Tour de France: Chris Froome completes victory as Marcel Kittel beats Mark Cavendish
By Matt Westby in Paris
Last Updated: 18/10/14 1:30pm
Chris Froome sealed overall victory of the Tour de France by safely negotiating the final stage into Paris as Mark Cavendish missed out on a fifth win in a row on the Champs-Elysees.
Froome avoided incident on a largely processional 21st stage to complete a dominant 4min 20sec triumph and follow in the footsteps of Sir Bradley Wiggins's historic breakthrough achievement of 12 months ago.
Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) was unable to complete a British double after being beaten into third place by winner Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) and second-placed Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol).
He came out of the final corner trailing behind the German duo and was unable to make up deficit in a tight photo finish. It is the first time he has been beaten in cycling's most prized sprint.
Froome followed them over the line just behind the peloton with his arms around his Team Sky team-mates as the sun set over the city in a spectacular night-time finale to the race's 100th edition.
Victory completes a remarkable journey for the 28-year-old, who only turned professional in 2007 but has now established himself as the No 1 stage-race rider in the world.
He won three stages at the Tour, including two summit finishes, on Ax 3 Domaines and Mont Ventoux, and one individual time trial, and improves on his second-place finish last year.
The 133.5km final stage started in Versailles and followed the ceremonial tradition of the race, with Froome sipping from champagne and posing for photos with team-mates.
Other riders joined in the celebrations, most notably Peter Sagan, who marked his second successive green jersey victory by dying his goatee beard green, and Joaquim Rodriguez, who lived up to his "Little Cigar" nickname by lighting a cigar early in the day.
The riders entered Paris as the sun began to fade for ten laps of a circuit around the Champs-Elysees, circling the Place de la Concorde at one end and the Arc de Triomphe at the other.
David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) was one of four men who broke away on the second lap, but one by one his fellow escapees fell away to leave the Briton leading solo.
He rode superbly, but was unable to fend off the sprint teams alone and was eventually caught with 15km to go by a three-man chase group, who were also soon swallowed up.
Cavendish's Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team were well-placed for most of the final lap, but they fell off the front in the final kilometre and he was unable to recover as Kittel claimed his fourth stage win of the race.
Stage 21 result
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano, 3:06:14
2 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol, same time
3 Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale, st
5 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, st
7 Kevin Reza (Fra) Europcar, st
8 Yohann Gene (Fra) Europcar, st
9 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Saxo-Tinkoff, st
10 Murilo Fischer (Bra) FDJ, st
Final general classification
1 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, 83:56:40
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +4:20
3 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha, +5:04
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff, +6:27
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff, +7:27
6 Bauke Mollema (Bel) Belkin, +11:42
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, +12:17
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +15:26
9 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, +15:52
10 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp, +17:39
- Green (points classification): Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
- White (best young rider): Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
- Polka dot (mountains classification): Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar