Tour de France: Wout van Aert ruins Mark Cavendish’s party as the Belgian plunges to victory in Paris

Wout van Aert ruins Mark Cavendish’s party as Belgian storms to victory in Paris and blocks Manx Missile from record 35th stage… while Tadej Pogacar takes overall victory on the last day of the Tour de France

  • Wout van Aert sprinted to victory in Tour de France final stage
  • Mark Cavendish finished third and failed to set a record for 35th stage win
  • The Manx Missile concludes a sensational Tour with four wins and the green jersey
  • Tadej Pogacar crossed the line in Paris to take overall wins in a row

It should have been Mark Cavendish’s magical evening, but Wout van Aert ruined the party in Paris as the Belgian was on his way to victory in stage 21 of the Tour de France.

If it had been Cavendish thundering down the Champs Elysées with his arms in the air, the veteran . Instead, he completes the race with the green jersey, four wins and a deadlock with Eddy Merckx in the history books.

A perfect lead-out by Jumbo-Visma teammate Mike Teunissen launched Van Aert to his third win of the Tour, as Tadej Pogacar rolled from behind to seal the overall wins in a row.

Wout Van Aert took the win in stage 21 of the Tour de France, beating Mark Cavendish (right)

'Cav' failed to take his record 35th stage but joined Tadej Pogacar on the podium to take the green jersey after the Slovenian dominated the yellow jersey

‘Cav’ failed to take his record 35th stage but joined Tadej Pogacar on the podium to take the green jersey after the Slovenian dominated the yellow jersey

The Slovenian sensation tore through his weakened competition this summer, finishing the three weeks five minutes and 20 seconds ahead of Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingergaard, with Ineos climber Richard Carapaz more than a minute further back.

The 22-year-old has rocked the sport with his stunning dominance, and for the second consecutive year at the top of the mountains and youth leaderboards alongside his yellow jersey.

The Slovenian had to drive an extra 350 meters on the final stage this year, after the finish line had moved further along the cobbled Champs Elysees. The move meant that Cavendish’s Deceuninck-QuickStep team would have a lot of work to do to quell their opposition.

The Manxman chose to follow Van Aert rather than stick with his trusted lead-out pilot, Michael Morkov. It turned out to be his fatal mistake, as the Belgian launched his sprint late, leaving Cavendish trapped on the guardrails.

The Slovenian entered Paris with his team after completing successive editions of the Tour .  dominated

The Slovenian entered Paris with his team after completing successive editions of the Tour . dominated

Jonas Fingergaard and Richard Carapaz joined the 22-year-old on the podium of the standings

Jonas Fingergaard and Richard Carapaz joined the 22-year-old on the podium of the standings

The 36-year-old banged his handlebars as he admitted defeat, but won’t be displeased after a stunning resurgence in the twilight of his career, after years of illness and having been written off for the race.

Jasper Philipsen rolled in second, with sprint icon Andre Griepel finishing his last Tour de France stage fifth.

Van Aert was one of the most impressive performances of the 2021 Tour, winning the mountain stage over Mont Ventoux, the time trial of the 20th stage and the iconic sprint of the last day.

He became the first man since 1979 to complete such a trio, saying, ‘This Tour was amazing.

The spectacular final stage ended the race after three weeks of suffering

The spectacular final stage ended the race after three weeks of suffering

The riders stormed through Paris before Van Aert took his third stage victory of the race

The riders stormed through Paris before Van Aert took his third stage victory of the race

“It’s been such a roller coaster and to finish with a win like this is beyond my expectations.

“I think I’ve given myself a problem because I have to catch a flight tonight (to the Olympics) and all these interviews are going to take a while, I’ll have to see if I can get there, but I have absolutely no regrets.” that I went for it today.

“To win three stages in this way is priceless, so thanks to my small team.”

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