Champagne glasses clinked for Egan Bernal on the road to Paris before Caleb Ewan won stage 21 of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees.
Australian Ewan came from well back in the pack to outsprint Dylan Groenewegen and collect his third stage win of the Tour as the sun set over the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the 130km stage from Rambouillet.
Just behind, Bernal crossed the line alongside teammate and last year’s winner Geraint Thomas to secure his first Grand Tour victory in only his second career three-week race.
Bernal, who took the yellow jersey on Friday’s weather-shortened stage 19 in the Alps, becomes the first Colombian winner of the Tour and, at 22 years 196 days, the youngest winner in more than a century.
Thomas collected second place to give Britain a 10th podium finish in the history of the race, while Jumbo-Visma’s Steven Kruijswijk secured third place.
As the traditional procession into Paris began from Rambouillet to the west of the city, Bernal was congratulated first by Julian Alaphilippe, who animated the 106th Tour as his aggressive start and dogged defence was rewarded by 14 days in the yellow jersey and, it was announced on Sunday, the Super Combatif award for the most aggressive rider.
Bernal was then handed a glass of champagne from the Ineos team car as the celebrations began, with Bora-Hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan – who won the green jersey for a record seventh time – doing his best to photobomb them as they lined up across the front of the peloton.
Bernal’s victory continues a remarkable run of success for Sir Dave Brailsford’s team, who have now won seven of the last eight Tours and – including the 2011 Vuelta a Espana title awarded to Chris Froome earlier this month following Juan Jose Cobo’s doping case – 10 Grand Tours in all since their formation in 2010.
For once, Brailsford’s team did not dominate a Tour which will be remembered for Alaphilippe’s remarkable run in yellow, but they were always next in line for when the Frenchman did – as expected – finally crack in the Alps.
Although Thomas had been best placed to take over for much of the race, Bernal made moves in the Pyrenees to take back time he had lost in the time trial, and then had the best legs in the Alps when it really mattered.
He took yellow on Friday’s weather-shortened stage 19, having attacked on the climb of the Col de l’Iseran, the highest point on the Tour.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, whose buyout of what was Team Sky earlier this year secured the team’s future, was watching on the from the team car as Bernal celebrated victory.News Now - Sport News