Hello and welcome to live updates from the final day of the Tour de France 2021, stage 21.
Start: 4.15pm French time (3.15pm BST)
Estimated finish: 7.00pm French time (6.00pm BST)
Follow live updates below
We have made it to Paris! It's stage 21 of the 2021 Tour de France. All the jerseys are all basically decided except for the points jersey that is still quite tight with Michael Matthews being 35 points behind Mark Cavendish.
However, Cavendish has a date with destiny today. If he wins today he will become the rider who has the most stage victories ever at the Tour. Can he do it? Or will the likes of Wout van Aert and Jasper Philipsen defend their fellow Belgian, Eddy Merckx's record?
Jonas Vingegaard will finish second at his debut Tour de France. The 24-year-old has announced himself to the world this Tour de France so we spoke to those who know him well to find out more.
Richard Carapaz will round out the podium with a solid third overall.
Chris Froome has managed to make it round the race.
Make sure to get voting on our Twitter poll today! Will Cavendish manage to pull off his 35th Tour stage win? It would be his fifth at this year's race.
Who will win on the Champs-Élysées? Can Cav make history of will a Belgian protect the record from being broken? #TDF2021July 18, 2021
Some less spoken about news. Dan Martin and Pello Bilbao both share a unique cycling record.
I'm Tim Bonville-Ginn and I'm going to be taking you through the entire final stage of the Tour de France.
Should be a very interesting stage. Obviously we have the usual parade into Paris before the race explodes into life and the sprinters teams take over to set up the fast men.
The difference this year is that the finish is 400 metres further up the road than usual due to the poor surface on the final corner. Will that play more into the hands of the power sprinters like Wout van Aert? Or is it all set for a Mark Cavendish win?
Jakob Fuglsang has ridden the entire Tour and decides to leave with one day to go to look after his legs for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
💠 @LeTour @jakob_fuglsang wont start today’s stage after waking up feeling unwell after yesterday’s ITT. With Tokyo in mind, the decision has been made to prioritize his recovery.Thank you Jakob for all your great work over the last three weeks. #TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/R1KbRUnJAsJuly 18, 2021
Some words from Froome before the start
🎙🇬🇧 @chrisfroome "Cette année, ça a été fantastique. J'ai beaucoup souffert mais c'est tellement bon d'être ici. Je suis incroyablement fier d'avoir terminé ce Tour. Je suis vraiment fier d'arriver à Paris."#TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/h4qx4V9rMaJuly 18, 2021
Watch out for Qhubeka-NextHash's special orange helmets and bar tape as they celebrate Mandela Day!
A very special day for the South African registered team.
We have set off on our neutralised start. Tadej Pogačar has just signed Wout Poels' polka dot jersey while riding. That's quite skilful.
Of course, Poels is wearing the jersey but Pogačar owns that jersey and has won it, he just needs to finish.
Same can be said for the white jersey which is being worn by Jonas Vingegaard.
Here is the signing
We have passed through kilometre zero but the precession continues. Here are the jerseys.
UAE Team Emirates are wearing special white and yellow kits today, I'm trying to find a shot for you to show.
Mark Cavendish still not happy with his setup just before the start of today
We're on our final categorised climb of the Tour de France. Just one point available on the Côte des Grès. 1.9km at an average of 5.1 per cent. Mikkel Bjerg takes it.
We have 99km to go but we have a long way to go with the precession. The racing actually starts when we really get to the Champs-Élysées.
There was a lovely moment a few minutes ago where Slovenians, Pogačar, Matej Mohorič and Luka Mezgec held Primož Roglič's number.
Something that is really interesting is how most riders won't get chance to have a party. Pogačar being one of them. As they all go out to Tokyo tonight for the Olympics.
Pogačar spoke to Alberto Contador on Eurosport earlier today and said that he will see how he feels with the jet lag and possibly look at the Vuelta a España.
It will be a tough ask but he is likely going to be one of the big favourites in the Olympics, if he wins there then it will be interesting to see. He trains to focus on recovery so it isn't out of the question.
Peloton has now settled down to a solid pace with everyone riding two abreast as we've just completed 3333.3km which is quite pleasing. 81km to go.
Riding in front of the imposing Versailles palace.
We are well within Paris now. We have the Louvre to go by. I've been to the Louvre. It was a cold damp day so we decided to go, lucky we did make a day of it.
By the time you get to the section of the ancient Egyptians it feels like you've walked to Egypt. Some amazing historical pieces there, but goodness me pace yourself if you ever get to go. It is far bigger than you think.
Apparently this is a thing... Congrats Chris!
Chris Froome awarded as nicest and most polite Tour de France rider https://t.co/AIN9Hk0jfF #TDF2021July 18, 2021
UAE Team Emirates have now moves up to the front to set the pace as they head well into the French capital. Deceuninck - Quick-Step just sat behind them. It feels like we're actually racing now too.
We have 59km to go and the pace is quite good.
Here is that lovely moment for the Slovenians earlier
🇸🇮 The Slovenian riders celebrate this second Tour de France win without forgetting their fellow countryman @rogla! 💛🇸🇮 Les Slovènes célèbrent ce deuxième titre consécutif sans oublier leur compatriote @rogla, forcé à l'abandon ! 💛#TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/ssUZnZKp4PJuly 18, 2021
And onto the Champs-Élysées we go! It is former world champion, Rui Costa leading then onto it. 55km to go.
UAE Team Emirates spread across the peloton and they cross the line for the first time with eight laps to go.
The team wave to the crowd but we have attacks already! EF Education-Nippo launching it first. We are racing!
Jonas Rutsch, Brent Van Moer, Omar Fraile, Chris Juul-Jensen, Ide Schelling, Philippe Gilbert, Julian Alaphilippe, Stefan Küng, Dries Devenyns, Tim Declercq and more joining.
Bit more from the Louvre
We have Stefan Bissegger, Harry Sweeny and a DSM rider now clear with the peloton bearing down on them. 49km to go.
Casper Pedersen is the DSM rider. There is a TotalEnergies rider following to try and bridge but I believe he has given up.
Team BikeExchange are now helping Deceuninck - Quick-Step in the chase as they want to be in with a chance of taking more point jersey points.
Somehow, Patrick Konrad has bridged to the leaders. Not sure how he managed that, but he has. 45km to go and a gap of 14 seconds.
Pedersen has sat up from the break. He is the last man in the lead out for DSM.
It looks like Valentin Madouas has set off on a counter-attack as Alpecin-Fenix also join the chase. 42km to go.
Madouas caught very quickly. Intermediate sprint just over a kilometre away. 29 seconds to the leaders with 41km to go.
Bruno Armirail having a go now for Groupama-FDJ, trying to get a mention for the sponsors I think.
Intermediate and Cavendish eases to the points behind the break. Bissegger took the 20 points but Cavendish lead the peloton in ahead of Michael Mørkøv with Matthews really not getting going. 39km to go.
Not a bad setting really is it?
Team TotalEnergies now try and get a couple of riders in the break with Anthony Turgis and a team-mate of his. But Deceuninck - Quick-Step are shadowing every move. 33km to go with 15 seconds to the leaders now.
Oh believe it or not, it was Pierre Latour who was the other TotalEnergies rider. Jan Bakelants and Philippe Gilbert then tried again but nothing doing. Everything brought back again.
Gilbert tries again but that's going nowhere. Ide Schelling counters that but Alaphilippe is marking it along with Gilbert. 31km to go.
That move is caught so Schelling goes again alongside, I think, Van Moer as another EF Education-Nippo rider tries to bridge.
Anthony Perez has somehow got a plastic bag in the derailleur, he's just had it taken out by his mechanic.
So the leaders are Schelling, Van Moer and Michael Valgren. He's appeared a few times in the front in this final week, which is nice to see. 26km to go with 20 seconds gap.
Quentin Pacher also tries to go clear but he only has a handful of seconds. He's been joined by another rider I haven't had a clear look of but they have been brought back.
What a shot! Love it, every year.
Three laps to go with 20km left of racing in this 108th Tour de France. Team DSM and Deceuninck - Quick-Step chase the trio of Schelling, Valgren and Van Moer. They have 20 seconds gap.
Cavendish sat right towards the back with Mørkøv, he'll be moved up when needed.
Cyril Gautier and the super combativity winner Franck Bonnamour now try and go clear for B&B Hotels p/b KTM but they're not getting far as Israel Start-Up Nation join the chase in the peloton too.
Bonnamour has now gone solo to try and bridge but he has about five seconds on the peloton. 10km to go, 18 seconds gap.
Not sure what happened, Anthony Turgis is a long way down, almost a whole lap behind sadly for the Classics specialist.
Meanwhile, back at the front, 8km to go and it's just 10 seconds gap now to the peloton for the leaders. Julian Alaphilippe setting the pace.
The break is caught as Geraint Thomas tried a move then I believe with 6km to go. Kasper Asgreen was not about to allow the Welshman away. Bora-Hansgrohe try a double move but Asgreen drags it back again.
We are on the final lap, by the way. We have done the gradual climb up to the Arc before heading down the hill again. Bora have a battle plan here but I doubt they'll pull it off.
Bahrain Victorious have brought Sonny Colbrelli up but Deceuninck - Quick-Step have got their men at the front again for Cavendish. 4km to go.
Israel Start-Up Nation and BikeExchange join forces to try and bully Deceuninck - Quick-Step. Wout van Aert also looking for Cavendish's wheel as EF Education-Nippo take the lead again.
Maybe they're setting up Magnus Cort. Mike Teunissen moves Van Aert to the front as Deceuninck - Quick-Step have been swamped a bit.
Cofidis lead under the tunnel as they work for Christophe Laporte. 2km to go. Matthews perfectly placed at the moment.
Mørkøv and Cavendish are a bit too far back for now but they jump onto the Bahrain train as they go under the flamme rouge with Asgreen on the front. We turn back onto the Champs-Élysées.
Here comes the sprint lead out by Jumbo-Visma
Wout van Aert wins stage 21 of the Tour de France 2021! Cavendish was boxed in and Van Aert somehow adds a bunch sprint to his mountain stage and his time trial win! That was immense from the Belgian champion.
Tadej Pogačar wins the overall title for the second year in a row by a huge margin. Congratulations to him.
Cavendish does not break the record of Eddy Merckx. He will have to settle to level it.
Stage top five.
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma, in 2-39-37
2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
4. Luka Mesgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
5. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
6. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
8. Alex Aranburu (Esp) Astana-Premier Tech
9. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Max Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash, all at same time.
Have a look back at all the riders who didn't make it to Paris.
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