Tour de France 2013: Mark Cavendish’s reign on Champs Elysées curtailed by Marcel Kittel
Even as Chris Froome was on the point of celebrating his maiden win in the Tour de France on Sunday, fellow-Briton Mark Cavendish’s four-year reign on the Champs Elysées ended with a narrow defeat to Germany’s Marcel Kittel and André Griepel – Cavendish’s first ever failure to win on the final stage of the Tour.
In a stage held specially in the late evening as a way of celebrating the Tour’s centenary, Cavendish’s Omega-Pharma Quick Step did their utmost to keep the peloton under control to guide the British National Champion to a third stage victory in this year’s Tour.
But Kittel and Greipel were already ahead of Cavendish in the line of sprinters as the pack carved its way round the final left-hand bend on the Champs Elysées, and when Cavendish powered forward in the last 300 metres, poised for a 106th career win and 26th in the Tour, his two rivals showed no sign of fading.
Digging deep into his reserves, Cavendish was closing the gap on the two Germans as the line approached, but having left his effort a little late, it proved an impossible task to pass them. Instead Kittel celebrated his fourth stage win of the 2013 race, finishing off the Tour as he had started the first day at Corsica – with his arms aloft – while Cavendish, whose bike bounced dangerously when it struck a piece of rubbish close to the line, had to settle for third.
David Millar was the other Briton with a chance of success on the final laps of the Champs Elysées, sheering away alone with 40 kilometres to go. Racing in his usual highly elegant, poised style on the bike as he powered across the cobbles and tore around the Arc de Triomphe – which formed part of the finishing circuit for the first time ever – the Scot opened up a gap of 20 seconds.
However, as Kittel’s and Cavendish’s squads upped the pace in the pack, Millar was remorselessly reeled in and a bunch sprint at the end became inevitable.
Thus the Briton with the most to celebrate last night on the Champs Elysées, as the Arc de Triomphe was bathed in a yellow light show and five-times Tour winners Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and Eddy Merckx joined him on the winner’s podium was once again the overall winner, Chris Froome.
Latest in Sport
Perth midfielder Ruben Zadkovich sent off 17 seconds after coming on against Wellington
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014 live: Lewis Hamilton heads towards second championship as Nico Rosberg has major engine troubles
England vs Samoa match report: England finally end losing streak as Jonny May stars in win ahead of Wallabies showdown
Arsenal vs Manchester United report: Wayne Rooney and a Kieran Gibbs own goal make Gunners rue missed chances
Arsenal vs Manchester United player ratings: Who was the star man? Wayne Rooney or David De Gea?
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...