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.
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