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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf