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Tour de France 2011 – Stage 21

Créteil to Paris Champs-Élysées – 95 km

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Tour de France 2011 Stage 21 - Map

Today’s stage of the Tour de France 2011 is that most dignified of stages, nothing will happen today that will effect the outcome of the General Classification in any meaningful way. The top rider this year is Australian first time Champion Cadel Evans – he will win this race simply by finishing this stage with everyone of the other close contenders. The stage today is flat and short, and impossible to create a sustained breakaway on. Except for the Sprint at 35.5 km before the end, the entire group of 167 riders would finish in one big Peloton. Expect instead, a Peloton with a long, point.

The point here today is to celebrate French ingenuity, French Industry and French Culture. Also many politicians will be on hand to bask in the warm glow of a great tradition they had no hand in starting – and if they were around 98 years ago, probably would have stood in the way of (sorry I’m a tad cynical – and sad that the race is over).


En ligne – A sporting perspective

“It has been the tradition since 1975 for the Tour de France to end with a prestigious stage finish on the Champs-Élysées. At the start in Créteil, we will remember Laurent Fignon, who held a licence with the local club. In 1989, his duel with Greg LeMond maintained the suspense right to the finish, where Fignon was sure that he would be the winner. That was the only occasion that the final stage was run as a time trial. Every other time, it has been a road stage that has been decided in a bunch sprint, except on four occasions. Those exceptions were the victories taken by Alain Meslet in 1977, Bernard Hinault in 1979, Eddy Seigneur in 1994 and Alexandre Vinokourov in 2005. It is incredibly hard to get a telling gap on this stage when breakaway riders are always within sight of the peloton.”



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Tour de France 2011 Stage 21 - Profile


The riders complete the 7.7 km neutral zone and cross the start line at 9:03 AM EST (15:03 CET).

Cadel Evans is going with Yellow on Yellow today. A yellow bike, yellow shoes, yellow sunglasses even – how droll. :)

Evans in drinking Champagne offered by the team manager from the team car.

Haven’t they banned cars from this stage here in the city? And what about drinking and driving??? And open liquor in the car???

Oh yeah, it’s Champagne, and this is France – not backwards, uptight Toronto. :)

The ceremony apparently over, Cadel now swaps his yellow photo-op bike for a red and black coloured BMC Racing Team one.


Thirty seven minutes in the group is at the 14km mark of today’s stage – they averaging under half the rate these riders usually pedal at.

The riders will lap the Champs-Elysees 8 times at the finish. The Sprint Section is part of the third lap of that “Indy Car” style oval racing idiom.

The LIVE widget commentator opines that an attack will not likely happen until the Champs-Elysees.

Ah, my laundry’s done, I have to switch it up to the dryer and put in another load. Today I’m doing the curtains as well – you know how they can get smelly over a long period? With the humidity last night – with a big rain storm that broke a week long record breaking hot spell – I could smell my curtains!


Time for a wash, I thought – and with the weather nice and cool, a good day for it. Be right back…


The average speed of the Tour de France 2011, after 20 stages is 39.8 km/h over 3,335 km.

Interestingly, that’s more that 5 times the average commute time for Toronto subrbanites. Makes sense to build a 4 lane raised tubular cycle-way – like the 427 only for bicycles – charge people to take it too. Stressed out people from the ‘safe’ suburbs are willing to pay for those gym memberships… . Should be able to get them to pay for the privilege of cycling to work in half the time it takes them now.

StatsCan reports:

“Despite our winter weather, Ottawa leads the nation’s large cities in bicycle commuting, but the percentages are not very high: 2% of employed people in Ottawa bike to work, followed closely by Vancouver (1.9%). Next are Calgary (1.5%), Montreal (1.3%), Edmonton (1.2%) and Toronto (0.8%).”

So you can understand why our enlightened Mayor Rob Ford wants to remove bike lanes.

Right. If we have more room for cars commute times will go up because more road space for cars equals more cars.

It’s counter intuitive – but it’s not a new understanding of how transportation infrastructure functions – I learned that in grade 11 geography class, 30 years ago!


Tour de France Stage 21 @ 10 56 AM EST (16:56 CET)

Tour de France 2011 - Stage 21 @ 10 56 AM EST (16:56 CET)

At about 10:30 the Peloton entered the oval part of the race, the 8 curcuits around the Champs-Elysees. the Peloton lengthened as several riders and teams began to attack. Ben Swift succeeded in creating a gap. 15 minutes ago 5 riders caught him. They now form an escape group ahead by 40 seconds.

The Escape Six


Garmin-Cervelo and Omega Pharma-Lotto are in charge of the Peloton’s counter.


The Escape Six lead has been cut to 30 seconds, two ovals to go.


Interestingly you can count the 8 ovals around the Champs-Elysees on the LIVE widget screen shot. It’s that pattern of 8 bumps to the end, starting about half way through today’s coarse.

Tour de France Stage 21 11 19 AM EST

Tour de France Stage 21 - 11:19 AM EST

The Escape Six lead is down to 20 seconds.


Tour de France 2011 Stage 21 - 11:24 AM EST

Tour de France 2011 Stage 21 - 11:24 AM EST


Tour de France 2011 Stage 21 - 11:28 AM EST

Tour de France 2011 Stage 21 - 11:28 AM EST


FIN! Tour de France Stage 21 - 11:30 AM EST

FIN! Tour de France Stage 21 - 11:30 AM EST

Communism! Socialist bloody Egalitarians – Utopians. Everyone finished with the same time.

The first and last Republic shows us how it’s done with class.

Top 10 were:

1. Mark Cavendish
2. Boasson Hagen
3. Andre Greipel
4. Tyler Farrar
5. Fabien Cancellara
6. Danile Oss
7. Borut Bozic
8. Tomas Vaitkus
9. Gerald Ciolek
10. Jimmy Engoulwent

Tour de France 2011 Overall Classification – Top 20

Tour de France 2011 - Overall Classification after Stage 21 - top 20

Tour de France 2011 - Overall Classification after Stage 21 - top 20


Wrong again:

Lars Bak, who lead for the last seconds before the Peloton over whelmed him – finished LAST!

165.   MALORI Adriano   LAMPRE  2h 28' 34"  + 01' 32"
166.   BONO Matteo      LAMPRE  2h 28' 34"  + 01' 32"
167.   BAK Lars         HTC     2h 28' 45"  + 01' 43"

Everyone else at 00:00

Versus/NBC Review of the Finish
Courtesy NBC (opens in new window – or below)


Posted: July 24th, 2011
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