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Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Sunday, 26 July 2009 11:24 UK

Tour de France - stage 21 as it happened

Stage 21 - Montereau Fault Yonne to Paris Champs Elysees, 167km

LATEST ACTION (all times BST)

606: DEBATE

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By Chris Bevan

The champagne is out
1727: Well folks, that was the 2009 Tour de France! I'm not sure what I'm going to do now this amazing Tour is finished but I'll start by trying to get my breath back. Thanks to everybody on text and 606 - it wouldn't have been the same without you. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I've did and let's look forward to the 2010 Tour when Lance, Wiggo and the Schlecks will be trying to stop Contador making it three wins in four years, not to mention Cav, who will be bidding for more stage wins. Plenty more cycling to enjoy before then though! See you soon...

Mark Cavendish
It's good news for a British rider
Bradley Wiggins
1719: Before I wrap up, let's reflect on a superb Tour for British cycling. Cav with his six stage wins to shatter Barry Hoban's British record and topping it off with victory on the Champs Elysees and Wiggo with his brave bid for the podium in Paris that ultimately saw him equal Robert Millar's fourth-place finish as the best by a British rider in Le Tour. We salute you.

1717: With two riders in the top three, it's probably not much of a surprise that Astana took the top team prize too.

Polka dot jersey
Get involved on 606
1715: tgsgirl on 606: "OK, this is beyond awesome. Pellizotti's entire family is in polka dots, including his baby with a polka dot bib!"

Alberto Contador
1711: 2009 TOUR DE FRANCE WINNER ALBERTO CONTADOR ON HIS VICTORY:
"It was a tough Tour and hard one to overcome but it brings me great honour and joy to record victory this year."

Lance Armstrong
1704: Lance Armstrong's third-place finish was the eighth time he has made the Tour podium - his other seven were all wins of course. But he still equals the all-time number of top-three finishes that Raymond Poulidor has held since 1976. At the age of 37 years and 311 days, Lance is also the second-oldest rider to make the podium after Poulidor (40 years and 94 days in 1976). The Frenchman never won the Tour but, between 1962 and 1976, he finished second three times and was third on five occasions

Bradley Wiggins
1700: Lance Armstrong and Andy Schleck join Contador on the podium in front of the Arc de Triomphe for the Spanish national anthem.. We're thinking of Wiggo right now too though - he deserves to be there as well.

Alberto Contador
The champagne is out
1657: Alberto Contador's victory is Spain's 12th in total out of 96 Tours, and their fourth in a row. It's Contador's second win, following his 2007 triumph, and from the way he just bounded up the steps to the top of the podium, it looks like he could easily go out and do the world's toughest bike race all over again tomorrow...

1655: The jersey winners are busy accepting their prizes as I speak - from girls in matching dresses.

White jersey
Polka dot jersey
Green jersey
Yellow jersey
1654: 2009 TOUR DE FRANCE JERSEY WINNERS:

Yellow jersey: Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana)
Green jersey: Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo)
Polka dot jersey: Franco Pellizotti (Ita/Liquigas)
White jersey: Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank)

Mark Cavendish
1652: MARK CAVENDISH AFTER HIS SIXTH STAGE WIN OF THE 2009 TOUR AND 10TH IN TOTAL:
"It was amazing. I had to win, I said all along that I wanted to win on the Champs Elysees and the feeling does not disappoint. Every single sprinter in the world dreams of crossing the line here with their hands in the air - I wanted it so bad. George went and just smoked everybody, then Mark went and I came past him."

1647: FINAL STANDINGS IN 2009 TOUR DE FRANCE:

1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) 85 hrs 48 mins 35 seconds
2. Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 4 mins 11 secs
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 5 min 24 secs
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 6 min 01 secs
5. Frank Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 6 mins 04 secs
6. Andreas Kloden (Ger/Astana) + 6 mins 42 secs

Text in your views on 81111
1646: From John in Place de Concorde, via text on 81111: "Awesome!"

