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Know Your Tour! Stage 20: Is There a Race Today?

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Know-your-tour_mediumNothing is more satisfying than seeing the finish line at the end of the world's greatest endurance test. I'm speaking of course of the challenge to write a post explaining something relevant and/or interesting for all 23 days of the Tour de France. Like the guys on their bikes, I am ready for a vacation...

OK, blogging in my mom's basement (pajamas mandatory) is nothing like riding the Tour de France, and so I guess it's time to congratulate not only the winners but everyone to get over the line in Paris. This year the number of finishers will be a large number, an encouraging site. So when they cross the line, will they be racing?

You bet. But just.

The first portion of the final stage is traditionally more of a parade. Anyone who attacks the peloton while the yellow jersey is clinking champagne glasses in the field can expect a short, unhappy career in the sport. So it's not really done. However, once the field gets to Paris the action will begin. For starters, there are two sprint points, and the green jersey is up for grabs, so a race will happen in advance of that first point, which happens on the circuits of downtown Paris. There's a second point, and then the finish, both of which are intensely contested by the sprinters. It's a great honor to win the final stage. So what you'll see is a parade into town, followed by a ripping criterium. Enjoy!