Cycling Sports News

Tour de France Stage 21: Meuus denies Philipsen as Vingegaard takes overall victory

The final stage of 2023. The conclusion to yet another great Tour de France. A race that was a little bit different than usual with more climbs, and less sprints than ever before.

The start of the day was as usual: Victor Campanaerts set off on an escape but quickly ended it himself. Jokingly he waved into the cameras, his title as most competitive rider secured. He was back in the peloton quickly.

For the past three years, the top two of the Tour de France have been Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard: Pogacar has won in 2021, Vingegaard 2022 and 2023. The pace was slow – on the outskirts of Paris, the riders only hit 31km/h.

Today was all about celebrating that the majority have reached Paris, with minor or major bruises. This was even more reason to celebrate. And celebrate they did. Campanaerts in style and as did Ciccone who was first at the Côte du pavé des Gardes, the only climb of the day. Tadej Pogacar took the intermediate sprint. Shortly after this, the peloton reached Paris where they rode several laps along the Champs-Elysées, rue de Rivoli and over the Place de la Concorde.

Who’s wearing what jersey?

This is the final list of the jerseys before the start of the stage. Bar any heavy crash none of these classifications will be changed at the end of the stage.

– **Yellow:** Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 79hr 16min 38sec
– **Green:** Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 377pts
– **Polka-dot:** Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) 105pts
– **White:** Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates)

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Jordi Meeus wins stage 21 in a photo-finish; BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS – Photo by Icon sport

Jordi Meuus wins stage 21

The race as a whole finished at the penultimate passage of the peloton over the finish line to prevent any crashes that could alter the general classification.

Pogacar takes the final intermediate sprint

Tadej Pogacar of all people entertained the crowd by going off at the front and won the final intermediate sprint.

This is what the final spoils of this sprint looked like:
1. Tadej Pogacar, 20 pts
2. Nathan van Hooydonck, 17 pts
3. Bryan Coquard, 15 pts
4. Alberto Bettiol, 13 pts
5. Nikias Arndt, 11 pts
6. Kevin Geniets, 10 pts
7. Michal Kwiatkowski, 9 pts
8. Axel Zingle, 8 pts
9. Rémi Cavagna, 7 pts
10. Lawson Craddock, 6 pts
11. Alex Edmondson, 5 pts
12. Nils Politt, 4 pts
13. Omar Fraile, 3 pts
14. Mattias Skjelmose, 2 pts
15. Harold Tejada, 1 pt

After that, a group of three got away for almost 20 kilometres. They were Simon Clarke, followed by Frederik Frison and Nelson Oliveira. In the final lap, they were caught and the sprint teams set up their trains.

Jordi Meeus denies Jasper Philipsen taking five

When they emerged for the final time on the rue de Rivoli, Pogacar led the peloton, that way initiating the sprint.

It was set for Jasper Philipsen who was in a good position but was denied his fifth stage win at the Tour de France 2023 by Jordi Meuss of Bora Hansgrohe who was riding his first tour.

The top five on stage 21

1. Jordi Meeus (Bora Hansgrohe)
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin Deceuninck)
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco Alula)
4. Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek)
5. Cees Bol (Astana Qazaqstan Team)

That was that for the Tour de France. Jonas Vingegaard is a worthy champion. He crossed the finish line here in Paris with his team mates arms across each other’s shoulders. His victory was emphatic as he never let any doubt arise about his ability to win this tour for the second year running.

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