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Live Tour de France - Final stage

Tour de France
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Fancy a lazy canter down Paris' Avenue des Champs-Élysées?

That's what yellow jersey-wearing Carlos Sastre will have been dreaming of last night and, barring a hugely unlikely mishap, that's what will happen this afternoon as the 2008 Tour de France draws to a close in Paris.

The largely symbolic stage 21 from Etampes to the French capital may see some frenzied sprint attacks as a herd of proud cyclists try to put their name in lights - but nothing should jeopardise the Spaniard's position on top of the podium such are the last day customs of the world's greatest race.

Given all that, today is surely the perfect time for us to reflect on subsequently debate just where the Tour de France as a sporting entity stands at this point in time given the flood of controversy from which it has been unable to escape in recent years.

Some commentators I heard after stage 20 was completed yesterday said that not witnessing anything sensational in 2008 was a good thing: i.e. it could indicate that it's been a relatively clean event.

Do you sense renewed hope that the tide has turned?...

Another angle to reflect on is the continued emergence of more talented young riders on this year's Tour, who have again combining to block out the sun for some of the sport's more established names.

Britain's Mark Cavendish, a four-time winner in the sprints, and Luxembourg's white jersey-wearing Andy Schleck are the two obvious names that spring immediately to mind.

Care to mention any others?...

Today marks the last 143km of a gruelling 3,559km and it's a day for celebration. So sit back, relax - GET INVOLVED - and enjoy.

Latest 10 comments

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posted Jul 27, 2008

MagpieMatt: Don't worry, Olympics start soon!

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posted Jul 27, 2008

I would like to thank BBC for live text, it helped me a lot whenever I could not watch it live.

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comment by MattS88 (U1825801)

posted Jul 27, 2008

I could do some work, there's not a lot going on at the moment though! Good point about the olympics, I'll just have to get through the next 2 weeks.

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comment by jmb (U1574246)

posted Jul 27, 2008

A 7 second split in the pack as they crossed the line, Sastre losing 7 seconds to all his rivals as he was on the wrong side of it.

Makes no difference overall though, well done to team CSC clearly the strongest team and I think that gave Sastre his key advantage over Evans.

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posted Jul 27, 2008

GERTJE!!! Awesome Steegmans, I can't believe I fricking missed it! You made Belgium proud! =)

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posted Jul 27, 2008

the other incidents of cadel are rightly justified. The headbutting one was not a headbut but rather the camera man being in the way. Cadel was on his bike and rather than the camera hit his face he put his head down to protect himself. If you watch the youtube video you will clearly see this..

Also.. you say he is being criticized for not attacking and being unadventurous.. well what do you expect when he is all alone with no help? the FACT is, if Castre was on the Lotto team he would not have won the tour! Even Castre admits to that.. The only reason castre was able to attack was that he had 2 shleck csc team mates helping him on the alps.

On the whinging side of things.. if you have no help and you have prepared all year for the tour.. how do you think you would feel? also how would you feel after paying lots of money for lance armstrongs team mate when he did absolutely jack all for you... I would be whinging also.. It is a tough tour and cadel is being honest about that.

All this hating on cadel is completely unjustified and misinformed
this is a quote from cadel himself from his website -

cadel - After the stage, please excuse my unsocial behaviour, but this tour is not a social event for me. And there are a lot of disrespectful journalists and specators ( who spoil it for the friendly ones.) Sorry, but I did not get this far in the tour to have a cameraman or journalist knock me down (err, my two body guards asked them to move before the famous 'headbut incident' on the way to the car, or someone making me crash trying to steal my water bottle. This race is not easy and I get the blame when something goes wrong. That all adds to the tour atmosphere i guess

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posted Jul 27, 2008

Yeah, right mrjasler. Evans is a great sportsman, level headed, etc etc. NOT!!!!!

He has got to be the most ignorant, almost manic personality EVER to ride the tour.

Personally I do not blame his team for the so called lack of support. If I was unfortunate enough to be on his team I would have left him to get on with it too!

For the record, the name is SASTRE, at least get THAT right!

Well done CSC. You were the best in every respect, a well deserved win.

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posted Jul 27, 2008

This might be - well, probably is - the Belgian in me waking up, but:
I cannot believe that all you lot are completely in awe about Cav, but no one (seriously, no one) has said one word about today's finish, the so-called "world championship for sprinters". That was a gem of a train, the perfect example of what a sprinter's train should be like. They drove the speed up to 65k! Sixty-five!!
Bit disappointed at everyone's love of cycling here, I figured at least one of you would see what a great sprint that was.

*rant over*

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posted Jul 28, 2008

> That was a gem of a train, the perfect example of what a sprinter's train should be like. <

Come on! The only reason the QS train didn't come to a juddering halt leaving Steegmans with an impossibly long sprint again was David Millar.

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posted Jul 28, 2008

David Millar at the start was ... odd, yeah. But the train worked out perfectly, you can't deny that. If Kirchen hadn't dragged Cav back to the front of the peloton he wouldn't have won. If Augustyn hadn't gone flying off the mountain he may've won.
If, if, if.
Point is, Millar did something weird and, well stupid (working for another team, that is), QS took advantage of it, and the plan worked.

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