Cadel Evans (BMC) became the first Australian to win the Tour de France on Sunday, safely completing the 2011 race’s final stage to Paris. Mark Cavendish (HTC) won on the Champs Élysées to take Britain’s first Tour de France green jersey.

Andy Schleck (Leopard-Trek) placed second overall for the third year running, with brother Frank Schleck (Leopard-Trek) in third. In another first – it’s the first time that two brothers have shared the Tour podium.

Cavendish and his HTC-Highroad team executed a perfect final sprint to give the Manxman the victory for the third consecutive year, his fifth stage of the 2011 race and 20th Tour stage win in total.

Showdown on the Champs Élysées

The final stage of the 2011 Tour started with a minute’s silence led by Norway’s Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) in memory of those that died in the recent massacre in their home country.

The traditional amble into Paris the followed, during which the riders posed for the cameras, drank Champagne and celebrated the end of three weeks’ of hard racing. The bunch stayed together until the race touched the final 40km, when Britain’s Ben Swift (Sky) launched a solo attack.

Swift quickly opened up a gap and was joined by five other riders shortly afterwards – Sergio Paulinho (Radioshack), Kristjan Koren (Liquigas-Cannondale), Christophe Riblon (Ag2r), Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad) and super combativity award winner Jeremy Roy (FDJ).

The break scooped up the first six places at the intermediate sprint, with Cavendish winning the bunch gallop for seventh spot. Green jersey rival Jose Rojas (Movistar) placed ninth.

The escape group worked well together, and built up a lead of over 40 seconds as the race hit the final 25km. It was only in the final 12km that the gap started to slip to under 30 seconds, as the sprinters’ teams hit the front of the peloton.

As the peloton neared on the final lap, all but Swift and Bak sat up the duo maintaining a slim eight second gap. Swift was dropped by Bak as his HTC-Highroad team-mates hit the front of the bunch for Cavendish.

Bak then continued solo for a short while but both he and Swift were swept up, bringing the race together in the final two kilometres.

HTC-Highroad then assembled at the front of the bunch, winding up the pace to nullify any potential last-ditch attacks. Mark Renshaw delivered Cavendish into the final 500 metres, with Boasson Hagen on his wheel. Rojas was nowhere to be seen.

For the third year in a row, no one could get close to Cavendish and he sat up to kiss the green jersey as he crossed the line, bringing the 2011 Tour to a close.

Memorable Tour

This year’s race will be remembered for many things aside from Evans becoming the first Australian to secure the overall title and Cavendish becoming the first Brit to win the green jersey:

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) wearing the yellow, green and polka-dot jerseys in succession after lighting up the opening stage of the race.

The opening week’s crashes that wiped out several of the big overall contenders, including Britain’s Bradley Wiggins (Sky). Norway winning four stages, two apiece for world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) – the latter also took British squad Sky’s first Tour win.

The horror incident that saw Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) hit by a French TV car and subsequently knocking Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) through a barbed wire fence leaving him requiring 33 stitches – and then him carrying on in the race.

The Garmin team winning its first stage of the Tour de France, and then opening the floodgates with four wins.

And, of course, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) valiantly defending his overall lead against the odds through the Pyrenees and into the Alps. Seldom has the yellow jersey been defended with such vigour and worn with such pride – not, perhaps, since the last time Voeckler wore it in 2004.

Leopard-Trek may have left the race without the yellow jersey, but the squad’s mantra of ‘True Racing’ summed up the 2011 Tour de France perfectly.

Results

Tour de France 2011, stage 21: Créteil to Paris Champs-Élysées, 95km

1. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad


2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky

3. Andre Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto

4. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervelo

5. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard-Trek

6. Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

7. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM

8. Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Astana

9. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quick Step

10. Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur-Sojasun all same time

Final overall classification

1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing


2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard-Trek at 1-34

3. Frank Schleck (Lux) Leopard-Trek at 2-30

4. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar at 3-20

5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sungard at 3-57

6. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 4-55

7. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 6-05

8. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 7-23

9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Cervelo at 8-15

10. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 10-11

British

31. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1-00-48

76. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 2-14-56

130. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad at 3-15-05

137. Ben Swift (GB) Sky at 3-18-07

Final points classification (green jersey)

1. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad 334 points

2. Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar 272 points

3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 236 points

Final mountains classification (polka-dot jersey)

1. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 108 points


2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard-Trek 98 points

3. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 74 points

Final youth classification (white jersey)

1. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar


2. Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis at 46 sec

3. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 7-53

Team classification

1. Garmin-Cervelo

Ben Swift heads final escape, Tour de France 2011, stage 21



Ben Swift finishing his first Tour in style as he heads the last day’s escape group

Cadel Evans wins overall, Tour de France 2011, stage 21



Cadel Evans in yellow

Mark Cavendish wins, Tour de France 2011, stage 21



Mark Cavendish wins

Evans and Schlecks on final podium, Tour de France 2011, stage 21



Cadel Evans (centre) flanked by Andy Schleck (left) and Frank Schleck (right)

Garmin-Cervelo best team, Tour de France 2011, stage 21



Garmin-Cervelo take the top team award – including a cardboard David Zabriskie (right)

Tour de France 2011: Related links



Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Tour de France 2011: Latest news



Tour analysis: Schleck goes long



2011 Tour de France stage 10: Armstrong’s famous bluff



Riis rules Contador out of Tour de France win



Cavendish nearly loses Tour’s green jersey



Evans gambles with Tour win



Contador’s attacks fail to cause major damage at the Tour



Boasson Hagen’s second stage win put Norway joint top



Are the Tour de France’s descents too risky?



