Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to his maiden Tour de France stage victory on the final day of the Grand Tour, as Britain’s Chris Froome sealed the overall race win for the fourth time in his career here today.
Froome began the day poised for a third straight success at the race, which consisted of a largely ceremonial 103 kilometre route from Montgeron to Paris.
Upon entering the French capital, the peloton passed through the Grand Palais for the first time in the Tour’s history.
A digital depiction of athletics and swimming lanes beside the peloton was displayed on television images, with the move from organisers aimed at promoting Paris’ candidacy for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The 167-rider peloton then began to raise the pace as teams began to eye the final bunch sprint of the race.
Australia’s Daryl Impey launched an attack at the riders reached the Champs-Elysées, with a further eight joining him in the move.
They were later joined by Germany’s Tony Martin, but the Katusha-Alpecin rider was unable to help them hold off the peloton as the race was brought back together inside the final 10km.
A late solo effort from the Czech Republic’s Zdenek Stybar also proved unsuccessful, leading to an inevitable bunch sprint.
Stage 19 winner Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway was first to launch his sprint, but The Netherlands’ Groenewegen came through to take a maiden win on the iconic stage in a time of 2 hour, 25min and 39sec.
Germany’s André Greipel ended as the runner-up on the same time, with the result marking the first time since 2008 that the Lotto-Soudal rider has failed to win a stage on a Grand Tour he has participated in.
“This is an amazing place for the sprinters,” said Groenewegen.
“To win on the Champs-Elysées makes it a perfect day.
“When I was young, I was looking at the Champs-Elysées stage on television.
“Now I'm the winner here, it's wonderful.”
Froome finished safely in the peloton to add to his overall victories at the 2013, 2015 and 2016 editions of the race.
The Team Sky rider ended 54sec clear of runner-up Rigoberto Uran of Colombia, while France’s Romain Bardet made the podium for the second straight year, having finished 2:20 down in third.
“All my victories are so special in their own ways,” said Froome.
“This one will be remembered as the closest and more hard fought of them.
“It's a huge honour to be mentioned in the same sentence as Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
“It's a privilege to be going for the record next year.”
Froome was presented with the yellow jersey and winner’s trophy by French Sports Minister Laura Flessel and Tony Estanguet, Paris 2024 co-chairman.
France’s Warren Barguil was confirmed as the winner of the King of the Mountains and most aggressive rider categories, while Australia’s Michael Matthews received the green sprinters jersey.
Britain’s Simon Yates earned the best young rider prize, with the Orica Scott rider’s brother Adam having achieved the same feat last year.
The 2018 edition of the race will begin on July 7 and will run until July 29.