As is tradition, the peloton rolled through the first 70 kilometers slowly until they reached the first of eight laps of the finish circuit on the iconic Champs Elysées when attacks were launched and a four-rider breakaway was formed.
Joey Rosskopf tried to bridge across in a three-rider chase group but was unable to make the junction with the peloton just 20 seconds behind the breakaway on the second lap.
The sprinters’ teams kept the breakaway close and eventually pulled them back with 12 kilometers. Greg Van Avermaet tried a solo attack with 5.5 kilometers remaining but, this gutsy move was caught to set the stage for the bunch sprint. Ewan proved to be the fastest on the cobbles, while Michael Schär was the first CCC Team rider across the line.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Fabio Baldato, Sports Directors:
“I’m really proud of the way the team performed this year. Losing Patrick Bevin and Alessandro De Marchi was a real shame as I think they would have been capable of some good results. But the guys stayed motivated and kept fighting every day. We didn’t finish with a stage win but I don’t think anyone could say that we didn’t try. We were in some really nice breakaways and close to a win a few times with Greg. It was a really nice Tour de France and I think we will come back even stronger next year.”
“It has been a Tour de France of ups and downs for me. I was really happy the whole three weeks as it was a really nice approach to the Tour, just focusing on racing aggressively and attractively. Not just having one goal, but every day having a different goal. For me personally, it was a nice Tour. I would have liked to also have a result but in the Tour, it’s really hard. I was happy to go in the breakaways a bit and show the jersey, which was enjoyable.
“I had a couple of days where I focused on the breakaway and wanted to be in it, and I was. It worked out in the sense that I was in the breakaway on those days but, of course, it’s also dependent on the other riders in the breakaway. The Galibier stage was pretty good for me. I think, in general as a team we shouldn’t forget that we lost two strong guys early on and I think we fought with the remaining riders really well. We kept a good atmosphere until the end. We didn’t reach our goal of winning a stage but I think we can still be satisfied with what we did.”
“It was a pleasure to spend this month with the team, both the staff and riders. It was a really determined group and it was a nice experience, and one I want to grow from. I hope to improve on it and come back to the Tour de France. The time trial was a highlight for me but I would like to keep growing and contribute on the road stages as well. That’s a goal for the future.”
“It was quite a positive experience. I was happy with my performance over the three weeks. It was a completely different approach for me not riding for a GC guy, going in breakaways, and I accumulated quite some kilometers out there which was nice. The most aggressive rider award on one day was a little reward for me. I tried one day with Greg which was a nice move too, and in the end it was a different Tour but an enjoyable Tour.
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was quite a good race. A stage win was definitely the goal as it needs to be when you start a Grand Tour but, it’s not that easy. If you see how not many teams won a stage, you see how difficult it is. I think we did quite well, we tried to do what we could, and we went in the breakaway a lot. I was a few times close to the victory but it didn’t happen. This is how it is in sport. It’s really hard to win at the highest level but I’m pretty proud of what we did here at the Tour.”
“It was a super nice experience. I had a few hard days but I will take a lot of good memories away. In the team, we had a nice group of riders and staff and everything worked well. We missed a victory but we made some nice results. I think we will only get better from here.”
Tour de France
Stage 21 Rambouillet – Paris (126km)
Top 3: 1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) 2. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) 3. Niccolò Bonifazio (Team Total Direct Energie)
CCC Team top 3: Michael Schär 80. Łukasz Wiśniowski 81. Joey Rosskopf
Top 3 on GC: 1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS), 2. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS), 3. Steven Kruiswijk (Team Jumbo-Visma)
CCC Team top 3 on GC: 36. Greg Van Avermaet, 63. Simon Geschke, 70. Michael Schär.