1645: The Garmin team of Tyler Farrar took the wrong line into the final corner and Thor Hushovd was boxed in - that's why Cav's winning margin was so big. A consolation for Thor is that he keeps hold of the green jersey but the day belongs to Cav!

Yellow jersey
1642: Alberto Contador came home safely in the peloton and he is the winner of this year's Tour de France. Andy Schleck and Lance Armstrong take the other podium places - Wiggo keeps his fourth place.

It's good news for a British rider
1641: It was Mark Renshaw who took Cav clear of the bunch and they were about 30 metres clear by the end. What a way to become the first British rider to win a stage on the Champs Elysees. His sixth stage win of this year's Tour was his greatest of all.

1640: MARK CAVENDISH WINS STAGE 21 OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE!

1639: Cav goes for the line - he's miles clear!

1638: Oscar Freire is another rider near the front, but Columbia are going for this - George Hincapie is trying to take Cav home.

1636: Hushovd and Cav are in the mix too - we're in the last 2km now.

1635: The Garmin team of Wiggo and David Millar are at the front now - they want this win for Tyler Farrar.

1634: We're all back together now - Beppu, Wegmann and Veikkanen have been swept up after realising their escape attempt was futile. We have 5km to go and other teams are trying to crowd out the Columbia boys to stop them forming their train. Alberto Contador is in the main pack, well out of trouble, he is going to be crowned the Tour winner very shortly - but who will take today's stage glory?

1632: The riders take the bell for the final lap of this circuit. Just 6.5km left of this year's race and Garmin have taken over from Columbia at the top of the peloton. The three out front have a gap of 10 seconds on the bunch.

1630: Just three men left in the breakaway group now, who are 10 seconds clear with 7.2km to go. Beppu, Wegmann and Veikkanen are still clear, the other four sat up in their saddles and were gobbled up by the peloton.

1628: So who will be Cav's rivals for this stage win? Hushovd, Tyler Farrar and Gerald Ciolek for three. A blow for Cav though - one of his lead-out men, Michael Rogers, has had a puncture and is off the back of the peloton.

1626: It's still Columbia at the front but let's keep the faith that they can see Cav home. Forget the green jersey - we want him to get this stage win on Champs Elysees. With 10km to go, the gap is 13 seconds.

1624: It looks like being the bunch sprint finish we expected folks. The seven escapees have just begun their seventh of eight laps and are only 12 seconds clear now. We have got 12km of this year's Tour to go.

1620: Just 15km to go, and the gap is steady at around 21 seconds. Let's hope this chase doesn't take too much out of the Columbia train - they are doing it all on their own at the moment.

1618: It's amazing to watch these riders skim as close to the kerb as possible to take advantage of the smoother road surface there, compared to the cobbles on the rest of the Champs Elysees. I'm used to being given the same amount of space on my daily commute to work, but these boys are going a tiny bit faster than me.

1615: The seven breakaway riders are Samuerl Dumoulin, Carlos Barredo, Fumiyuki Beppu, Jussi Veikkanen, Arnaud Coyot, Alexandre Pichot and Fabian Wegmann. They're heading towards the Arc de Triomphe for the sixth time - that gap is 21 seconds now, with 18.5km to go. Columbia are reeling them in.

1613: It is still Columbia at the front of the bunch, with Hushovd hanging tough on their shoulder. The seven breakaway riders are working their socks off and are 27 seconds clear with 20.5km to go.

1610: Phew! A few tired legs at the back of the peloton, which you can understand after three weeks of hard riding on the road. At the front, Marcin Sapa is trying to get up to these seven breakaway riders but is not having much luck.

Text in your views on 81111
1608: From John in Place de Concorde, via text on 81111: "Worried about Cav. Train getting no help."

1607: The seven leaders are now 36 seconds ahead - still plenty of time for Cav's Columbia to reel them back in and secure a first stage win for a Briton on the Champs Elysees. Just 25km to go now as we start the fifth of our eight laps.

