lunged for the line. But we have no idea who won. . . we will have to wait for the results from the photo-finish.

06:34 PM BST

1.5km to go

All to be played for here today. Nervous times at the front. . . where Tadej Pogacar is attempting to leado-ot a team-mate, Matteo Trentin perhaaps?

06:32 PM BST

3km to go

Jasper Philipsen has two team-mates ahead of him, sitting waiting to launch one final assault at this year’s race. Mads Pederseon is well positions, Dylan Groenewegen is a few wheels back.

06:30 PM BST

5km to go

Alberto Bettiol takes a flier, but he has a Alpecin-Deceuninck rider on his wheel marking him closely.

06:29 PM BST

5km to go

Two riders are off the front, but they will not hold off this charging peloton.

06:28 PM BST

7km to go

Omar Fraile attacks, followed by Victor Campenaerts. And over the line goes the peloton as the bel rings out. One lap to go until the Tour de France is over.

06:26 PM BST

8km to go

All back as one. And then Jonathan Castroviejo sets off up the road, but the Spanish time trial specialist is marked out by an EF Education-EasyPost rider.

06:25 PM BST

10km to go

Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) and Julian Alaphilippe bridge over to the stage leaders. Moments later the peloton sweeps the trio of Simon Clarke, Frederik Frison and Nelson Oliveira up.

06:23 PM BST

11km to go

Simon Clarke, Frederik Frison and Nelson Oliveira are getting reeled in, their lead has been slashed to just 5sec.

06:22 PM BST

11.5km to go

Bang on time, a few spots of rain are showing themselves.

06:22 PM BST

13km to go

Simon Clarke, Frederik Frison and Nelson Oliveira are not giving up. The trio’s lead has barely dropped: 16sec now. Further back, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) has been forced to stop, possibly with a mechanical issue.

06:19 PM BST

15km to go

A Jayco-Alula rider was just forced to stop for a bike change. Will that affect sprinter Dylan Groenewegen this afternoon? Alpecin-Deceuninck have two riders near the front, just ahead, I think, Mads Pedersen and at third wheel a Jayco-Alula rider. The gap between the leaders and the peloton is holding steady at 17sec.

06:16 PM BST

17km to go

Jai Hindley has dropped a change. Little wonder given the speeds thy are rolling over the cobbled boulevard. Simon Clarke, Frederik Frison and Nelson Oliveira are holding on for dear life, their lead dropping slightly to 16sec.

06:12 PM BST

20km to go

The leading trio has 20sec on the peloton, but I cannot see them going all the way today. Dries Devenyns is in no man’s land, the retiring Soudal-Quick Step rider throwing one last dice here on the streets of Paris.

06:11 PM BST

22km to go

Simon Clarke, Frederik Frison and Nelson Oliveira have 17sec on the peloton.

06:08 PM BST

24km to go

Frederik Frison rises out of his saddle, Simon Clarke and Nelson Oliveira tucked in behind the big Belgian. The trio are working well together, their advantage growing out to 13sec.

06:05 PM BST

26.5km to go

Simon Clarke, Frederik Frison and Nelson Oliveira edged their way up towards the Arc de Triomphe, their abvantage holding at around 15sec.

06:03 PM BST

28km to go

Tadej Pogacar, obviously, attacks again and is in pursuit of the mini-breakaway. The trio of Simon Clarke, Frederik Frison and Nelson Oliveira lead by 9sec.

06:01 PM BST

32km to go

No more time in the front for Tadej Pogacar. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) sets off on a flier and is soon joined by Frederik Frison (Lotto-Dstny) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar). The peloton, however, is watching them closely.

05:58 PM BST

33km to go

South London’s Fred Wight (Bahrain Victorious) is in the small eight-man leading group along with Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), Yves Lampaert (Soudal-Quick Step), Harold Tejada (Astana Qazaqstan) and Tadej Pogacar.

05:55 PM BST

35km to go

Yves Lampaert (Soudal-Quick Step) and Harold Tejada (Astana Qazaqstan) are in the leading eight-man group, but their lead has dropped quite significantly to just 5sec now.

