When Sunday July 26
From Sèvres – Grand Paris Seine Ouest
To Paris – Champs-Élysées
Impact on overall: 1/5
Where are we?
Ah, finalement. Paris! Sèvres, the stage start, is situated in the south-west reaches of Paris, midway between Versailles and central Paris, and not far from Tour organiser ASO’s offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux.
Our destination? That most famous of boulevards, the Champs-Elysées, since 1975 the race’s iconic finish. Before that, it spent seven years at the ‘Cipale’ velodrome in the 12th arrondissement, in Paris’s south-east. Prior to that, from 1903 until 1967, at the Parc des Princes velodrome, home now to Paris Saint-Germain football club.
What’s on the route?
Once the riders enter Paris they have to complete eight laps of the Champs-Elysées circuit, around the Jardin des Tuileries, across the Place de la Concorde and up the cobbles of the famous avenue to the Arc de Triomphe.
The 100th edition of the race in 2013 introduced the encircling of the Arc de Triomphe on each lap, replacing what had been an almost dead-stop turnaround on the Champs-Elysées. Since then, the Arc de Triomphe element has been retained, adding further spectacle to what was already a magical ending to the race.
There are going to be some very relieved legs lining up in Sèvres on July 26 — their owners knowing that after just one more 100-kilometre effort, the Tour will be over. The first half of the stage will be made up of the usual jokes and japes of a demob-happy peloton with, no doubt, champagne being served on the move for the winner’s team.
Things will get serious once the race hits the cobbles of the Place de la Concorde, which signal the start of eight ‘laps’ — up one side, around the Arc de Triomphe, and back down the other side — of the Champs-Elysées.