The final sprint of the Tour de France always takes place on Paris’ famous avenue. On 18 July, as it has every year since 1975, the last stage of the famous cycling race will end on the Champs-Élysées.
With 3,383 kilometres for the legs to tackle and some 403,000 pedal strokes over three weeks, taking part in the Tour de France is no easy task.
In view of the conclusion of the 21st and final stage of the Grand Boucle, the peloton will give it all they’ve got. Before parading in the capital, the riders will have sweated to climb the 30 passes of the 2021 race, rising in their saddles to pick up momentum and clenching their teeth in the vertiginous descents.
The Champs-Élysées in all its majesty
From Brittany to the Alps, from the Occitanie to the Pyrenees, the riders will have been so focused on their performance that they won’t have soaked up much of the photogenic landscapes of France, broadcast across 100 TV channels.
But by the end of the efforts, what a reward: the majestic Champs-Élysées, with the blue-white-red wake of the famous Patrouille de France fly-past. Nobody else has such a claim on the famous avenue except the French football team, winner of the World Cup in 2018.
Standing on the podium at the bottom of the famous Parisian avenue, with the setting sun at the Arc de Triomphe and Grande Arche de la Défense as a backdrop, the winner of the Tour will have – like all his fellow riders – accomplished the Parisian ritual.
Established in 1975, this involves riding up and down the Champs-Élysées eight times, totalling 1,910 legendary metres separating the obelisk of the Place de la Concorde from the star of the Place Charles-de-Gaulle.
A ride beside the Louvre Pyramid
Seen from above, the spectacle of the peloton winding like a long ribbon decorated around the Arc de Triomphe is magical. From the pavements lining the route of this final sprint, the enthusiasm of the public pushes the riders on through the Quai des Tuileries, Place des Pyramides and Rue de Rivoli in Paris.
Will they take a look as they go past? Not sure. Almost lying on their handlebars, they traditionally take this last stage at a crazy pace, overlooking the cobblestones and prestigious landmarks around. Louis Vuitton, Guerlain, Ladurée and even, recently, the Galeries Lafayette, make up the exclusive backdrop of the peloton’s arrival on the Champs-Élysées.
Among the live support or behind your TV screen, it’s you who will enjoy all these beauties... happy as a spectator of the Tour!