Stage 21: Chantilly - Paris, Champs-Élysées
What's It About?
Putting a cap on this Tour, and taking the caps off bottles of champage! Congratulating the deserved champion! A tough circuit race around the capital of the country that has housed the peloton since the second of July! Giving your loyal writer here one last stage review to write! Making merry!
AmyBC's Food and Wine Pairings
The wine: Lelarge Pugeot Les Meuniers de Clemence
From Franklywines: 100% pinot meunier, natural ferment base, organically grown, this was a hit of the Feiring Line Wine Society last holiday
The Food: Chantilly cream, of course. Not just a Tour specialty, but perfect for topping the leftover Gateau de Savoie.
Oh no, I can't just ask Will! Right, well, you all know how this stage goes — couple of kilometres to warm up, drink champagne, and let Team Sky roll around on the front, before eight laps of the Champs circuit, with a token KOM for De Gendt and Majka to show off on. The sprint is the same as usual, on the cobbles and with a slight uphill incline.
Here's the map:
And the profile.
Riders to Watch
It's between Kittel, Greipel and Kristoff, and when you have three people, how do you narrow it down to one? That's right, the guillotine! Wait, no, it's a process of elimination. The first person I'll eliminate is Greipel. He's fast, sure, but that's no good when you've started the sprint in twelfth place, as he has on almost all stages. Sure, he might have the speed to challenge for the win, but he just won't be in the right position.
That leaves it between Kittel and Kristoff, much like the 2014 stage 21, but the difference is that neither are on the form of that year. Similarly, Kristoff is on the rise, and Kittel struggled in the late mountains, so the two should be quite evenly matched, and I think they'll beat the challenge of Sagan and Coquard, although both of those have second places on the Champs-Élysées in the past.
Pick to Win
Kittel. He just has the speed to beat the rest, and is in no danger of leading out Cavendish.