This is it. The final stage of the 2007 Tour de France.
It’s been a race of two halves: a stunning send off from the spectator-lined streets of London and Kent and a relatively quiet first week followed by explosive action in the mountains culminating with the withdrawal of the Astana and Cofidis teams and race leader Michael Rasmussen as a result of more doping scandals.
Just 141 riders out of the original 189 remain in the race, including three of the original five British riders – Charly Wegelius, Geraint Thomas and David Millar. Watch out for Millar in any breaks that may form in the final stage to Paris on Sunday.
Here’s a run-down of the top ten in the race going into Sunday’s stage, and what to expect as the riders reach the Champs Elysees in Paris.
OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 19
1 Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) in 87-09-18
2 Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) at 23secs
3 Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) at 31 secs
4 Carlos Sastre (CSC) at 7-08
5 Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) at 8-17
6 Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) at 11-37
7 Kim Kirchen (T-Mobile) at 12-18
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) at 12-30
9 Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel) at 14-14
10 Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne) at 14-25
SUNDAY, JULY 29
Stage 20: Marcoussis-Paris Champs Elysees
The final stage wends its way through the southern suburbs of Paris before its traditional finishing circuit based on the Champs Elysees.
It’s going to be funny if the King of the Mountains competition is separated by fewer than six points as there are two fourth-category climbs early in the stage. Expect a bunch finish on the Champs Elysees, but not until several breakaways have shot up the road and been reeled back in by the peloton.
It’s the last chance for riders to give their sponsors a show – and where better than in Paris.