05:53 PM BST

37km to go

Alpecin-Deceuninck are getting organised on the front of the bunch. Meanwhile, that six-man group has bridged over to Tadej Pogacar with their lead growing out to 15sec.

05:51 PM BST

40km to go

A group of around six riders have clipped off the front, Tadej Pogacar’s time out in front looks numbered.

05:49 PM BST

4okm to go

Soudal-Quick Step team-mates Rémi Cavagna and Tim Declercq appears to want to bridge over to the stage leaders, or are trying to reel them back in. Are they thinking about Michael Morkov today?

05:47 PM BST

42km to go

Nathan Van Hooydonck did a short turn a few moments ago, before Tadej Pogacar resumed his position on the front. The pair has increased its lead to 17sec.

05:46 PM BST

45km to go

Up and around the Arc de Triomphe and onto the downhill stretch of the Champs-Élysées and Tadej Pogacar has increased his lead to 12sec. Nathan Van Hooydonck has not done a single turn. Back in the bunch, the sprinters’ team Alpecin-Deceuninck, Jayco-Alula and Lotto-Dstny all have numbers on the front.

05:42 PM BST

47km to go

Tadej Pogacar and Nathan Van Hooydonck have gained 6sec on the bunch. Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-EasyPost) attempts to bridge over.

05:40 PM BST

49km to go

Frederik Frison (Lotto-Dstny) clipped off the front, but the Belgian’s lead was short-live. Next up, the entertainer that is Tadej Pogacar sets off on his lonesome. He is being marked closely by Jumbo-Visma rouler Nathan Van Hooydonck.

05:38 PM BST

50km to go

Michal Kwiatkowski takes it up on the front. The Pole, as I’m sure you will remember, won a stage at this year’s race, but I don’t think the Ineos Grenadiers will be adding another to his palmarès this afternoon.

05:36 PM BST

52km to go

Soudal-Quick Step drop the hammer as soon as the peloton passed over the lane. One of their riders, Dries Devenyns, will retire at the end of the season. Ordinarily, the Belgian team will have been targeting this stage, but after their sprinter Fabio Jakobsen I cannot see that happening today.

05:33 PM BST

54km to go

Having ridden through the Louvre, the peloton his hit Place de la Concorde. That threat of rain, thankfully, has not materialised. The French airforce are flying above the Champs-Élysées, and we are seconds away from this race to get under way. . .

05:26 PM BST

60km to go

The peloton has arrived in the centre of Paris, and is just 5km out from crossing the finish line on the Champs-Élysées. Once onto the final circuit, there will be eight 6.8km laps of high-octane and stressful racing before riders can put their feet up for a few days with a glass of Vimto, or whatever poison they choose.

05:19 PM BST

65km to go

The peloton is nearing central Paris. It looks fairly cloudy overhead, but thankfully there are no raindrops just jet. Jumbo-Visma are in formation on the front now and it looks as if time has been called on all of the larks.

05:15 PM BST

Campenaerts, the people’s champion

05:09 PM BST

73.1km to go

Giulio Ciccone, the leader and winner-elect of the mountains classification, moved the the front of the slowly moving peloton as it approached the only climb of the day, the category four côte du Pavé des Gardes. With just one point up for grabs, the Italian nudged ahead of the tightly packed peloton to scoop up one final point after team-mates Mattias Skjelmose and Mads Pedersen formed a mini-lead-out to the summit. Skjelmose and Pedersen, of course, have done an awful lot of work in the last week helping Ciccone get that polka-dot jersey. Providing everybody finishes safely today, here’s what the top 10 will look like:

Mountains classification final top 10

Mountains classification final top 10

05:02 PM BST

80km to go

Compatriots Dylan van Baarle (left) and Woet Poels have had a decent Tour de France. Van Baarle has plated a key role in Jonas Vingegaard’s overall win, while Poels won a memorable stage – the first of his career on Mont Blanc. Today, however, these Dutchman are not flying. On the contrary, these rider are going so slowly I think even this correspondent could keep up with them.

