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indoor departure, Belgian « greedy » and strongly Sunday

Today’s stage: Paris la Défense Arena – Champs-Elysées (115.6 kilometers)

The peloton will pass the Louvre several times on the traditional circuit in Paris.

There are Sunday traditions that continue: mass, Michel Drucker on television or the arrival of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysées. Since 1975, the main Parisian avenue has been the scene of the final stage of the Grande Boucle and it often ends in a sprint: over the past thirty years, only the aptly named Eddy Seigneur in 1994 and Alexandre Vinokourov in 2005 are exceptions.

This Sunday, the last act of the 2022 edition, which begins at the foot of the Paris la Défense Arena (a modular enclosure which hosts both concerts and the Racing 92 rugby club), makes a loop in the Yvelines and in the Hauts-de-Seine, before heading towards the quai d’Issy, the boulevard des Maréchaux, the place Denfert-Rochereau, the Pont-Neuf, the Louvre and finally the traditional circuit on the Champs-Elysées.

“We are on the most beautiful avenue in the world, but not on the most beautiful road! The one who wins on the Champs is not necessarily the best sprinter, rather the freshest »underlines Anthony Turgis, the Ile-de-France rider of the TotalEnergies team.

The predictions

THE REASON

Rare are the stages for which Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is not at least one of the contenders for victory. The Belgian, wearing the green jersey for the points classification, constantly weighed on the race. « Glutton », he was invited to the podium seven times in three weeks with three stage victories at stake, including the time trial on Saturday in Rocamadour. A Swiss army knife capable of chaining a mountainous breakaway and a sprint victory, the 27-year-old runner is the last to have raised his arms on the avenue des Champs-Elysées. Given his form at the end of the Tour, a double is quite possible.

THE HEART

Our inner core, however, acclaims Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal). The Australian sprinter, red lantern more than 5:30 from the yellow jersey, chose to fight throughout a Tour yet far from his expectations. Weakened by several crashes, the native of Sydney is in search of a sixth victory on the Big Loop, but could not do better than a ninth place in Sonderborg, during the 3e stage. Seeing him win the sprint in Paris three years after his success on the Champs would reward his extraordinary pugnacity.

The declared

 » It’s time for the start to be given, the wait is too long »

Long live Sunday! While the men’s Tour ends in Paris on the Champs-Elysées, after three weeks of competition, the women’s Tour starts the same day, at the same place, for a week of racing. And impatience is perceptible among the 144 runners, as Audrey Cordon-Ragot expresses it.  » I’ve been told about it every day since the announcement » of the relaunch of this Women’s Tour by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), explains the French champion.

The women’s version of the Tour under the aegis of ASO had existed in the 1980s, but, for lack of financial profitability, had disappeared after a last edition in 1989. However, events had taken over – Tour de la CEE (1990- 1993), Women’s Cycling Tour, which became Women’s Great Loop (1992-2009) – but without the support, or even despite the opposition, of the Tour organizer.

Read also: Tour de France Women: Marion Rousse, Madam Director

Detour of the Tour

Launched from the Paris la Défense Arena, the start of the 21e stage of this Tour 2022 takes on an unprecedented flavor. For his 109e edition, the Grande Boucle will set off for the first time in its vast history from a closed enclosure: and not just any one. The formerly called « U Arena », inaugurated in 2017, is the largest hall in Europe, able to accommodate up to 40,000 people in its layout intended for the show.

On July 24, the building nestled between the cemeteries of Neuilly and Puteaux will not adopt the blue and white lines of Racing 92, but will be draped in the characteristic yellow of the Tour. The usual crowds of the rugby club will not be upset, however, the places (free) available being limited to 15,000, not much more than the 13,000 spectators on average for the Altose team.

In the retro

Since 1975, the Tour has ended on the Champs-Elysées and its traditional parade without affecting the result. Except when the organization decides to place a time trial as the final stage, as in 1989 with the end of the Tour passed to posterity, Laurent Fignon was beaten by 8 seconds by the American Greg Lemond.

On July 21, 1974, the Cipale velodrome had been the scene of the end of the Grande Boucle for the last time. If Eddy Merckx had already insured his 5e victory, Raymond Poulidor (38) still had to race for bonuses to preserve a 2e place threatened by the Spaniard Vicente Lopez Carril.

At La Cipale, the sprinters have a field day. Merckx – who can do everything – joins in the final explanation. « The Cannibal » finished second behind his teammate, Patrick Sercu. But, in this Belgian story, Gustaaf Van Roosbroeck complains against Sercu for having embarrassed him. The latter is downgraded to 3e square. Without even asking, Merckx inherits the victory. It closes the long chapter of track finishes between the former Parc des Princes (from 1903 to 1967) and La Cipale (from 1967 to 1974).

The broom wagon

And otherwise, we didn’t have time to see talk of…

the meeting between Aude and Henri IV near Foix.

the sartorial elegance of a colleague who has never given up wearing a shirt (except on the motorbike, death in the soul).

«  can’t we have George Clooney next year? From the coffee machine in the press room, the operation of which has remained the best-kept secret of this edition.

of the prediction game of our comrades from the teamwhose perversity of the regulations gives you palpitations for a 39th place of Sebastian Schönberger.

from the “Julien” menu to Viscos in Saint-Savin and the owner’s Armagnac.

from James and his requests for wine suggestions (always red) to waitresses not always old enough to drink wine.

how Alexandre got lost for an hour in Sonderborg after his first « team bus ».

of his “David Gaudu Top 5 in Paris”. Either we know the bike or we don’t know the bike.

how a Dutch TV reporter was insulted. But working for a media holder of rights does not exonerate from a minimum of respect.

happiness to soon change clothes.

the desire to set off again for a Tour in 2023

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Our selection of articles on the Tour de France 2022

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