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Live Reporting

Chris Bevan

All times stated are UK

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    Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali

    So, that was the 2014 Tour de France. It took us from Yorkshire to the podium in Paris via the Alps and Pyrenees with plenty of thrills, spills, crashes and smashes along the way before delivering us a dominant and deserved winner in the shape of Vincenzo Nibali.

    It was an incredible ride and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. See you next year.


    Vincenzo Nibali

    Vincenzo Nibali's baby daughter Emma got a kiss from the winner of the 2014 Tour de France too.


    Nibali will be joined by two Frenchmen on the podium, the first time there have been two home riders there since 1983. Jean-Christophe Peraud, 37, survived a crash earlier in the day to take second place while Thibault Pinot, 24, is third.


    Yes here comes our overall winner, Vincenzo Nibali, to be presented yet again with the yellow jersey he has worn for so much of this Tour. He is wearing matching yellow shoes for the occasion, and a very broad grin on his face.


    Next up is the prize for the most aggressive rider. It goes to Alessandro De Marchi, who attacked on what seemed like a daily basis. Another Italian will be making his way to the podium in a few moments too...


    Thibaut Pinot, who will be back on the podium shortly to celebrate his third place overall is being called forward now for his white jersey as the best-placed young rider.


    Next up on the podium is the first ever Pole to be in Paris in Polka Dots - Rafal Majka, who is the winner of the king of the mountains category.


    Peter Sagan, winner of the green points jersey for sprinters is up on the podium to collect his prize. This is the third straight year he has ridden into Paris in green. No stage wins for him this time, though.


    Vincenzo Nibali

    Vincenzo Nibali, shown here kissing his wife Rachele at the finish line, has now won all three Grand Tours - the Tour de France (2014), Giro d'Espana (2013) and Vuelta a Espana (2010) - putting him in some quite exclusive company.

    Other men to win all three Grand Tours:

    Eddy Merckx (Belgium): Tour de France x5 (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974), Giro d'Italia x5 (1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974), Vuelta a Espana x1 (1973)

    Bernard Hinault (France): Tour de France x5 (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985), Giro d'Italia x3 (1980, 1982, 1985), Vuelta a Espana x2 (1978, 1983)

    Jacques Anquetil (France):Tour de France x5 (1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964), Giro d'Italia x2 (1960, 1964), Vuelta a Espana x1 (1963)

    Alberto Contador (Spain): Tour de France x2 (2007, 2009), Giro d'Italia x1 (2008), Vuelta a Espana x2 (2008, 2012)

    Felice Gimondi (Italy): Tour de France x1 (1965), Giro d'Italia x3 (1967, 1969, 1976), Vuelta a Espana x1 (1968)


    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Nibali has stayed out of trouble, we've had some difficult terrain and I definitely think he's a worthy winner."


    Rob Hatch

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "This is a wonderful moment for Italy. Nibali has been dominant and aggressive without ever really having a serious rival."


    Yellow Jersey


    So, after almost 90 hours in the saddle over 21 days, 29-year-old Italian Vincenzo Nibali is crowned the winner of the Tour de France for the first time. He won four stages, spent 18 days wearing the yellow jersey and was nearly eight minutes clear of his nearest rival - he is truly a worthy winner!

    General classification - final standings

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 89hrs 58mins 46secs

    2. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra/AG2R) +7mins 37secs

    3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/ +8mins 15secs

  13. Post update

    Result of stage 21

    Marcel Kittel takes his fourth stage win of this year's Tour, and his first since the first week. Not sure how he had enough left in the tank after his struggles in the mountains but his victory today makes it all worthwhile.

    1. Marcel Kittel (Ger/Giant-Shimano) 3hrs 20min 50sec

    2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Katusha) SAME TIME

    3. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit/Garmin-Sharp) SAME TIME


    Alex Haworth: I thought that Kittel was cooked? Brilliant end to the Tour.


    Vincenzo Nibali crosses the line seconds later, and is immediately mobbed by about a million photographers.


    Wow! What a finish. Germany's Marcel Kittel finds the power when it matters to beat Alexander Kristoff to the line, and take the stage win in Paris for the second successive year. His final kick was the difference, while Andre Greipel left it far too late to challenge.

  17. Post update

    But Marcel Kittel is the strongest...

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    Here comes Kristoff.


    Katusha make their move to try to bring Alexander Kristoff clear. This is wide open though because Marcel Kittel's Giant team are fighting for position. 600m left.


    Marcel Kittel has his Giant team around him and so does Mark Renshaw - who is usually Mark Cavendish's lead-out man. Peter Sagan is on his own but jumping from wheel to wheel in Cav stylee - 1.7km left.


    The pack rides on the Champs Elysee avenue

    Simon Clarke is being followed by a huge mass of riders, all flying down the wide avenue of the Champs Elysees and setting up their own lead-out trains. 3km left.


    Garmin Sharp are trying to get men up there too, as an Orica Greenedge rider - Simon Clarke - flies off the front of the peloton. He leads by seven seconds with 4.5km to go.


    The sprinters' teams are fighting for position now, with lead-out trains for Norway's Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Germany's Marcel Kittel (Giant), Slovakia's Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Germany's Andre Greipel (Lotto) and Mark Renshaw (OPQS) jostling for the best line. 6km left.


    The sprinters are licking their lips and flexing their hips as they take the bell for the final lap. 7km to go of the 2014 Tour de France and Richie Porte has just been caught. The peloton are back together.


    Richie Porte is still pedalling hard but he must know now that he will be caught. The pack are only four or five seconds behind him now and it is inevitable that he will be hoovered up.

  26. Post update

    Rob Hatch

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "There's a few spots of rain, it's starting to spit. Let's hope they all stay upright. This could be an epic end to what has been a pretty dramatic Tour de France."


    Omega Pharma QuickStep are up near the front of the chasing pack - Tony Martin is doing the legwork as they try to set up their surviving sprinter Mark Renshaw to challenge the fast men I spoke about earlier.


    China's Cheng Ji passes the Arc de Triomphe

    Ji Cheng, the lanterne rouge, is being lapped! He is still soldiering on mind you.

    Richie Porte flashes past him and now leads the pack by 12 seconds with 11.6km left. Rain is falling in Paris.


    Poor old Tony Martin has had to change his bike again but he is back in the peloton and avoids a lonely ride round Paris for the next 15 minutes or so.


    Richie Porte kicks again! The other two escapees are history, but he is clear on his own.


    Here we go then. Two laps to go and Australia's Richie Porte (Team Sky), Denmark's Michael Morkov (Tinkoff) and Colombia's Jose Serpa (lampre) are being reeled in. With 14km to go, they are just nine seconds ahead.


    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    9 July: Britain's Christopher Froome gets into his team car as he abandons the race following a third consecutive crash in two days

    "It's been a bit unfortunate, with Richie Porte ill after Chris Froome went home and Geraint Thomas has not looked 100%. I think there will be a big think about what's gone right and wrong. They will learn from their misfortune and improve.

    "Team Sky won the Tour de France back to back but at some point, taking a bit of a setback is not a bad thing as you move forward."


    Another mechanical. This time Tony Martin has lost his chain. He won't mind too much.

    The three escapees are now just 15 seconds clear, with 15km to go.


    These are the men to watch out for in the final few kilometres of the 2014 Tour de France: Alexander Kristoff, Marcel Kittel, Peter Sagan and Andre Greipel are the sprinters eyeing the most prestigious stage victory of all.


    The Orica Greenedge team have two men clear of the peloton, trying to bridge the gap to the escapees.

    Richie Porte is still driving that breakaway group away, and has opened up a gap of 22 seconds with 20km to go. Back in the pack, overall leader Vincenzo Nibali is staying out of trouble.


    Alexander Kristoff is back in the peloton and further up the road, that front four has become a front three - Richie Porte, Denmark's Michael Morkov (Tinkoff), and Colombia's Jose Serpa (Lampre). With 22.5km to go, their lead is 13 seconds.


    Our four men in front have a lead of 16 seconds with 27km to go. They are Team Sky's Richie Porte, and Morkov (Tinkoff), Serpa (Lampre) and Fonseca (Bretagne).

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    Rob Hatch

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "It's cloudy at the moment in Paris, and the excitement is building. Thankfully, there's been no rain whatsoever."


    Problems for Alexander Kristoff too. He is one of the sprinters in contention to win this stage but he has ground to make up on the rest of the pack after suffering from a puncture.

    Helpfully, he has a problem with his saddle too, and gets a convenient 'tow' from the team car as that is sorted out...


    Giant Shimano procycling team rider Ji Cheng

    Spare a thought for the 'Lanterne Rouge' - the last-placed rider on the Tour.

    Ji Cheng is 164th and last, five hours, 53 minutes and 23 seconds behind the leader Vincenzo Nibali and more than 41 minutes adrift of 163rd place. He is the first Chinese rider to compete at the Tour and obviously is hoping to be the first to complete it... But he came off in that crash involving Jean-Christophe Peraud and, with just 30.5km to go, seems to be suffering a bit. Fingers crossed he makes it.

    He has been a huge workhorse for the Giant team, riding on the front of the peloton, chasing breaks down on sprint stages to help his team-mate Marcel Kittel. That will explain why he's so far behind in the overall standings.


    Another attack. Four riders are off the front, including Team Sky's Richie Porte. They are 15 seconds clear, with just over 35km to go, as they prepare to start their fourth lap of Paris.


    All that goodwill has worked. Jean-Christophe Peraud is back with the peloton, with 37km to go. In fact, all of the riders are now back together.


    Turns out Jean-Christophe Peraud is going to have some help here. French rider Amel Moinard of the BMC team has dropped back to help AG2R pace Peraud back into the peloton. At the other end of the race, Vincenzo Nibali has gone to the front of the pack to slow everybody else down.

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    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I don't know what happened. Peraud was riding quite comfortably in the middle of the peloton. His front wheel just seemed to disappear. Whether there was a spot of oil on the road, I don't know."

  45. OUCH!

    Uh-oh. There's been a crash, and Jean-Christophe Peraud - who stands second overall - is one of the men down. In fact, he was the first to taste the tarmac.

    This spells trouble for the 37-year-old because any time lost here will still see him drop down the standings. Catching the pack will not be easy, either, because ahead of him the front of the race is continuing at a furious pace.


    Jens Voigt is still out in front, but has been joined by Canada's Svein Tuft and Belgium's Greg van Avermaet. They are nine seconds clear of the peloton, which contains the man in yellow, Vincenzo Nibali.

  47. Post update

    Rob Hatch

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "This is one last big show from Jens. There was a pact made by Jens and Britain's David Millar, who was set to be riding his last Tour as well. They sat down in a cafe and said they would do as much. Obviously Dave isn't here, but Jens is good to his word."

  48. Post update

    The old men are doing pretty well at the moment. Jens Voigt, 42, has a lead of eight seconds on the pack. He is followed by Chris Horner, 41.

    Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, who is still in his 20s, is still up there too.

  49. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Jens Voigt is a man who is always willing to sacrifice himself for the team, one of the most charismatic riders we have had in the peloton. He is in his 17th Tour de France. He still looks like he's loving riding his bike and I'm not sure whether this will be his last Tour. I rode with him in 1998 and he still seems as though he is as motivated now as he was back then."


    Jens Voigt is going for it! Great to see. He is clear at the moment.

  51. Post update

    The peloton is galloping down the Champs Elysees and quickly hoovers up Sylvain Chavanel. The riders are all back together, apart from the Movistar team who are trying to get one of their men back in touch after a mechanical.

  52. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "If Geraint was to conserve his energy, he could have a proper go on the final lap, with 3-4km remaining and possibly stay away for a victory. He seems to be slipping back with a bit of a mechanical problem at the moment though."

  53. Post update

    British rider Geraint Thomas is right up at the front of the peloton, leading the chase. Three Astana men are pedalling a lot quicker than they were earlier too.


    And we're off! France's Sylvain Chavanel bursts away from the pack. Expect a lot more of the same in the next hour or so.


    A woman wearing a bride dress waves as the pack rides during the 137.5 km 21st and last stage

    A woman wearing a wedding dress waved as the pack rode during the final stage. The riders seemed to miss the 'bride'. They were otherwise engaged.

  56. Post update

    Those eight 7km laps of the Champs Elysees are coming right up, with Astana still leading the way. The avenues of Paris are, predictably, packed. People have clambered up lamp-posts to get a vantage point as the French equivalent of the Red Arrows (the Flèches Rouges?) fly past.

  57. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "There is no bigger race that a sprinter can win than today. The circuit is relatively hard to ride because there are cobblestones on the Champs-Elysees that sap the energy on the uphill ride to the Arc De Triomphe.

    On the way back down the other side, you are going at speeds of up to 70km/h and then it's down and round through the tunnel before you enter the best set of corners in professional cycling to get back on to the Champs-Elysees for the finish.

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    The peloton is being led through the streets of Paris by the Astana team of champion-elect Vincenzo Nibali. A few clouds in the sky but still no sign of those thunderstorms which were forecast to rain on his victory parade.

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    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Rob Hatch and Magnus Backstedt are in the commentary box for the conclusion of today's stage, and indeed the climax of the 2014 Tour de France. You can listen via the Live Coverage tab console at the top of the page.

  60. Post update

    The good news is that there is not long to go until this stage bursts into life.

    The riders are on the banks of the Seine now, and will head towards the Louvre before they make a complete circuit of the Arc de Triomphe. Then come the eight circuits of the Champs Elysees, when the fireworks will begin.

  61. Post update

    Every time I mention Marcel Kittel, I look up and something has gone wrong for the German. Not sure if he needed more treatment on that injured wrist or if he suffered a mechanical, but he has fallen off the back of the peloton and is trying to make up ground.

    It does not bode well for his hopes of a fourth stage win in this year's Tour.

  62. Post update

    When the race does hit Paris (in about 10km or so), expect to see Peter Sagan jostling for position near the front of the peloton. The green jersey winner told the Tour de France's official website at the start of the day that "My chance to win on the Champs-Elysees depends on my position in the last corner. If I take the curve in third place, I can win but it's a special sprint.

    "On the flat, Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel and maybe Alexander Kristoff are faster than me but since I haven't won a stage yet, I want to believe that I still have an opportunity in Paris."

  63. Post update

    Speaking of British riders, for those of you still wondering how Lizzie Armitstead is after her crash at the end of La Course, she has tweeted to say she is OK.

    Armitstead said: "Well 2 bike changes and a crash, Paris you didn't deliver my romantic dreams! Going home with stitches but I'll be fine :) "


    Geraint Thomas

    Er, and here's Geraint Thomas, pictured with all the British riders still in this Tour. Ahem.

    The other three who started the race - defending champion Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Simon Yates - either crashed out or pulled out a long time ago.

    We are used to seeing British riders on top of the podium in Paris but at least Thomas has survived another testing Tour and is going to finish 22nd overall - he is currently 59 minutes and 29 seconds behind Vincenzo Nibali.


    Here's another picture of Vincenzo Nibali, posing with all the Italian riders still in this year's Tour. He will become the first man from Italy to win the Tour de France since Marco Pantani in 1998.

    Vincenzo Nibali

    Vincenzo Nibali

    Cheers! This was Tour de France champion elect Vincenzo Nibali toasting his victory with a swig of champagne at the start of this final stage. Plenty more of that to come for the Italian but he has not been drinking all the way into Paris.

    Although, with him only having to stay on his bike all the way to the finish line, I suppose that would add a 'final challenge' to the Tour which would make this part of the race a bit more interesting.

  67. Post update

    The riders have around 30km to go until the race hits Paris, and then another 55km to get to the finish, and the pace is starting to increase ever so slightly.

    They couldn't go much slower than they were doing without falling off to be honest.


    By the way, Jens Voigt is not just the oldest man in the race, he is also the hardest.

    The German has spawned a tribute website - modelled on one for American actor and martial artist Chuck Norris - that lists supposed 'facts' testifying to his strength and courage, such as: "You are what you eat. Jens Voigt eats spring steel for breakfast, fire for lunch and a mixture of titanium and carbon fibre for dinner."

    The latest 'fact'? If Jens Voigt was a country, his principle exports would be Pain, Suffering, and Agony.


    Jens Voigt

    With absolutely nothing happening on the road, let's talk about one of my favourite riders.

    Could this be the last time we see the old man of the Tour head into Paris? The talk is that German veteran Jens Voigt will end his long and illustrious professional cycling career at the end of the season.

    The 42-year-old, a cult hero among cycling fans because of his relentlessly positive attitude as much as for his habit of launching solo attacks, is competing in the Tour for a record-equalling 17th time this year.

    If it is to be his final year, he will probably mark it by launching one of his trademark breakaway attempts on the Champs Elysees. Mind you, he thought last year's Tour would be his last, so don't write him off just yet.

  70. Post update

    The answer is 'no', because Astana's Dimitri Gruzdev was first over the top of Cote de Briis sous Fouges. Absolutely none of the 164 riders were bothered, and I suspect you will feel the same way too.

    There are 102km of today's 137.5km to go, and - more importantly - about 50km left before the peloton reaches Paris and the real racing begins.

  71. Post update

    The Astana team are still at the front of the peloton, pedalling about as hard as you or I would after a hearty Sunday roast. You can't really blame them, though, after the shift they have put in over the last three weeks.

    The riders are slowly approaching that 'climb' I was talking about earlier, the less than fearsome Cote de Briis sous Fouges, and the only question is whether Astana will let Rafal Majka go over first to collect another King of the Mountains point.


    Mark Cavendish

    One notable man will be missing from the sprint to the line in Paris this evening, the Isle of Man's Mark Cavendish - winner on the Champs Elysees for four straight years from 2009 to 2012 - who crashed out of the race at the very start.

    His Omega Pharma QuickStep team have done pretty well without him, however, winning three stages. Germany's Tony Martin has supplied two of those victories, including Saturday's time trial.

    Martin told BBC Radio 5 live: "Our morale was really down after the first stage when Cav crashed and could not continue but it also gave us some strength to stick together as a team and fight for Cav to be always at the front of the race, to try something and try to win stages for the team.

    "I am really proud of the team, and how we made it with three stage wins and a lot of good placings. I think we can all be really happy with the Tour de France."


    Polkadot Jersey


    Rafal Majka

    There is still one climb to come in this year's Tour, but it is only a fourth-category bump called Cote de Briis sous Fouges and carries a prize of only one point for the first man over the top.

    Whoever that is, the King of the Mountains category has already been won but the man wearing the spots, Poland's Rafal Majka, has denied reports that Oleg Tinkov, the owner of his Tinkoff-Saxo team, has bought him an Aston Martin as reward.

    Majka told BBC Radio 5 live: "No, no, this is not true! He was joking!

    "But I am very happy. I have my jersey and I have also won two stages which is really important to me, and also for my team. I have a special bike and special clothing for Sunday and I am looking forward to Paris, I never thought the Tour could go so well for me."


    Just in case you are new to all this and are wondering what the heck is going on: We WILL see some serious racing in Paris later, when Peter Sagan and co will sprint for the stage win on final lap of the Champs Elysees.

    But Paris is still about an hour away and this section of the 21st and final stage of the 101st Tour de France is a winners' parade for champion elect, Italy's Vincenzo Nibali.

    None of his rivals in the general classification will attack him today and the rest of the podium has been decided too. The only thing that can stop Nibali from winning the race is if he falls off his bike and cannot finish.


    Green Jersey


    Peter Sagan

    As discussed at 14:52 BST, wheelie-loving Slovakian rider Peter Sagan, aka 'the Terminator' is the winner of the Tour's points (or sprint) category for a third straight year, but - so far - is yet to win a stage.

    Er, not much time to put that right then. He seems pretty confident he can, though.

    Sagan told BBC Radio 5 live on Saturday: "I am very happy to have won the green jersey again. Paris is one more chance for me to try something to get a stage win, and I hope it will be a good day.

    "If I don't win, I am still very happy but I think I can win on the Champs Elysees. Why not?"


    Yellow Jersey


    The winner of today's stage is just about the only thing left unsettled in this year's Tour de France. We already know that there will be a Frenchman on the podium for the first time in 17 years, and two for the first time since 1984.

    General classification ahead of the final stage:

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 86hrs 37mins 52secs

    2. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra/AG2R) +7mins 52secs

    3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/ +8mins 24secs


    John McEnerney: Not the most exciting Tour but it has been some performance by Vincenzo Nibali, totally dominant since the pavé. Gotta mention Jack Bauer too!


    Toniwater: Nibali was been supreme throughout, he showed early on he meant business & maintained it. He never let up crushing his rivals!

  79. Post update

    Vincenzo Nibali

    So, how does it feel to win the Tour de France for the first time? Vincenzo Nibali will tell us when he climbs on the podium and, by the sounds of it, he has got about three hours to work out what to say.

    "It's really difficult to explain all the emotions that I've gone through in these last three weeks," Nibali said after Saturday's time trial. "But as time goes by, maybe I'll find the words to describe what I'm feeling."

    "Perhaps on the Champs Elysees, I'll realise a little bit more."

    Will he talk about calling out the raffle numbers? I can't see it myself...


    Marcel Kittel

    I'm not sure Marcel Kittel is in the kind of shape to contest that sprint, to be honest. He has been getting treatment on an injured wrist and has been back to the doctor's car since the start of the stage for further treatment.


    Stage 21

    The riders will progress at a sedate pace until they hit the Champs Elysees for the first of eight circuits, when they will start to gradually increase the tempo.

    Vincenzo Nibali is not bothered who wins this stage but the sprinters' teams are. Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel and Alexander Kristoff all want a famous victory and so does Peter Sagan, who is yet to take a stage to go with his green jersey this year.

    Who will win? Team Sky's BBC Sport columnist Geraint Thomas is going for Kittel, saying: "He ended Mark Cavendish's run of four successive victories last year and with Cav out of the race, the German will be favourite."


    And Vincenzo Nibali is right at the back of the peloton, collecting champagne glasses from his Astana team car.


    Tour de France champion elect Vincenzo Nibali and the winners of the other major categories

    Yes, the most taxing part of the day for the 29-year-old from Messina will be posing for photos and swigging champagne as the peloton makes its way - very SLOWLY! - towards the French capital.

    Nibali, who is wearing the yellow jersey for the 17th time today out of the 21 days of racing and holds a lead of seven minutes and 52 seconds at the top of the general classification, has already posed for one traditional picture at the start line, alongside the other winners of the major jerseys at this year's Tour.

    From left to right they are Poland's Rafal Majka, winner of the King of the Mountains category, the best young rider - France's Thibaut Pinot, and Slovakia's Peter Sagan, who ran away with the points, or sprinters, prize for the third straight year.


    The Eiffel Tower

    Hello again. Paris is calling for the 164 survivors of this year's Tour de France who have endured a 3,500km (or 2,000 miles) slog through Yorkshire, the Alps and the Pyrenees to get this far. The 21st and final stage has just begun in Evry and it will be a procession for the champion elect - Italy's Vincenzo Nibali. His work is done.


    So, that was the first La Course, decided in a thrilling sprint finish.

    The 101st Tour de France will end in exactly the same way, a few hours from now. The parade into Paris starts shortly for champion-elect Vincenzo Nibali and I will resume this text commentary at 14:45 BST when the 21st and final stage of Le Tour gets under way. See you then...


    Marianne Vos

    Fair to say Marianne Vos is pretty pleased with how today went. The 27-year-old from s'Hertogenbosch said: "It was already fantastic just to race here. That was a dream come true with the huge crowds.

    "But it was also an incredible race with lots of attacks, and that makes it even better to win. The feeling is just amazing."

  87. Post update


    Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, right, crosses the finish line ahead of compatriot Kirsten Wild

    So Dutch world champion Marianne Vos came through with a very strong sprint finish at the end of the 91km to win the race she helped to make happen. Here is the top three:

    1. Marianne Vos (Ned/Rabo Liv) 2hrs 00min 41sec

    2. Kirsten Wild (Ned/Giant) SAME TIME

    3. Leah Kirchmann (Can/Optum) SAME TIME

  88. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "The Rabo Liv team got that sprint exactly right. They came down on the end of the Champs-Elysees with four team-mates on the front and gave Marianne Vos an armchair ride to the finish and she did well to time her sprint to beat Wild."

  89. Post update

    That sounds like good news for Lizzie Armitstead. If she is fit, she will ride in the Commonwealth Games next week.

  90. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Armitstead has just ridden over the finish line with both hands on the handlebars and that indicates there may not be too much damage."

  91. Post update

    No news on how Lizzie Armitstead is yet. She went down heavily in that crash involving Pauline Ferrand-Prevot.

  92. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Vos confirms she is the best all-round bike rider in the world. It didn't look good for Lizzie Armitstead. Looks like she landed on her shoulder and I hope she's not done her collarbone."

  93. Post update

    Looking at the replay of the finish, Marianne Vos won it by about 3/4 of a bike-length from fellow Dutch rider Kirsten Wild. She was just too strong.

  94. Post update

    Pauline Ferrand-Prevot was another rider to go down in that crash. She is back on her bike to slowly pedal over the finish line.


    Marianne Vos takes it! She holds off Kirsten Wild in the sprint for the line.

  96. Post update

    Here comes the sprint. Vos is up there, so is Wild.


    Lizzie Armitstead crashes out. A few other riders went down. 500m to go.


    World champion Marianne Vos is sitting fourth off the front, being led out by her Rabo Liv team-mates.

  99. Post update

    The Ale Cipollini team of American sprinter Shelley Olds does the leg-work to catch the front two and with 2.4km to go, the peloton is all together again.

  100. Post update

    Pauline Ferrand-Prevot goes off the front. She is one of Marianne Vos's team-mates and along with Germany's Amy Pieters, she has opened up a bit of a gap. With 3.5km to go, Lizzie Armitstead is leading the chase.

  101. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "If Lizzie can get away and create a group to work with, she's in a stronger position to go on and win the race than if it came down to a big bunch sprint."


    Five women go clear this time. Again, the peloton reacts. 5.5km to go.


    The peloton quickly swallows the escapees up. 6.1km to go. Marianne Vos is still nicely placed near the front of the main bunch. When will she go for the line?


    Lizzie Armitstead bursts clear... joined by three other riders, including Germany's Charlotte Becker. They do not have much of a lead though.


    Here we go then. The sprinters' teams are all getting very excited because there is just one lap to go.

  106. Post update

    Lizzie Armitstead and her team-mate Ellen van Dijk are right at the front now, and talking tactics. Maybe they are planning an attack. 8km left.

  107. Post update

    The Boels Dolmans team are massing near the front, trying to control things and set up their sprinter - Britain's Lizzie Armitstead. She will be happy if we do see a bunch sprint at the finish line. Just 8.5km to go now.

  108. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "There was a bit of split in the peloton but Lizzie Armitstead was not too far behind, keeping alert. She is riding behind her team-mate Ellen van Dijk who may well be riding for Lizzie now."

  109. 10km TO GO

    Again, three riders surge a few seconds clear. Again, the peloton quickly sucks them back in. All the big-hitters are still together - who will be the first to make a move?

  110. Post update

    Britain's Lizzie Armitstead is still near the front of this race, but so is world champion Marianne Vos. The pace has dropped slightly, but the peloton is still strung out along the Champs Elysees. 11.5km to go.

  111. Post update

    Just two laps left - that's about 14km. The peloton are still together, and the attacks keep on coming. Will anybody escape though?

  112. Post update

    The peloton are pedalling along at a furious pace - with an average speed of 44km/hr over almost 90 minutes of racing.

    "This is one of the more aggressive women's races I've seen," Swedish cyclist Magnus Backstedt says on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  113. Post update


    Jenni in Newtownards: Come on Lizzie Armitstead, give us Brits something to celebrate in Paris for the third year on the bounce!

  114. Post update

    Another attack! Australia's Rachel Neylan burst off the front and briefly built a lead of a few seconds, but the peloton reacted to reel her in. There are 19km to go.

  115. Post update

    Attack after attack after attack. That has been the story of this race so far. But, with three of the 13 laps of Paris left, the peloton is back together again.

  116. Post update

    To avoid the big bunch sprint, Marianne Vos will probably launch her own attack about 5-10km from the finish if this race stays together. She is definitely strong enough to do that.

    Vos is not doing any of the work at the moment but the pace at the front of the peloton keeps on getting pushed up, however, with 25km to go. Germany's Trixi Worrack briefly got away with four other riders, including Lizzie Armitstead, but they were quickly caught.

  117. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Britain's Hannah Barnes is one of the most under-rated sprinters and if this comes down to it, she should be in there."


    The escape attempts keep coming, but the peloton are keen to keep this race together. If it comes down to a bunch sprint finish, Marianne Vos would still be among the favourites but fellow Dutch rider Kirsten Wild is the better sprinter.

  119. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "We shouldn't leave Lizzie Armitstead out of the mix. She likes a tougher finish but although this race looks pan flat, there are some little ups and downs and it can drain the energy which may suit her. Sweden's Emma Johansson is also one to look out for."


    Britain's Lizzie Armitstead, wearing the bright orange jersey of her Boels Dolman team, is back at the front of the peloton. 30km to go.

  121. Post update

    The peloton have upped the tempo, however, and that gap to Ellen van Dijk was quickly hoovered up.

    All the riders are back together as they continue their circuits of Paris. Thunderstorms were forecast for today but, at the moment, it is a beautiful sunny day in the French capital.

  122. 32KM TO GO

    Ellen van Dijk, the winner of the Tour de Flanders, is being chased by Charlotte Becker of Germany and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot of France, who are 15 seconds back. The main bunch, including world champion Marianne Vos, are another 10 seconds adrift.

  123. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It's not like the men's race where riders are allowed to go on a break of up to 10 minutes. The women don't allow the break to have such a big lead."


    There are 38km (or five laps) of the 91km (13-lap) La Course to go. Dutch rider Ellen van Dijk has opened up a 23-second lead. The rest of that early break, including Britain's Lizzie Armitstead, has been hoovered up by the main bunch.

  125. "11/10 FOR EXCITEMENT"

    Emma Pooley

    Britain's former world time trial champion Emma Pooley is another rider excited at the prospect of riding in Paris on the same day as Le Tour.

    The Olympic silver medalist has been campaigning to revive a women's stage race in France, which she won when it was last held in 2009.

    She told BBC Sport: "On a scale of one to 10, I'd say that La Course is 11 on the excitement levels.

    "It is great we get to show the world just how exciting women's road racing is."

    If only the world could watch any of the race Emma!

  126. Post update

    It is being shown in 157 countries but getting real-time updates on La Course is proving tricky, and not just for me - it is the same for people in Paris too.

    The race is not being shown on the giant screens that have been put up around the Champs Elysees to show the Tour de France, and journalists in the Tour de France press room were unable to see the start.


    Marianne Vos

    The first La Course is a big boost for women's cycling according to Dutch great Marianne Vos, who has won a total of 16 world titles on the road, track and in cyclocross, and was one of those who had been pushing for the event to take place.

    "It's a big dream of us all to race on the Champs Elysees," Vos said. "The Tour de France is one of the most iconic, historic races in cycling and we'll be part of it.

    "Let's see if this race can grow the sport - if there are more teams, more riders, the top level will get bigger and the racing will get even more interesting."

  128. Post update


    La Course

    Jo Spencer: Great to see Lizzie Armitstead up front driving the break.

  129. Post update

    Magnus Backstedt

    Swedish cyclist on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Today is a fantastic opportunity for women cyclists to show off their race in front of the Tour de France crowds. Women's cycling is becoming more competitive. It's a different style of racing to the men but just as exciting."

  130. Post update

    Today sees men and and women race on the cobblestones of the Champs Elysees on the same day for the first time since the Tour de France and Tour Feminin were last held simultaneously in 1989.

    And the world is watching, not just the thousands of fans already lining the streets in Paris. The event is being broadcast in 157 countries, although footage is seemingly not available in the Tour de France media centre.

    You can listen to commentary from BBC Radio 5 live's Rob Hatch and Magnus Backstedt in Paris via the Live Coverage tab console at top of this page, assuming they can see the race.


    Speaking of Lizzie Armistead, she is part of a group of 17 riders who have escaped the main bunch with eight of the 13 laps to go. French rider Pauline Ferrand-Prevot is also among the escapees.


    Marianne Vos

    There are some big names in La Course, including the Netherlands' world and Olympic road race champion Marianne Vos (pictured), Dutch sprinter Kirsten Wild and Italy's Giorgia Bronzini.

    There are four British riders going for glory too - Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws and Hannah Barnes.


    The start line of La Course on the Champs Elysees

    Tradition dictates that everything but the sprint to the finish line will be a ceremony for Nibali and the 163 other survivors of this year's Tour (198 started the race) but, before they roll out of Evry at around 14:45 BST, we have got some real racing to look forward to - a new women's one-day race, to be precise.

    The inaugral 'La Course by Le Tour' started at 12:00 BST and sees 119 riders take on a 13-lap 91km route around Paris. It was set up in response to a petition signed by more than 97,000 people that called for the return of the Women's Tour de France (aka the Tour Feminin or La Grand Boucle Feminin), which was last held in 2009.


    Crowds pack Blubberhouses pass during the second stage of the Tour de France

    It started with a huge party in Yorkshire, 22 days ago. It will finish with a procession into Paris, in a few hours or so.

    The Arc de Triomphe

    The 101st Tour de France has been a truly memorable race, even if it will finish without some of the big-name riders who rode out of Leeds on 5 July.

    There are just 137.5km (or 85 miles) of the 3,664km (2,277 miles) to go, and we already know who the winner will be: Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, who will enjoy his victory parade into the French capital as champion elect. The top of the podium awaits and, in truth, nobody has looked like stopping him from getting there.

    Vincenzo Nibali