Mark Cavendish was expected to become the first British rider to win the final Tour de France sprint on the Champs-Élysées but nobody could have expected him to win by so much.



Cavendish confirmed his status as the fastest sprinter in the world and his team mates proved yet again that they are perhaps the best ever lead-out train in cycling.

Other teams, in particular Tyler Farrar’s Garmin-Slipstream squad, tried to disrupt and derail the Columbia-HTC lead-out train on the run-in to the line but ended up ruining their own chances.



Hincapie dragged the peloton across the Place de la Concorde and then Renshaw took the best line through the corner and onto the Champs-Élysées.



Cavendish was on his wheel, while the other sprinters tangled and blocked each other, and that meant that their sprint was over before it really began.



Cavendish moved past Renshaw with two hundred metres to go and opened an even bigger gap. If he had not sat up to celebrate, Cavendish would probably have won by a second, the gap was that big.



Behind, Renshaw kept going to take a deserved second place, with Farrar third. Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) was sixth and so secured the green points jersey.



“It’s amazing. I had to win. I said all along I wanted to win on the Champs-Élysées and didn’t want to disappoint,” Cavendish said.

It gave the Manxman his sixth stage win of the 2009 Tour and the 10th of his short career.



Contador wins 2009 Tour de France

Alberto Contador (Astana) finished safely in the peloton and crossed the line with his arms out wide. Despite all the rivalry from both outside and inside the Astana team, the Spaniard won his second Tour de France and raised two fingers in the air.



Contador jumped onto the podium with the Arc du Triomphe in the background and fired off his traditional victory salute. He beat second-placed Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) by 4-11, with team mate but rival Lance Armstrong (Astana) third at 5-24.



Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) finished in the bunch in 55th place and so secured his fourth place overall at 6-01. He equals Robert Millar’s 1984 record with the best ever performance in the Tour de France by a British rider.



Contador and Armstrong didn’t even exchange a smile on the podium, confirming that rivalry was as intense and as real as everyone has suspected. In 2010 they will be rivals in different teams after Contador revealed he will not ride for RadioShack with Armstrong. 

Results

Stage 21: Montereau-Fault-Yonne – Paris, 164km

1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-HTC


2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Columbia-HTC

3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream

4. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Milram

5. Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Francaise des Jeux

6. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo

7. Jose Rojas (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne

8. Marco Bandiera (Ita) Lampre

9. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas

10. William Bonnet (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom all at same time.

Selected other

55. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream

62. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana

63. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank

97. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana all at same time.

Final overall classification

1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana in 85-48-35

2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank at 4-11

3. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana at 5-24

4. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 6-01

5. Frank Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank at 6-04

6. Andreas Kloden (Ger) Astana at 6-42

7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 7-35

8. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Slipstream at 12-04

9. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas at 14-16

10. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 14-25

Selected other

17. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo at 26-21

30. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto at 45-24

51. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 1-17-04

59. Charly Wegelius (GB) Silence-Lotto at 1-29-37

85. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 2-15-04

131. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-HTC at 3-21-54

Points classification

1. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo 280 points

2. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-HTC 270 points

3. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Milram 172 points

Climbers classification

1. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas

Young rider classification

1. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank

Team classification

1. Astana

Mark Cavendish wins, Tour de France 2009, stage 21

Mark Cavendish wins in Paris, the first British rider to do so

 Schleck, Contador and Armstrong on final podium, Tour de France 2009

2009 Tour winner  Alberto Contador (centre) is flanked by second-placed Andy Schleck (left) and Lance Armstrong (right) on the podium

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 LINKS

Tour de France 2009 – the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.

STAGE REPORTS



Stage 20: Contador’s Tour lead safe; Wiggins retains fourth overall on Ventoux



Stage 19: Five star Cavendish wins Tour stage in to Aubenas



Stage 18: Contador tightens grip on the maillot jaune



Stage 17: Schleck brothers overhaul Wiggins as Frank wins the stage



Stage 16: Astarloza snatches Alps stage win as contenders wind up the pace



Stage 15: Contador wins in Verbier as Tour explodes into life



Stage 14: Ivanov wins as Nocentini clings onto yellow


Stage 13: Haussler braves rain for victory in Colmar




Stage 12: Sorensen wins in Vittel as Cavendish goes for green



Stage 11: Cavendish takes fourth win to equal Hoban’s record



Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win



Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire


stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out




Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance



Stage six: Millar’s brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs



Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage



Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second



Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage



Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador



Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint



Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial

LATEST TOUR NEWS

Tour de France 2009 News Index>>

Armstrong admits he suffered in Tour’s final time trial

Wiggins set for Ventoux showdown at the Tour

Radio Shack confirmed as Armstrong’s new backer

Astana to split after Tour

Voigt crashes out of Tour

Armstrong fighting hard for Tour podium place

Wiggins gets closer to Tour podium place

Who’s won what so far in the Tour de France

How the Tour favourite are doing (Rest day 2)

Wiggins climbs to third in Tour overall

Armstrong concedes he can’t win the 2009 Tour

Tom Boonen quits the Tour de France

Stage 15 analysis: Is the Tour now over?

Columbia criticise Garmin for chasing Hincapie

Cavendish reveals he is going for green

EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS



Mont Ventoux preview



Garmin-Slipstream’s HQ before the Tour



David Zabriskie’s time trial bike



Mark Cavendish on the Tour’s team time trial



David Brailsford interview



Mark Cavendish on the Tour



Jonathan Vaughters on Bradley Wiggins’ chances

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS



Stage
20 photo gallery by Graham Watson




Stage 19 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 18 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 17 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 16 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 15 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 14 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson



Team presentation by Andy Jones



Team presentation by Graham Watson

TOUR GUIDE

Tour de France 2009 – the hub

Tour de France 2009: Who’s riding

Tour de France 2009: Team guide

About the Tour de France

FEATURES

Tour de France 2009: Who will win?

Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules

Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France

Tour de France anti-doping measures explained

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Cycling Weekly’s rider profiles

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  • SJS

    TV coverage of the Manx Missile’s finest hour spoilt by the continuing banal, toadying inanities regarding ‘Lance’ by Liggett and Sherwen. At one point they remarked that it would have been ‘nice’ if he had held the lead for at least one stage! The commentary on Radio5 Live Extra was more ;like it, real good insight from Graham Jones as summariser