Text in your views on 81111
1606: From Colin, from Belfast but in Paris (still hanging in there), via text on 81111: "Got so excited I nearly fell off my railing."

Mark Cavendish
1604: Again, the sprint points go to the escapees (Barredo won it, followed by Wegmann and Pichot), meaning Hushovd is even more certain of securing the green jersey. Cav keeping his powder dry for this stage win - Columbia still bossing the peloton...we have got 28.5km to go and the gap is 32 seconds.

1602: We're coming up to the second intermediate sprint, on the fourth lap (of eight).

Green jersey
1600: Thor Hushovd is still up there at the front of the peloton too - the gap is 29 seconds, with 34km to go.

1555: A couple of riders from the Katusha team are trying to bridge the gap from the peloton to these seven men - it is up to 35 seconds now, with 36km to go. All nine Columbia men are up top in the main bunch.

1552: Columbia still leading the chase at the top of the peloton. We've got 38km to go and five more laps of the Champs Elysees. Seven riders have opened up a 30 seconds gap - Dumoulin, Barredo, Beppu, Jussi Veikkanen, Arnaud Coyot, Alexandre Pichot and Fabian Wegmann.

Text in your views on 81111
1549: From Denise and Pat, from Manchester but in Paris, via text on 81111: "Can agree with Patrick (1538), its baking hot in Place de Concorde. Am taking in the Tour with my mum, first time and loving it!"

Green jersey
1547: Dumoulin took the first intermediate sprint - and six points - followed by Beppu and Barredo (four and two). Cav and Columbia did not compete for those, which helps Thor Hushovd's quest for green. A stage win will satisfy the Manx Missile, surely?

1547: We've got 46km to go and another six laps of the Champs Elysees after this one. Dumoulin is out on his own now at the front - there is an intermediate sprint at the end of this lap, which explains why Thor Hushovd has gone to the front of the peloton to keep tabs on Cav.

1544: Cav's Team Columbia, not surprisingly, are trying to bring the escapees back. We're about to start our second lap of the Champs Elysees. Fumiyuki Beppu is also in this breakaway bunch, as is Samuel Dumoulin.

1542: There's a group of around six riders who have opened up a gap of a few seconds on the peloton. Spanish rider Carlos Barredo is one of them - don't think this group is going to stay away though.

Twitter
BBC Sport's Phil Sheehan on Twitter: "They've just come past us and the first attacks start."

The sun is out
1539: The 156 riders have gone past the Place de Concorde and are on the cobbles of the Champs Elysees, heading down towards Patrick (see 1538 below) in glorious sunshine.

Text in your views on 81111
1538: From Patrick in Paris, via text on 81111: "We are standing next to the Arc de Triomphe in the baking sun!! Can't wait to see Cav and Bradders!!"

Lance Armstrong
Alberto Contador
1537: Fittingly, it was the Astana team of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong that led the peloton into Paris. They are still all up top now, along with Andy Schleck.

1535: Just over 2km to go until the riders hit the Champs Elysees circuit - they will go around that eight times before the finish. We've got 55km of racing left and this stage is about to get tasty - a couple of intermediate sprints to come, on the second and fourth laps.

Get involved on 606
1532: samity42 on 606: "(Re 1523) Neil and Becca, you're talking about the "Parisiens", not the French. The rest of France hate em too because they're so rude (lovely city though)."

1526: Whooo! We are now in Paris! 59km to go!

Text in your views on 81111
1523: From Neil and Becca in Paris, via text on 81111: "We're just near the Louvre but can't see anyone hanging from a lamppost! What we can see are hundreds of very rude French people trying to push past us. Don't the French have a word for please?? Tip for next year - the Westin Hotel has rooms with balconies that have an awesome view of the course, and no need to put up with the argey-bargey. Go Cav, but Brad rules!"

