A guide to the Tour de France
A guide to Stage 21 of the Tour de France 2017, which is 103km from Montgeron to Paris. The stage begins at Montgeron, by the Forest of Sénart, south of Paris. There'll be the usual nonsense as the riders make their lazy way towards Paris, then the serious business involves 8 laps of the central Paris circuit, ending in a bunch sprint on the Champs-Elysées. Read about Stage 21 of the Tour de France 2017 here.
23rd July 2017
Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto Jumbo NL) showed determination to take the wheel he wanted in the closing stages on the Champs-Elysées. He hit the front early and held on for his first Tour de France stage win, ahead of a fast-finishing André Greipel. Froome confirmed his overall Tour de France victory.
Stage 21 of the Tour de France 2017 starts in Montgeron, to the south of Paris. The race heads for Paris and in particular the Grand Palais exhibition hall, where the peloton rides right through the middle of the building. The finishing circuit is up the Champs-Elysées, around the Arc de Triomphe, and back down to the Louvre via place de l'Alma. As the riders reach the finish line (which is part-way up the Champs-Elysées) for the 8th time, there'll be a bunch sprint to decide the stage win.
This is the official map of Stage 21.
The official Tour de France stage profile for Stage 21:
Profile of Stage 21, Tour de France 2017, © ASO/Tour de France
Stage 21 starts in Montgeron on Sunday 23rd July 2017, with the publicity caravan setting off at 14h40, and the peloton at 16h40 (départ fictif). The départ réel is 10 minutes later.
The publicity caravan begins the central Paris finishing circuit at 16h11. The riders arrive at the circuit between 18h02 and 18h11, get to the intermediate sprint after the 3rd time over the line between 18h23 and 18h34, and sprint for the line on the eighth and final time over it between 19h03 and 19h17.
The stage starts at the Réveil Matin restaurant in Montgeron. The significance of the Réveil Matin is that the first ever Tour de France started there on 1st July 1903. Géo Lefèvre suggested the idea for the race to Henri Desgrange, director of the publication L'Auto. There were six stages of the first Tour, between 268 and 471km in distance, and partly ridden at night. Maurice Garin was the overall winner.
Le Réveil Matin in 1903, public domain photo
Porte d'Orléans, Paris
Stage 21 makes its way from Montgeron along the Seine towards Morsang-sur-Orge. From Morsang-sur-Orge, it heads north via Epinay-sur-Orge and Longjumeau (which has a major hospital). The riders continue north on the road between Orléans and Paris, a route which has existed since Roman times. They travel through Massy and Antony. (Antony is a well-to-do suburb of Paris, named after a man called Antony who lived in the Gallo-Roman period (C3rd); Antony benefits from the extensive parc de Sceaux). The route carries on north to Montrouge.
At Montrouge, the race crosses the boulevard Périphérique, the road around central Paris, and enters Paris by the Porte d'Orléans.
From the Porte d'Orléans, the riders head west along the boulevards des Maréchaux. (Boulevards are roads which were created on the line of city walls which used to surround a settlement, in this case Paris). They cross the river Seine on the pont du Garigliano, and travel alongside the river on the Voie Georges Pompidou. At Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower looms on the other side of the Seine.
The next bridge after the pont de l'Alma is the pont des Invalides, which the race crosses, before going back over the river on the pont Alexandre III.
After crossing the pont Alexandre III, the innovation for the 2017 race is that the riders will go through the middle of the Grand Palais. What do you mean, it's a gimmick? Absolutely not. On the other side of the Grand Palais is the Champs-Elysées, where the finishing circuit begins.
When the race hits the Champs-Elysées, it turns right, down the hill to place de la Concorde.
The riders head down the Quai des Tuileries between the Tuileries gardens and the river Seine. They turn left and go under the Tuileries gardens by the Louvre, and come back up the other side of the gardens on rue de Rivoli. From place Concorde, they ride up the Champs-Elysées, and cross the finish line for the first time (level with the park containing the Thêatre Marigny).
At the top of the Champs-Elysées, the peloton goes around the Arc de Triomphe, and comes back down the Champs-Elysées to place de la Concorde. They follow the same route as before, under the Tuileries gardens and back up rue de Rivoli and the Champs-Elysées. The first complete circuit comes when they cross the finish line near the Thêatre Marigny for the second time.
The intermediate sprint is just after the riders cross the finish line for the third time. It might be important if the green jersey competition is very close.
There are eight complete circuits (plus the part-circuit before the complete circuits when the riders exit the Grand Palais and join the Champs-Elysées). This means that the race ends on the ninth time across the finish line.
The final stage traditionally ends with a bunch sprint on the Champs-Elysées. Past Paris winners likely to be present include Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel, but last year André Greipel was fastest. Maybe Greipel will do it again.
The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2018 is in the Vendée. On Stage 1 of the 2018 Tour de France, the riders set off from the Ile de Noirmoutier, and cross the Passage du Gois. They head down the Côte de Lumière to Sables d'Olonne, then inland for a finish in Fontenay-le-Comte.
The Tour stays in the Vendée and Maine-et-Loire for three full days, before leaving for Brittany part-way through Stage 4.
Montgeron is a suburb to the south of Paris, on the river Yerres, and near the Seine.
Painter Cluade Monet painted a number of pictures in Montgeron, during stays in 1876 and 1877. One of them, Les Dindons, is in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
The Grand Palais was begun in 1897, and finished in time for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. The innovative (at the time) iron and glass structure was inspired by the Crystal Palace in London.
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