Kolobnev’s Tour de France positive confirmed



Evans in driving seat as Tour heads towards decisive stages



Cavendish’s green jersey chances looking ‘good’



Evans gains time as the weather leaves its mark



Schlecks falter ahead of Tour’s final mountain days



Tour analysis: How the Schlecks can win



Swift sprinting towards Tour win



Cavendish joint seventh in all-time Tour list



Weather wreaks havoc in Etape du Tour



Basso back for Tour de France win



Garmin-Cervelo celebrate third Tour win



Geraint Thomas: “I had goosebumps on the Tourmalet”



Schlecks distance Contador in Tour mountain stage



Greipel gripes about ‘crazy’ Feillu



Tour de France Feed Zone (July 13)



Greipel’s first Tour stage win ‘extra special’



Greipel takes first win over Cav since HTC split



UCI defends its stance on tilted saddles



Kolobnev tests positive at Tour



Contador worried by knee injury



Tour rest day review (July 11)



Voeckler living the yellow jersey dream again



Hoogerland’s Horror crash




Tour de France 2011: Teams, riders, start list

Tour de France 2011: Official start list

Tour de France 2011: Who’s riding?

Tour de France 2011: Team guide

Tour de France 2011: Stage reports

Stage 20: Evans blows Schlecks away and takes yellow to Paris

Stage 19: King Rolland crowned on the Alpe but team-mate Voeckler loses yellow to Andy Schleck

Stage 18: Andy Schleck wins, Contador cracks and Voeckler keeps yellow by seat of his pants

Stage 17: Boasson Hagen makes it two for Sky as Voeckler loses more time

Stage 16: Evans and Contador go on the attack as Hushovd wins in Gap

Stage 15: Cavendish takes fourth stage win in 2011 Tour

Stage 14: Vanendert surprises the favourites as Voeckler holds on

Stage 13: World champ Hushovd takes well deserved solo Tour win

Stage 12: Sanchez wins at Luz Ardiden as Frank Schleck gains on other contenders

Stage 11: Cavendish moves into green after winning in Lavaur

Stage 10: Greipel beats Cavendish in Tour stage 10 sprint

Stage nine: Sanchez conquers day of crashes and climbs

Stage eight: Costa wins first mountain stage of 2011 Tour

Stage seven: Cavendish wins but Wiggins crashes out of Tour

Stage six: Boasson Hagen takes Sky’s first Tour de France win

Stage five: Cavendish wins in Cap Frehel

Stage four: Evans edges out Contador on the Mur-de-Bretagne

Stage three: Farrar sprints to first Tour victory in Redon

Stage two: Garmin win team time trial to put Hushovd in yellow

Stage one: Gilbert blasts to victory as Tour gets off to spectacular start

Tour de France 2011: Highlights videos



Stage 20 video highlights



Stage 19 video highlights



Stage 18 video highlights



Stage 17 video highlights



Stage 16 video highlights



Stage 15 video highlights



Stage 14 video highlights



Stage 13 video highlights



Stage 12 video highlights



Stage 11 video highlights



Video: Feeding the riders at the Tour



Stage 10 video highlights



Stage nine video highlights



Stage eight video highlights



Stage seven video highlights



Stage six video highlights



Video: Erik Zabel’s role as Cavendish’s sprint advisor



Stage five video highlights



Video: The ride of Philippe Gilbert at the Tour de France



Stage four video highlights



Stage three video highlights



Stage two video highlights



Stage one video highlights




Tour de France 2011: Photo galleries



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





Tour de France 2011 wallpaper gallery





Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson





Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson



Stage four photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson





Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson





Stage two photo gallery by Andy Jones





Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson





Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson





Tour de France 2011 team time trial training photo gallery by Andy Jones



Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Andy Jones



Tour de France 2011 team press conferences by Andy Jones



Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2011: Live text coverage

Tour de France 2011 LIVE: CW’s text coverage schedule

Stage seven live text coverage

Tour de France 2011: Archive videos

Video: 2003 Centenary Tour

Video: Lance Armstrong retrospective

Video: Behind the scenes at the Tour

Video: Guerini’s 1999 stage win

Video: Thrills and spills at the Tour

Video: Armstrong in 1999

Video: The Indurain years

Video: Ladies of the Tour

Video: Best of bizarre



Tour de France 2011: Archive articles


1999 Tour de France stage two: Passage du Gois causes chaos

Tour de France 2011: TV schedule

British Eurosport Tour de France 2011 TV schedule

ITV4 Tour de France 2011 TV schedule

Tour de France 2011: Related links

Tour de France: The jerseys, what they are and what they mean

Potted history of the Tour de France

The closest Tours in history

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

 

  • Ken Evans

    “The opening week’s crashes that wiped out several of the big overall contenders,…”

    This needs to be sorted !
    I think 2 fewer teams is the easiest way.

    180 starters, not 198.

  • adam

    I loved the caption under the team award….. in case we couldn’t work out which one was cardboard… brilliant. :)

  • arronski

    Nice one Cadel, crack open a cold one, you deserve it !