Analysis by Jean-François Pescheux, Tour competition director: “The final stage plays out, as it usually does, with a grand finish on the Champs Elysées. The start is at Marcoussis – the base for the French rugby team as it prepares for the upcoming World Cup on home soil. This stage will start out in festive mood, with the yellow jersey toasting his success with champagne as the peloton initially rolls slowly towards Paris, but once the riders reach the Champs the racing begins again in earnest. This stage tends to come down to a bunch sprint, except when a rider manages to get away just before it, as Vinokourov did a couple of years ago. Even if the podium places have already been decided, victory here for any rider is something very special indeed.”

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