Tour de France Stage 21: Jordi Meeus Takes the Final Stage

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TOUR DE FRANCE 2023 | STAGE 21 | SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES > PARIS CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES

Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the conclusive stage of the 110th Tour de France in Paris/Champs-Elysées in a bunch gallop that saw Jasper Philipsen and Dylan Groenewegen rounding out the podium in a very tight finish. Jonas Vingegaard became the 14th twice winner of the Tour de France, the first to achieve the Critérium du Dauphiné-Tour de France double since Geraint Thomas in 2018. Tadej Pogacar attacked on the Champs-Elysées but remained second overall. The same two riders finishing first and second two years in a row didn’t happen since Bernard Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk in 1978-79. The same two riders in the first two places at the end three years running is a first in the history of the race.

CAMPENAERTS AND CICCONE CELEBRATE THEIR ACHIEVEMENT

The start proper of stage 21 was given to 150 riders at 16.38. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny) attacked from the gun with the consent of the peloton to celebrate his super combative award but he sat up quickly this time! After the traditional toasts and pictures, Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) crested the côte du pavé des Gardes (cat. 4), the only categorized climb of the day, in first position, cheered up by his team-mates Mads Pedersen and Mattias Skjelmose.

caption id=”attachment_34535″ align=”aligncenter” width=”1500″] 23/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 21 -Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines / Paris Champs-Élysées (115,1 km) – CICCONE Giulio (LIDL – TREK) – © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet[/caption]

POGACAR ON THE ATTACK

In the real race, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) attacked with 49km remaining. It forced Nathan van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma) to catch him and Alpecin-Deceuninck to chase them down. The Slovenian won the intermediate sprint. A group of ten riders came across but it was all together again 33km before the end. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) and Frederik Frison (Lotto-Dstny) rode away with 30km to go. They got a maximum advantage of 20’’ with 20km remaining. It was bunched up again 10km before the end. The times were taken one lap before the finish as it started raining in Paris.

23/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 21 -Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines / Paris Champs-Élysées (115,1 km) – © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

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MEEUS, A PIECE FOR A MUSEEUM

Uno-X brought former Champs-Elysées winner Alexander Kristoff to the front. Cofidis also showed up in the first positions for Bryan Coquard with 3km to go. Alex Kirsch (Lidl-Trek) took the lead for Mads Pedersen. They were followed by Bora-Hansgrohe setting up the sprint for Jordi Meeus. Pogacar didn’t have enough racing as he passed the red flame of the last kilometre in first position while Vingegaard let himself distanced to celebrate with his team-mates as the times had been taken at bell lap due to the rain. Jonas Rickaert took the lead to pilot Philipsen to a second win in a row on the Champs-Elysées and a fifth on this Tour de France but his compatriot pipped him on the line in a tight finish that required watching the photo. Meeus was chosen by Bora-Hansgrohe to substitute Sam Bennett, the winner in Paris in 2020. He waited for his time to come. 6th in Bordeaux was his best result so far. This is his first Grand Tour victory in his first participation in the Tour de France.

JORDI MEEUS: “THE GREATEST DAY IN MY SPORTING CAREER”

“This is definitely the greatest day in my sporting career. These days I saw my results could improve… I’m happy to pull it off. I felt quite good all day. The beginning was easy and, from the moment we went full gas, my legs felt good. Marco Haller did great job at positioning me. I sat on Pedersen’s wheel and then came off his slipstream to pip everyone on the line. It’s unbelievable I got to win here, in my first Tour de France.”

23/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 21 -Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines / Paris Champs-Élysées (115,1 km) – MEEUS Jordi (BORA – HANSGROHE) – Vainqueur de l’étape – © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

JONAS VINGEGAARD: “I’VE ENJOYED EVERY DAY”

“It is a feeling of being proud and happy. We win the race for the 2nd time now. It’s really amazing. With all the spectators, all the Danish people here, it has been really amazing. Thanks not only to my team and my family – but to all Denmark. They have supported me greatly. It’s been a long journey, yet it went by so fast. Day after day, it was a super hard race with a super nice fight between me and Tadej. I’ve enjoyed every day. I hope to come back next year and see if I can take a 3rd win – or at least try! That’s my plan.”

23/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 21 -Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines / Paris Champs-Élysées (115,1 km) – VINGEGAARD Jonas (JUMBO-VISMA) – Avec le maillot jaune – © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

JASPER PHILIPSEN: “THIS TOUR WILL REMAIN IN MY MEMORY”

“Standing on the podium in the green jersey is such an amazing feeling. I’m proud of how well we worked together towards it. I wanted to win today, but also to enjoy what I have achieved so far. Besides, I’m happy that it was Jordi [Meeus] who took the victory. This has been my best Tour de France, and these will for sure be some of the best memoires of my sporting career. My next aim is the world championships road race.”

23/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 21 -Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines / Paris Champs-Élysées (115,1 km) – PHILIPSEN Jasper (ALPECIN-DECEUNINCK) – Avec le maillot vert – © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

GIULIO CICCONE: “THE POLKA DOT JERSEY WAS MY CHILDHOOD DREAM”

“This is one of the best days of my life. It’s really good for me and for my team that I got this KOM jersey. It’s one to enjoy. It inspires me the greatest emotions. I feel really proud of myself. This jersey has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid and I first started riding a bike.”

23/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 21 -Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines / Paris Champs-Élysées (115,1 km) – CICCONE Giulio (LIDL – TREK) – Avec le maillot à pois – © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

TADEJ POGACAR: “THIS IS AN ERA OF CYCLING WE CAN ALL CHERISH”

“I can be satisfied considering everything that happened in this Tour, despite of course the fast that my desire was to win. It has been an amazing Tour for me and for my team. I’m super happy to be in Paris on the podium, and in white one more time. So yeah: thank you all, and goodbye to my beloved white jersey… I’m not young anymore! I knew sooner or later I would have days like this, moments like this. It is not the last time I will feel I am past my limit. I can learn something from this. For the future, I know better what I can expect from myself. We are racing a beautiful sport. We push each other to the limit. This an era we can all cherish and be happy about, because the racing is great. But yeah – this is just a bike race, and we just have to enjoy every moment we can have.”

23/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 21 -Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines / Paris Champs-Élysées (115,1 km) – POGACAR Tadej (UAE TEAM EMIRATES) – Avec le maillot blanc – © A.S.O./Pauline Ballet
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