Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark has claimed his second consecutive Tour de France title, showcasing another commanding performance as the event concluded in Paris on Sunday. Meanwhile, the final stage saw an unexpected victory from Belgian Jordi Meeus of the Bora-Hansgrohe team, who edged out his fellow Belgian Jasper Philipsen in a close sprint finish on the iconic Champs-Élysées.
Vingegaard’s Dominance Continues
Vingegaard’s triumph came after a three-week competition covering over 3,405km (2,116 miles), including eight challenging mountain stages across five different mountain ranges. The Jumbo-Visma rider seized control of the race during two decisive stages in the Alps, finishing more than seven minutes ahead of his main rival, two-time winner Tadej Pogacar.
Coming into the final stage with a massive seven-minute, 29-second lead, Vingegaard was able to enjoy the mostly ceremonial last day of the race, raising a toast with his teammates while posing for pictures en route to Paris. Despite Pogacar’s unexpected move of initiating a string of attacks on the climactic circuits of the Champs-Élysées, the Slovenian rider’s efforts did little to bridge the gap between the two cyclists, setting up a usual sprint finish.
Meeus Claims Surprising Final Stage Win
While Vingegaard celebrated his overall victory, the final stage win went to a first-time Tour participant, Belgian Jordi Meeus. The young cyclist, in a thrilling photo finish, denied his compatriot Jasper Philipsen a repeat of last year’s victory on the Champs-Élysées.
Meeus said, “It was my first Tour. It was a super nice experience already so far and to take the win today is an incredible feeling. Everything went perfect.”
The Path Ahead
Fresh off his Tour de France win, Vingegaard already has his sights set on the upcoming Vuelta a España, due to commence at the end of August. As part of the Jumbo-Visma team, he will partner with Primoz Roglic, winner of this year’s Giro d’Italia, in an attempt to secure a historic clean sweep of cycling’s three major stage races.
“We started the plans early and once again I could not have done it without my team. I’m so proud of everyone. Tonight we will celebrate, have a good dinner, it will be a nice evening,” Vingegaard said, promising to kick off his preparations for the Spanish event after a brief week off.
Meanwhile, the future of British cyclist Mark Cavendish, currently tied with Belgian legend Eddy Merckx for the all-time record of 34 Tour stage wins, remains uncertain. The 38-year-old Astana Qazaqstan rider has yet to decide whether to delay his retirement plans, with a crucial meeting with team manager Alexander Vinokourov on the cards as the Tour concludes.