Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour de France for the second straight year as cycling’s most storied race finished Sunday on the famed Champs-Élysées.
With a huge lead built up over main rival Tadej Pogačar, the 2020 and 2021 winner, Vingegaard knew the victory was effectively his again before the largely ceremonial stage at the end of the 110th edition of the Tour.
Vingegaard drank champagne with his Visma-Jumbo teammates as they lined up together and posed for photos on the way to Paris.
It had been a three-week slog over 2,116 miles with eight mountain stages across five mountain ranges. Vingegaard seized control of the race over two stages in the Alps.
Little had separated the two rivals until Vingegaard finished a time trial 1 minute, 38 seconds ahead of Pogačar on Tuesday then followed up the next day by finishing the toughest mountain stage of the race almost 6 minutes ahead of his exhausted rival.
“I’m dead,” said the 24-year-old Pogačar, who won the white jersey for the best under-25 rider for the fourth year in a row.
The Slovenian rider responded by winning the penultimate stage Saturday, but Vingegaard still had an insurmountable lead of 7 minutes, 29 seconds going into the final stage — a mostly ceremonial event that is contested at the end by the sprinters.
“We have to be careful not to do anything stupid,” Vingegaard warned Saturday, “but yeah, it’s amazing to take my second victory in the Tour de France.”
Belgian cyclist Jordi Meeus won the final stage in a photo finish between four riders on the line, just ahead of Jasper Philipsen, Dylan Groenewegen and Mads Pedersen.
“It was my first Tour. It was a super nice experience already so far, and to take the win today is an incredible feeling,” Meeus said.
British cyclist and Pogačar teammate Adam Yates took third place overall, while Belgian Jasper Philipsen won the green jersey for the points classification and Italian Giulio Ciccone took the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification.
Vingegaard’s Jumbo-Visma won the teams classification.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.