1520: The pace has been very slow today but the Astana heavy mob (that's the last time I will call them that, I promise) are at the front of the bunch now - maybe things will speed up a tad. We've got 69km to go in today's stage. Just over 10km until the riders hit Paris though - stick with it Isaac and Colin!

Text in your views on 81111
1514: From Colin, from Belfast but in Paris, via text on 81111: "I too am hanging off a railing on the Rue de Rivoli and can confirm it is too hot for a pasty Irishman."

1510: Lance's comeback has been a big success - for him and the Tour. Not everybody has had such a happy time of things though, have they? Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov will be glad to get this race over and done with I think.

Get involved on 606
1507: Sparta on 606: "I've been really impressed with Lance this Tour. Not a fan particularly after him chasing down Simeoni in a previous tour but I do have massive respect for his sheer determination and I do regard his achievements as one of the greatest in all sport. He has comeback and completely outperformed what I expected and the Contador thing aside has been fairly gracious in his interviews. Chapeau le Texan."

1500: You can now listen to live coverage of the climax to this year's Tour on our 5 Live stream. Just give this page a manual refresh and you will see the link at the top.

Text in your views on 81111
1455: From Isaac in Paris, via text on 81111: "Folks, I am lucky enough to be hanging on a lampost by Le Louvre. Great party atmosphere but can someone tell me what time the race comes down this final street? It's hot up this lamppost...!"

Hang on in there Isaac (not sure how he texted while hanging off a lamppost but still...). The riders aren't far away from entering Paris now - they're about 30km away. Not sure exactly when they will be whizzing past where you are but shouldn't be much more than 30-45 minutes...we'll look out for you.

1449: Alberto Contador has gotten hold of a Spanish flag and has tied it round his neck, Superman style. This will be the fourth year in a row we've seen a Spaniard win the Tour, following Oscar Pereiro (2006), Contador (2007) and Carlos Sastre (2008).

Text in your views on 81111
1446: From Veronica and Claire, via text on 81111: "Chapeau Chris and co; Chapeau the Brits - we love them; Chapeau Lance - we love him; Chapeau le Tour - we love it. Thank you for a great three weeks. Can't wait for next year."

Chapeau (which means 'to doff your hat to') you lot too, including Veronica and Claire. It's been a Tour to remember hasn't it?

Alberto Contador
Mark Cavendish
1441: Cav is the latest rider to have a chat, and a few pictures, with Contador. Most of the 155 other riders must have done that now...I wonder if Lance Armstrong misses being the centre of attention on days like this?

Get involved on 606
1439: Tpott55 on 606: "Anyone else noticed that Bradley Wiggins, David Millar & David Zabriske are wearing time trial suits? Maybe they think Tyler Farrar can get the big one today? But it's almost impossible to look past that Columbia train, and they are gonna have just about the whole team cranking it up."

1432: Nope, still no racing going on...the good news is that we're only 45km away from Paris, when this stage will start to get going.

Alberto Contador
Yauheni Hutarovich
1422: Good old Lanterne Rouge Yauheni Hutarovich has some photos to show his grandchildren after posing alongside Alberto Contador. That's about the closest he's got to touching the yellow jersey in the past three weeks though...103km of today's 167km to go.

Text in your views on 81111
1418: From Davey, via text on 81111: "Try telling Cav it's uncompetitive on the last day! The last day is more like a ride out to a Paris criterium. It would be hard to make serious time back on a flat stage anyway!"

For those who might not know, a criterium is a short race usually held on laps of closed inner-city streets...which is exactly what the end of this stage is when it hits the Champs Elysees.

1409: We've got 110km of today's stage and Le Tour, left. The riders are about 55km away from Paris.

Twitter
BBC Sport's Phil Sheehan on Twitter: "Lance is flirting with Cav again - trying to get his signature for Radio Shack next year?"

