Here is the general classification heading into today’s final stage. Pogacar is on course to win by more than five minutes – the biggest winning margin since Vincenzo Nibali in 2014.
Don’t forget to join Scott Murray too, as the battle for the Claret Jug heats up:
The Tour’s top boys are leading the way as they set out from the leafy Paris suburb of Chatou. Tricolores line the route as Tadej Pogacar and Mark Cavendish are joined by the polka-dot and white jersey wearers, Wout Poels and Jonas Vingegaard. Those last two jerseys belong to Pogacar, too, but he only has room on his back for one.
It’s a big day of sport elsewhere, not least Silverstone, where Max Verstappen has crashed out of the British GP after a first-lap collision with Lewis Hamilton. Throw open another window and check in with Daniel Harris:
Good afternoon. Hot enough for you? The mercury is rising towards 30 degrees in Paris, where the Tour de France will conclude in around four hours. The final stage is seen as a procession save for the final sprint along the Champs-Élysées, although it probably won’t feel like that for most of the pack after three weeks of racing.
This edition of the Tour has been defined by two people (OK, maybe three people). Firstly, the relentless, remarkable Tadej Pogacar, who is about to follow up last year’s last-gasp win with a very different victory. The Slovenian has been supremely dominant, in control of this race throughout the entire month of July.
More on him later, of course, but at the finish line today all eyes will be on the 2021 Tour’s other superstar, Mark Cavendish. Just coming back to the race felt like a huge achievement; not even the man himself could have expected four stage wins and the chance to rewrite cycling history.
Win today, and Cavendish will overtake Eddy Merckx’s record of Tour stage wins. The Belgian’s tally of 34 stage wins is a symbol of his all-round dominance. Nobody was supposed to actually beat it, but here we are. Cav’s moment of truth will arrive at around 7pm (BST); before then, a chance to sip some champagne in the sun.
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