Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) took home the yellow jersey as the overall winner of the 2021 Tour de France. The 22-year-old finished safely in the peloton at the end of Stage 21 on Sunday in Paris, successfully defending his title in last year’s race.
Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz (INEOS-Grenadiers) finished second and third on the Tour’s General Classification and joined Pogačar on the final podium.
Belgium’s Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won the stage on the Champs-Élysées, his third of this year’s Tour de France. Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) finished second and Great Britain’s Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was third.
Pogačar dominated the Tour in a manner we haven’t seen in years, taking the yellow jersey on Stage 9 and defending it all the way to Paris. Along the way, he won three stages including Stage 5’s individual time trial and back-to-back to summit finishes in the Pyrenees (Stages 17 and 18).
For the second year in a row he also won the white jersey as the Tour’s Best Young Rider and the polka dot jersey as the Tour’s King of the Mountains. No rider has won three jerseys since Eddy Merckx won the yellow, green, and polka dot jerseys in his debut Tour de France way back in 1969. (The white jersey wasn’t awarded back in 1969, but Merckx would have won that too.) Now Pogačar’s done it twice.
For only the second time in his career, Cavendish took the green jersey as the winner of the Tour’s Points Classification. The 36-year-old wasn’t even supposed to be racing but came to the Tour as a last-minute call-up and won four stages, bringing his career tally to 34. With Cavendish now tied with Merckx for the most stage wins in Tour de France history, look for the first field sprint of next year’s Tour to be one of the most anticipated races of the year.
The 2022 Tour de France begins on Friday, July 1 in Denmark, with a short individual time trial in Copenhagen.