Dutch

Dylan van Baarle (left) and Woet Poels – Reuters/Benoit Tessier

04:50 PM BST

85km to go

Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step) drifts to the front of the race, chatting with compatriots Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) and the French national champion Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ).

Julian Alaphilippe

Julian Alaphilippe

04:41 PM BST

Meet the great Danes

A year after hosting the grand départ, Danish riders were yet again active at the Tour. There were stage wins for Jonas Vingegaard, Mads Pedersen and Kasper Asgreen, with strong performances from Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) and the Uno-X pair Anthon Charmig and Jonas Gregaard. The small nation has quietly become a superpower of the sport.

danes

danes

04:36 PM BST

Cheers, Jonas

Jumbo-Visma have been toasting their soon-to-be second back-to-back Tour de France titles. And why not. They are a man down, of course, after Wout van Aert abandoned earlier in the week to go him for the birth of his second child.

04:30 PM BST

From one entertainer to another. . .

04:27 PM BST

Sagan speaks

“Very good. I still didn’t realise it was my last Tour de France, I’m still in the race and . . . very focused for the last stage. I will try my best because it is a good opportunity, the last day on the Champs-Élysées. [I will] try to fight for a stage.”

Peter Sagan is riding his final stage at the Tour de France

Peter Sagan is riding his final stage at the Tour de France – EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson

Asked what his greatest memory of the Tour was, Sagan said: “The best one is hard to say, every one is special because I won 12 stages, but definitely the one that makes me emotional was the first one I think.”

And his immediate plans after the Tour?

“I would like to do the [world championship] road races and also mountain bike to qualify myself for the Olympic Games. I try my best for this.”

04:20 PM BST

The gang of four

04:17 PM BST

Spot on

Lidl-Trek have gone big on the polka-dots.

04:13 PM BST

100km to go

Just spotted Mathieu van der Poel sidling up alongside Pascal Eenkhoorn (Lotto-Dstny). The appeared to be fairly cordial with each other. Wonder if they discussed Van der Poel’s Alpecin-Deceuninck team-mate Jasper Philipsen’s interesting move during Thursday’s stage?

04:03 PM BST

‘In one week’s time I will start preparing for the Vuelta’

Jonas Vingegaard has just told Eurosport that he will be riding at next month’s Vuelta a España. That is going to be a very strong starting line. Primoz Roglic, Remco Evenepoel, Geraint Thomas, Richard Carapaz and Enric Mas are all also expected to be in Barcelona for the third grand tour of the season.

03:58 PM BST

107km to go

Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), the big Norwegian who has been fairly anonymous throughout the race, stopped a few moments ago to get a team mechanic to tinker with his seatpost. Back at the front of the race, Jonas Vingegaard, Jasper Philipsen, Giulio Ciccone and Tadej Pogacar gathered for the cameras for their customary snap of the classification leaders.

tdf

tdf

03:49 PM BST

110km to go

It looks a little overcast out there and there are a group of Aussies looking chuffed with themselves. And no, I’m not talking about Old Trafford, but about Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) and compatriot Luke Durbridge (Jayco-Alula) who are chatting away as the peloton taps away at a leisurely pace. Hindley, of course, won stage five before taking the leader’s yellow jersey for what was, I’m sure, a very special day for the 2022 Giro d’Italia champion.

03:44 PM BST

Merci, Sagan . . .

03:41 PM BST

113km to go

Victor Campenaerts attacked from the flag, but the Lotto-Dstny is almost certainly just larking around. The Belgian gained almost a minute on the ‘chasing’ pack, but soon sat up. Despite hardly riding, it took an age for the peloton to catch him.

03:38 PM BST

And they are off . . .

For one last time at this year’s race, race director Christian Prudhomme has reached KM0 where he stood up out of the sunroof of his shiny red Skoda before dropping the flag to signify that stage 21 is very much under way. Sort of.

