UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff wins final stage at Tour de France

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Triumphant: Alexander Kristoff.

Alexander Kristoff ensured UAE Team Emirates ended their Tour de France on a high, as he won the iconic final stage – the famous sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées.

The Norwegian had yet to record a stage victory at this year’s Tour, narrowly missing out earlier in the race, but on Sunday he was on top form, timing his final sprint to perfection.

Kristoff edged out home favourite Arnaud Demare in the final sprint, getting his wheel across the finish line ahead of the Frenchman in a finale that was a display of the reigning European champion’s power.

“I’ve dreamt about this victory for many years,” Kristoff said.

“I’ve been close before but I’ve never managed to beat the faster guys like Greipel, Kittel and Cavendish.

“But today they were not here – they are out after the mountains. So today I was the fastest and I am super happy.

“It’s a dream come true.”

Meanwhile, Kristoff’s team-mate Dan Martin finished eighth in the general classification standings, nine minutes and five seconds behind winner Geraint Thomas of Team Sky, and also picked up the award for the most combative rider of the tour – his first award as a UAE Team Emirates rider.

“This is an amazing moment,” Martin said.

“What a magical place to be, with the Arc du Triumph in the background and the Champs Elysees in front of us. It’s all just starting to sink in now.

“It’s always special finishing the Tour, but even more so today.

“I have really enjoying this year’s race and I’m a bit gutted it’s over. So now I am just looking forward to next year even more.”

Martin crashed earlier in the Tour, which ruled him out of contention for the podium finish that he was targeting.

Dan Martin finished eighth in the general classification standings.

Dan Martin finished eighth in the general classification standings.

Most popular

Related Sections

Geraint Thomas set to win Tour de France after keeping lead in stage 20 time trial

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Geraint Thomas is set to win the Tour de France.

Geraint Thomas is set to win the Tour de France on Sunday after protecting his yellow jersey in the stage 20 time trial from Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle to Espelette.

Thomas will become the third British winner of the race, joining Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, with the trio winning six of the last seven editions, all in Team Sky colours.

His closest rival at the start of the day, Tom Dumoulin, won the stage by one second from Chris Froome, but with Thomas only 14 seconds back the Welshman had more than enough in hand.

Thomas will carry a lead of one minute and 51 seconds into Sunday’s traditional procession into Paris before the sprinters fight it out for glory on the Champs-Elysees.

Thomas was embraced by his wife Sara and Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford at the finish, and appeared to wipe away a tear.

“I can’t believe it,” he said.

Froome, who came here looking for a record-equalling fifth Tour title and seeking a rare Giro-Tour double, had to settle for third place, taking back the final podium spot from LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic with his second place on the day.

There was brief confusion when the timing splits appeared to show Froome had beaten Dumoulin by one second to take the stage, though it was soon corrected.

“That’s crazy,” Dumoulin said. “I didn’t know anything about split times and I still thought Froome was one second ahead of me when I crossed the line. Wow.”

Thomas emulates Wiggins in converting himself from an Olympic team pursuit champion into the winner of the world’s biggest road race.

The 32-year-old had never before finished in the top 10 of a Grand Tour, though, in his only previous serious attempt to win one, he was forced to withdraw following a crash midway through last year’s Giro d’Italia.

Intermittent rain, the first significant downfall of the entire Tour, created unpredictable conditions on Saturday’s 31km course.

There was one significant scare for Thomas with around 19km to go when the bike almost slipped from underneath him on a right-hand bend.

Thomas may have known he had a buffer to play with, but he was not taking it easy as he was fastest through the first and second splits before grinding up the Col de Pinodieta and dropping back.

Dumoulin had to console himself with his third career Tour stage win – all of which have come in individual time trials.

The Team Sunweb rider’s day did not get off to an ideal start when he could not find his time trial skinsuit in the morning.

But with his clothing sponsor based just across the Spanish border in San Sebastian, an emergency call was placed and they whipped him up a new set of the world champion’s rainbow stripes in time.

Irishman Dan Martin shipped more than two minutes in the time trial, but the UAE Team Emirates rider – named the most combative in the Tour overall – did enough to protect his top 10 place as he is set to finish eighth overall.

Most popular

Related Sections

Dan Martin's fourth place on Stage 19 sees him climb to eighth in Tour de France's General Classification

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
It was another fine day for Dan Martin.

Dan Martin finished fourth on Stage 19 of the Tour de France and climbed a place in the overall General Classification to eighth after a hard-fought race that he ended with a punchy sprint finish against his rivals.

It was another afternoon of climbing for UAE Team Emirates as they wrapped up their final day in the mountains at this year’s Tour.

The 200.5km route from Loudres to Laruns took the peloton over no less than six categorised climbs, including two brutal Hors Categorie (HC) mountains.

As the race progressed the peloton began to splinter along the road, with a number of riders attacking off the front during the Col de Tourmalet.

Martin remained true to his game plan, holding his nerve and his power to stick with the yellow jersey group throughout the stage.

After a fast decent off of the final climb, the Irishman showed the gutsy determination he has displayed throughout by contesting a sprint finish, which saw him earn yet another a top-five spot and climb one more place in the GC classification.

The race was won by breakaway rider Primoz Roglic, of Lotto NL Jumbo, in just under five-and-a-half hours.

Commenting on the race, Martin said: “Today we saw a group of very tired men trying to ride their bikes fast. The whole peloton is exhausted after three weeks of racing, but there was still a lot of attacking and aggression.

“It was a pity I didn’t get the stage victory, it was always in the back of my mind and that’s why I held on so hard on the climbs.

“It was a bit dodgy on the downhill with all the mist, but that’s just another dimension of the Tour. Roglic managed to get away on the straight part of the descent [from the Col d’Aubisque] and we just couldn’t pull him back.”

Saturday, the penultimate day of the Tour, sees the riders take to the roads of the Basque country for the Individual Time Trial (ITT).

The 31km route from Saint Pee Sur Nivelle to Espelette isn’t one for the pure time trialists, featuring a lumpy parcours that will favour the punchy riders in the pack.

Most popular

Related Sections