Chris Froome secures fourth Tour De France crown

Chris Froome savoured his fourth Tour de France title as Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen won stage 21 of the race in Paris.

Chris Froome secures fourth Tour De France crown

Chris Froome savoured his fourth Tour de France title as Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen won stage 21 of the race in Paris.

Froome was able to enjoy the celebrations on the 103-kilometres stage from Montgeron to the Champs-Elysees before LottoNL-Jumbo's Groenewegen won in a sprint from Lotto-Soudal's Andre Greipel.

Groenewegen had time to ease off as the hard-charging Greipel left it too late, while stage 19 winner Edvald Boasson Hagen finished third.

Froome had effectively wrapped up his third straight Tour crown by extending his lead in Saturday's time trial in Marseille.

But while the first half of the final stage to the capital is a time for celebration, the sprint on the Champs-Elysees is arguably the most prestigious setting for any sprinter to win.

No better place then for Groenewegen to record his first career Tour stage victory.

For Greipel, second place spelled the end of a proud record - the 35-year-old had until now won at least one stage in every grand tour he took part in.

Norwegian Boasson Hagen took the last spot on the podium for the third time in this Tour, with the Team Dimension Data rider also having two second places to add to Friday's win.

Froome's final margin of victory over former team-mate Rigoberto Uran was 54 seconds, making this the seventh-closest finish in Tour history.

Waiting for the Team Sky rider at the finish line were his wife Michelle and young son Kellan.

The stage began in Montgeron, where the very first Tour started in 1903.

As is customary for the final day of the Tour, there was a jovial mood for the first 40 kilometres.

Team Sky had changed their blue stripe to yellow on the kit and team cars, while Froome rode a yellow bike as he clinked glasses of champagne with his team-mates and directors in the car.

AG2R La Mondiale's Cyril Gautier used the moment to propose to his girlfriend via the medium of a scrawled note on a page torn from the race roadbook, held up for the camera motorbike, while Wanty-Groupe Gobert's Yoann Offredo went up the road alone so he could stop and say hello to friends and family in his hometown on the outskirts of Paris.

Things began to get a little more serious as the race arrived in the city, with Froome pulling over to change his bike - having begun the day with a mounted camera to capture the celebrations.

There was a change to the usual route on to the Champs-Elysees as the peloton passed through the Grand Palais, which was used to promote Paris' bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

The attacks began almost as soon as they arrived on the Champs-Elysees, with Offredo and Orica-Scott's Daryl Impey the first to try.

Impey was part of a nine-man group that went clear up the road as spots of rain began to fall, but their mission was doomed.

Astana's Dimitriy Gruzdev and Quick-Step Floors Zdenek Stybar also launched fruitless late lunges before the real battle began.

Cannondale-Drapac's Uran could celebrate his highest ever Tour finish, while AG2R La Mondiale's Frenchman Romain Bardet finished third, two minutes and 20 seconds off Froome's time.

Orica-Scott's Simon Yates crossed the line to confirm his seventh place overall and the white jersey as the best young rider in the race.

Australian Michael Matthews sealed the green jersey in the points classification, with his French Sunweb team-mate Warren Barguil safe in the polka dot jersey as king of the mountains.

"I'm speechless, it is an amazing feeling," Froome said. "There is something magical about the Champs-Elysees when you have spent three weeks thinking about being here in this moment.

"It is amazing to see my wife and son again - it feels like more than a month on the road.

"Each time I have won has been so unique, such a different battle to get to this moment. They are all so special but this will be remembered as the closest and most hard-fought battle.

"A celebration is definitely overdue."

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