Geraint Thomas' coronation as Tour de France champion passed without incident as he rode to Paris, where European champion Alexander Kristoff won the final sprint stage. Team Sky's Thomas had all but secured a first Tour title on Saturday by emerging from the time trial with a lead of one minute and 51 seconds from Tom Dumoulin.
Only an incredible development would have seen Thomas fail to clinch victory and it did not come to pass, the Welshman and his team-mates enjoying champagne as they set off on the largely processional 116km ride. Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel, riding his 18th and final Tour, led the race onto the Champs-Elysees, before Sky allowed a first notable attack through with around 50km remaining.
Silvan Dillier, Michael Schar, David Gaudu, Nils Politt, Guillaume van Keirsbulck and Taylor Phinney led the break, although the latter suffered a mechanical issue that slowed the pace. After the gap was finally closed with 5km to go to set up the traditional bunch sprint, Yves Lampaert looked to have streaked clear late in the final lap. However, with the finish line in sight, Lampaert was caught and Kristoff came through fastest, pipping John Degenkolb and Arnaud Demare at the line.
In Thomas' shadow
Chris Froome could not defend his Tour de France title, with team-mate Thomas winning the general classification, but he still enjoyed a fine race. The Briton secured his place on the podium on Sunday, finishing in the top three of a sixth consecutive Grand Tour. In the points race, meanwhile, Peter Sagan finished eighth in the Paris sprint and claimed a record-equalling sixth green jersey with a points tally of 477, well clear of nearest challenger Kristoff.
STAGE 21 RESULT
1. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 02:46.36
2. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)
3. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data)
5. Christophe Laporte (Team Cofidis)
1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 83:17.13
2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +1.51
3. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +2.24
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 477
2. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 246
3. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 203
King of the Mountains
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) 170
2. Warren Barguil (Team Fortuneo-Samsic) 91
3. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) 76