The champagne is out
1357: The Astana boys have broken out the champagne as they pass the 45km mark of today's stage. They all deserve to raise a (plastic) glass, which Contador has just thrown away after downing his. A nice souvenir for anybody who picks that up. More celebratory drinks to follow later, you'd think.

Twitter
BBC Sport's Phil Sheehan on Twitter: "Front page of today's L'Equipe the headline is Chapeau, Le Texan."

Text in your views on 81111
1348: From Mol_Daze , via text on 81111: "(Re 1242) It may be a convention but no one told second placed Joop Zoetemelk in 1979, who attacked approaching Paris and was countered by yellow jersey wearer Bernard Hinault (possibly the most aggressively competitive rider in Tour history).


"The two rode away from the field and Hinault made it a point of personal pride to win the stage. Would be great to see the same happening today but Andy Schleck would be too worried about his big brother and Contador about Big Brother (aka Johan Bruyneel) who would undoubtedly claim it cost Astana the chance of all three spots on the podium as he has every other time Contador has attacked."

As ever, good knowledge from Mol_Daze here...

1345: We're still moving towards Paris, very slowly mind. As you'd expect, all the riders are still together - and still chatting amongst themselves - we've got 126km of the 167km to go.

Text in your views on 81111
1338: From Dave in Derbys, via text on 81111: "Do you think Wiggo can come back next year a better climber and possibly win?"

Win it? Big ask, with Contador so strong. A better climber? He'll be more confident, that will help - and he's a podium contender for sure. Worth remembering that Wiggo will finish 37 seconds behind Armstrong in fourth - but he lost 40 seconds to the Texan in stage three after crosswinds blew the peloton apart, and another four seconds in stage 19 despite being only two places behind Lance.

Get involved on 606
1332: Taggingalong on 606: "(Re 1304) Wiggins has been featured looking relaxed and fit on (TV channel) France 2. The commentators have been saying what a brilliant Tour he has had and what courage he has shown. A revelation."

Yep, and Wiggo's ride up Mont Ventoux yesterday was another incredible show of guts. But then we've got used to that haven't we!

1326: We've got 136km of today's 164km to go. Plenty of spectators along the road this year seem to be using the tried and trusted method of getting in the bucket of a digger and being hoisted up to get a bird's eye view of the riders going past. I might try that at the next gig I go to...if I can get a JCB through the door.

Text in your views on 81111
1324: From Simon in Halesowen, via text on 81111: "What time is the Tour due to finish as I am watching F1 at the minute and don't want to miss Cav winning."

Too right you don't want to miss the end of this stage - it's going to be magical. The riders will arrive on the Champs Elysees for the first of eight circuits at around 1500 BST. Crunch time at the finish line will come at around 1630 BST.

1314: Alberto Contador on holding off the challenge of team-mate Lance Armstrong to win his second Tour de France:
"I knew he was coming here to win but so was I. It wasn't really a compatible situation, but I had prepared myself physically very well and I knew that in the end that my performances would speak for themselves."

1310: We've got 145km of today's 164km to go and the party is still going on. Andy Schleck is munching on something at the moment - someone must be passing round the canapes and sausage rolls.

Bradley Wiggins
1304: No sign of Wiggo on the road yet today, but judging from his comments before he went up Mont Ventoux he is looking forward to a beer or two in Paris, and to see his family too...it's been a month since he saw his kids.

Twitter
BBC Sport's Phil Sheehan on Twitter: "Cavendish is favourite to take the Champs Elysees stage, Thor Hushovd will want a stage win in green and Tyler Farrar reckons his time must come soon."

1256: Fair to say that Fabian Cancellara is taking things quite easy today too. He's fallen off the back of the peloton after a puncture - his Saxo Bank team have had a few of them this year. But 'Spartacus' is hardly rushing to get back in touch - instead, pedalling gently, he digs out his mobile phone and starts filming the cameraman. Don't try that on descents Fab - and don't try that at home folks.

