Stage 20 preview

Toast and sprint

After a TGV transfer to the outskirts of Paris, the 97th Tour de France concludes with a stage of barely 100km that includes the now traditional eight laps on the Champs Élysées circuit.

The riders will saunter into the French capital from the west as the Tour champion-in-waiting is toasted with champagne and then has his team-mates lead the race down the rue de Rivoli and onto the Champs for the first time. After that, battle is engaged for 75 minutes of high-octane attack and counter-attack, almost certainly culminating in a bunch sprint.

Procycling’s favourite to win:

The winner by a considerable distance on the world’s most famous avenue last year, Mark Cavendish hopes to become the first Briton to win the green jersey. A stage win here could well cement his grip on that title. Beating his rivals in this prestigious sprint would also lay down a marker for the World Championships in Australia two months later. The Geelong course is believed to suit the sprinters, and Cavendish would no doubt relish the prospect of adding the rainbow jersey to the Tour’s green if he’s triumphant today.

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