It was a very short neutralised zone today, and the mood in the peloton appears to be one of joy and relief as the tired peloton inches its way to the end of a gruelling three weeks. The temperature around Paris has dropped and there are reports of rain in the capital. That could make the final sprint on the Champs-Élysées very interesting, but perhaps not one that friends and families of the riders will be relishing.

03:37 PM BST

Kopecky takes first yellow jersey in women’s Tour

Lotte Kopecky soloed to victory on the opening stage of the Tour de France Femmes as the SD Worx-Protime team celebrated yet another one-two finish in Clermont-Ferrand.

Lotte Kopecky

Lotte Kopecky takes the first yellow jersey – Getty Images/Jeff Pachoud

The sprinters had been hoping to prosper on a largely flat 124km stage but the category three climb of the Cote de Durtol, which peaked inside the final 10km, proved the launchpad for Kopecky as the race split apart.

The Belgian national champion raced clear of a much reduced peloton and stayed away on the descent into town to take the victory by 41 seconds, securing the first yellow jersey of the race, before her team-mate Lorena Wiebes won the sprint for second.

“It’s been on my mind for quite a long time, in the last three weeks I’ve been joking with my friend, texting each other and saying ‘10 kilometres out to go for yellow’ and it’s amazing I can do it,” Kopecky said.

“On the final climb I had the feeling I had something left so I just went. I thought probably somebody would follow but nobody could follow…

“We had two strategies. If Lorena could make it over the final climb we should go for Lorena in the sprint, but I also had my chance to go and I’m happy they gave me the chance and very happy I could take it.”

It is a 49th win of the season for the SD Worx-Protime team, and the 16th in which they have finished one-two.

“In the team we have been laughing about it,” Kopecky added. “There are so many races we’ve been one-two, the team is so strong and it’s super nice.” PA

02:45 PM BST

Stage 21 preview

Hello and welcome to our live rolling coverage from stage 20 at the Tour de France, the 115.5 kilometre run from Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines to Paris.

Stage 21 profile - Tour de France, stage 21 live: Latest updates from final day with Vingegaard poised to win

Stage 21 profile – Tour de France, stage 21 live: Latest updates from final day with Vingegaard poised to win

Three weeks after setting off from Bilbao, the remaining 150 riders will this evening roll into Paris where, on the most famous cobbled boulevard in the world will host what is likely to be the race’s final sprint finish. Barring any disasters of Devon Loch proportions, all four classifications are assured.

Providing Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) all finish today’s stage safely and within the time limit, then they will take home the yellow, green, polka-pot and white jerseys. And for those that have not been paying close attention, that means Vingegaard will win the overall title, Philipsen will win the points classification, Ciccone has been crowned ‘king of the mountains’ and Pogacar is the best young rider.

jp

jp

But do not be fooled into thinking this is a processional stage. The final stage into Champs-Élysées has, for every year since 1975, hosted the race which some call the unofficial sprinters’ world championship. Next year, of course, the final stage will be a time trial into Nice and so, one suspects, there will be additional pressure on those hoping to win on the cobbled incline.

Having already won four stage at this year’s race, Philipsen is the outright favourite for the win. Despite losing team-mate Ramon Sinkeldam during stage 14, the Belgian still has a strong squad surrounding him, including the battering ram that is Mathieu van der Poel. After the finishing line was moved 200 metres further up the Champs-Élysées in 2021, the finale favours the classics-style sprinters a little more that the purists, and so he could not ask for a better lead-out man than Van der Poel.

Jasper Philipsen - Tour de France, stage 21 live: Latest updates from final day with Vingegaard poised to win

Jasper Philipsen roars across the line on Champs-Élysées to win stage 21 at last year’s race – AP/Thibault Camus

Other sprinters that have won on Champs-Élysées that will hope to be in contention, include Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Al Ula), while Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) was third in 2020. Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) will ride their final stage in the Tour ahead of their respective retirements. Sagan will switch his focus to mountain biking once he hangs his road wheels up, while Pinot is planning to stay at home tending to his goats.

Whatever happens, Telegraph Sport will be here to guide you through all of the key moments, from start to finish. Racing will get under way at 3.45pm (BST).

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