1252: Alberto Contador is handed the blackboard off the Tour motorbike that shows the riders any time splits during the stage. It's got "Second Tour" written on it, as he won in 2007 too. Would have been interesting to see him try to get up Mont Ventoux yesterday carrying that though...

1247: It's all smiles in the peloton as the riders soak up the sunshine and continue their stroll towards Paris - the real racing of the day will come later on. We've got around 158km of today's 164km left.

Text in your views on 81111
1242: From Brownley, via text on 81111: "Tour de France novice here, wondering why the last day isn't treated as competitive by the leaders?"

Ali from London has asked pretty much the same thing - it is down to tradition really - the last day is seen as a victory parade for the man in yellow rather than a chance to try to snatch victory. The last time anything was decided on the final stage was that famous time trial in 1989 of course, when Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon had their epic dual in a time trial on the Champs Elysees. The American triumphed by eight seconds, the smallest winning margin in the Tour's 106-year history. But that was a bit different...

1236: The four jerseys are still all together as the stage gets underway - they briefly join hands in the style of a very colourful stunt motorbike team too. Pellizotti has made quite a splash with his aggressive riding this year and he has also voted the winner of the 'Super Combative' award for this Tour by the judges who decide on the winner of the daily 'Fighting Spirit' prize. Pellizotti won that twice too.

Yellow jersey
1232: Franco Pellizotti has been covered in polka dots all week while he's been leading the King of the Mountains category but Contador is matching him today. He's in yellow from top to bottom, including gloves and socks, and his handle bars, wheel rims and brake levers are all that colour too.

The sun is out
1229: Up at the finish line, on the Champs Elysees in Paris, the sun is out and the crowds are enjoying watching some junior riders - all clad in yellow - in action.

1226: Alberto Contador, Franco Pellizotti, Thor Hushovd and Andy Schleck - the owners of the yellow, polka dot, green and white jerseys - are at the front of the peloton as it makes its way to the start in Montereau Fault Yonne.

1223: We will have live commentary of the climax of today's stage, and this year's Tour, on our 5 Live stream from 1500 BST. I'll remind you about this nearer the time too because you'll have to give this page a manual update to see the link.

Get involved on 606
1220: tgsgirl on 606: "I'd love to see a crazy superspeed breakaway today, with some guys riding for all their worth. They can either make it or be beaten by the peloton with 1km to go, with a mad dash supersprint (won by Cav) to top it off."

Yellow jersey
Alberto Contador
1215: I'd also be interested to know your thoughts on Alberto Contador. Why has he won this Tour, and when did he win it? I'm sure you'll have a few ideas! Oh, and would things have been different if Astana had put Lance Armstrong in yellow after the team time trial in stage four? Would the Spaniard have defended Lance's lead for the team in the same way the Texan did for him later on?

Yauheni Hutarovich
1210: Also worth a mention today is the Lanterne Rouge, Belarussian sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich, who is virtually certain to keep hold of last place in the Tour. Hutarovich is four hours, 16 minutes and 27 seconds behind maillot jaune Alberto Contador overall. He is also 22 minutes and 19 seconds behind Andreas Klier, the German rider who lies 155th.

White jersey
Polka dot jersey
Green jersey
Yellow jersey
1206: TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 AFTER STAGE 20:

Yellow jersey: Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana)
Green jersey: Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo)
Polka dot jersey: Franco Pellizotti (Ita/Liquigas)
White jersey: Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank)

1200: There are 156 brave riders left in the Tour, all of whom deserve a salute for surviving this far. They will roll out of the neutral zone in Montereau Fault Yonne in about 20 minutes and head for Paris.

Get involved on 606
1155: UrlaubInPolen on 606: "I suppose Cav will win again. I'd like there to be some teams who can challenge, but we all know pretty well that no matter how many French attacks there are on the Elysian Fields, it's gonna be a big bunch sprint. And if it's a big bunch sprint, seeing as it's flat, the Manxman will win."

