Tour de France Stage 21: Cavendish 6th on the Champs-Élysées
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Mark Cavendish finished 6th in the final stage of Le Tour de France, with wet roads from the rain along the 109.5km stage from Sèvres to Paris.
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the stage. Bryan Coquard (Europcar) was 2nd, and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) finished 3rd.
Due to the adverse weather conditions, the clock was stopped after the first passage on the final circuit. Chris Froome (Team Sky) only had to cross the finish line to win the overall, which he did, crossing along with his teammates. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished 2nd, and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 3rd.
A three-rider breakaway maintained a 13" gap with 6.6km remaining, but Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) bridged successfully soon after. Lotto Soudal had been on the front controlling the pace all day, and continued to keep the pace high in order to catch all the breakaway riders with 4.1km remaining.
The leadout trains remained disorganized all the way into the final sprint, with Kristoff being the first rider to launch as he was in front with one teammate guiding him. Cavendish eventually got to the wheel of teammate Matteo Trentin to help lead him out, but the gap was too big to close before the line.
Etixx - Quick-Step concludes Le Tour de France with three stage wins, and a few days in the yellow jersey. Tony Martin won stage 4, Zdenek Stybar won Stage 6, and Cavendish was victorious in the 7th Stage. Tony Martin also wore yellow for several stages before having to withdraw after a crash. Etixx - Quick-Step chose to be protagonists in the second and third week of Le Tour, with Matteo Trentin, Michal Golas, and Uran all entering breakaways of various stages. Rigoberto Uran finished highest overall for Etixx - Quick-Step, in 39th place.
"We knew we were going to go strong in the first week and then see what we could do in the last couple of weeks," Cavendish said. "It was just survival, especially this week. This was the hardest Tour de France I've ever done. It took its toll on me a bit. I've had bronchitis the last couple of days and a fever last night. But we gave it a shot today with a short stage at 110 kilometers. It also wasn't easy with the leadout, having lost a few guys, including my last leadout man Mark Renshaw. It was a little bit chaotic in the peloton at the end, even with the well drilled leadout trains. But Greipel was strong and congratulations to him. We did our best today and that's all we can ask for. We won three stages, we had the yellow jersey for a few days at this Tour de France. The guys looked after me in the mountains, and then we did what we could here in Paris. I'm looking forward to some rest now and Etixx - Quick-Step will look forward to next year."