Lance's bike
Armstrong has been riding custom bikes to promote his Livestrong foundation
1150: Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong will seal a top-three finish today, at the end of his first Tour since 2005. Quite an achievement for a 37-year-old, who will be back next year of course. The Texan will ride a bike decorated by Damien Hirst with hundreds of dead butterflies today - he's been riding custom-painted bikes all race to promote his Livestrong foundation.

Yellow jersey
1145: Here's a reminder of the overall standings. These should stay the same - today is just a ceremonial trek into Paris for this lot.


GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 20:

1. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) 81 hrs 46 mins 17 seconds
2. Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 4 mins 11 secs
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 5 min 24 secs
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 6 min 01 secs
5. Frank Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) + 6 mins 04 secs
6. Andreas Kloden (Ger/Astana) + 6 mins 42 secs

Get involved on 606
1142: pigeons in the park on 606: "Here's to Last Day madness and some final Cav glory!"

Bradley Wiggins
1137: I'm not forgetting Bradley Wiggins in all of this by the way.


He has had an unforgettable Tour and, despite missing out on a podium place in Paris, to finish fourth and equal Robert Millar's best finish for a British rider from 1984 is an incredible achievement. When Contador and co break open the champagne on the way into the French capital, as is the norm, Wiggo deserves to take a big swig for himself. He has proven himself to be a genuine contender for future Tours.

1135: It's a big ask - all Thor realistically needs to do is stay on Cav's shoulder all day and, assuming neither of them contest those intermediate sprints, then, even if Cav does win the stage, a place in the first 15 will bring enough points to keep Thor in green. Personally, I'd settle for a stage win for Cav, the green jersey can wait!

Green jersey
1132: Cav, the Manx Missile, has already won more stages this year than last - five to four - and is set to finish his first Tour. You also might have heard him talking about victory in Paris since before the race began three weeks ago, not much though...he's not said a lot during the Tour!


There is also a slim chance he could achieve his other aim of this year's Tour and snatch the green points jersey from Thor Hushovd. The Norwegian leads the Manxman by 25 points - there are 35 up for grabs for the stage winner, and up to another 12 from the two intermediate sprints on the second and fourth laps of the Champs Elysees. Can he do it?

Text in your views on 81111
1130: From Richard, via text on 81111: "Morning Mr Bevan. The last three weeks have been great, thanks for the coverage and entertainment from you and all contributors. And every hero prepared to take on Le Tour."

I echo what Richard is saying here - thanks to all you texters and everyone on 606 - you know who you are. This Tour wouldn't have been the same without you.

1127: Today's stage begins in Montereau Fault Yonne and will begin as a victory parade into Paris for Contador, the man in yellow, who will be joined on the podium by Andy Schleck and seven-time champion Lance Armstrong.


Only when the Eiffel Tower is in sight, and the riders begin the first of eight laps on the cobbles of the Champs Elysees, will the race for the line begin.

Mark Cavendish
Yellow jersey
1123:Yep, we already know that, barring disaster, the formidable Alberto Contador will be crowned this year's Tour de France winner - and rightly so after a superb display in the mountains and time trials. He is the King.


But can the Isle of Man's Prince of Sprints Mark Cavendish sign off with his sixth stage win of this year's race? I certainly hope so.

1120 BST: It began in Monaco 22 days ago as the Tour de Lance. Will it finish in Paris today as the Tour de Manx?



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see also
Contador seals 2009 Tour victory
26 Jul 09 |  Cycling
How the 2009 Tour was won
26 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France final weekend photos
26 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Brave Wiggins holds on to fourth
25 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Bushell makes final climb of the Tour
25 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish claims record Tour win
24 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Wiggins boosts Tour podium hopes
23 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador moves closer to Tour win
22 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador keeps hold of Tour lead
21 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Contador wary of Wiggins threat
21 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Wiggins may quit track for Tour
20 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France week three photos
24 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France week two photos
17 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France ones to watch
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Understanding the Tour de France
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling


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