Stage 21: Paris – Champs Elysees
Champs Elysees, Paris, 23 July 2000- There was a party atmosphere in the peloton
today as the final stage of the 2000 Tour de France paraded round the streets of
Paris with Lance Armstrong wrapping up his second victory in a row.
The Texan superman joined in the early high jinks, donning a shaggy brown wig, which
he flicked from side to side like some kind of heavy-metal ‘WonderWoman,’ sipping
nonchalantly from a champagne flute. Les Francais de Jeux’s cheeky monkey Frank Hoj
captured the American’s antics on a hand-held video camera given to him by Danish
TV. The bizarre tomfoolery was broadcast on the giant screens on the jam-packed sides
of the Champs Elysees.
The riders were clearly enjoying the festivities of the final stage with prize clown
Salvatore Commesso, winner of stage 18 to Fribourg-en-Brisgau, riding along no-hands
toasting the camera with a goblet of bubbly in hand. After riding 3,662.5km round
France they certainly deserved to have some fun.
The peloton cruised along for the early part of the stage soaking up the atmosphere
with wide smiles and no attacks. As they passed the finish line for the first time,
the triumphant US Postal team drifted to the back of the bunch and linked arms in
a celebratory salute to the media and spectators.
At the first intermediate sprint the peloton snapped out of their reverie with the
realisation that points were up for grab. Not that it was going to make any difference
to the Green Jersey standings, safely in the possession of Erik Zabel for the fifth
Aussie Robbie McEwen, who’s had an indifferent Tour despite finishing second in the
race for the Green Jersey, jumped clear of the bunch to take the points.
The first proper attack of the day came from Agnolutto after 66km of Sunday strolling
around Paris. He was quickly chased down by the pack but a few kilometres later
a group of eight , including Mr itchy pedals Erik Dekker, made an another attempt
to wriggle free and grab some glory in the spectacular Parisien setting.
Even David Millar got involved in the flurry of attacks in the last 40km, showboating
his way to the front of a four man breakaway and taking two of the 10,000 FF primes
for the pass of the ‘Hauts des Champs-Elysees.’
With 35km to race the peloton was back together again as the pace stepped up for
a showpiece final tussle of the hard-men sprinters.
In the final kilometre a last minute a last gasp attempt by the Bonjour team couldn’t
hold off a magnificent charge by the Mapei team.
Galloping round the final turn, Van Heeswijk led Fred Rodriguez. Stefano Zanini forced
his way to the front with 150m to go as the big guns wound themselves up for a final
dash to the line. The Italian managed to hold off sprint king Erik Zabel to take
Mapei’s fourth stage of the 2000 Tour.
Results & final overall standings
1. Stefano Zanini (Ita/MAP) 3hr 12 min 36sec
2. Erik Zabel (Ger/TEL) at 00:00.
3. Romans Vainsteins (Lat/VIN) 00:00.
4. Fred Rodriguez (USA/MAP) 00:00.
5. Max Van Heeswijk (Ned/MAP) 00:00.
6. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra/FDJ) 00:00.
7. Francois Simon (Fra/BJT) 00:00.
8. Robbie McEwen (Aus/FAR) 00:00.
9. Salvatore Commesso (Ita/SAE) 00:00.
10. Arvis Piziks (Lat/MCJ) 00:00.
11. Magnus Backstedt (Swe/C.A) 00:00.
12. Orlando Rodrigues (Por/BAN) 00:00.
13. Markus Zberg (Swi/RAB) 00:00.
14. Sebastien Hinault (Fra/C.A) 00:00.
15. Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita/TEL) 00:00.
16. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus/USP) 00:00.
17. Nicolay Bo Larsen (Den/MCJ) 00:00.
18. Nico Mattan (Bel/COF) 00:00.
19. Glenn Magnusson (Swe/FAR) 00:00.
20. Christophe Moreau (Fra/FES) 00:00.
21. Jose Luis Arrieta (Spa/BAN) 00:00.
22. Tristan Hoffman (Ned/MCJ) 00:00.
23. Frank Hoj (Den/FDJ) 00:00.
24. Frederic Guesdon (Fra/FDJ) 00:00.
25. Sebastien Demarbaix (Bel/LOT) 00:00.
26. George Hincapie (USA/USP) 00:00.
27. David Canada (Spa/ONC) 00:00.
28. Javier Pascual Llorente (Spa/KEL) 00:00.
29. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol/BAN) 00:00.
30. David Delrieu (Fra/AG2) 00:00.
Final General Classification:
1. Lance Armstrong (USA/USP) 92 h 33:08.
2. Jan Ullrich (Ger/TEL) at 06:02.
3. Joseba Beloki (Spa/FES) 10:04.
4. Christophe Moreau (Fra/FES) 10:34.
5. Roberto Heras (Spa/KEL) 11:50.
6. Richard Virenque (Fra/PLT) 13:26.
7. Santiago Botero (Col/KEL) 14:18.
8. Fernando Escartin (Spa/KEL) 17:21.
9. Francisco Mancebo (Spa/BAN) 18:09.
10. Daniele Nardello (Ita/MAP) 18:25.
11. Manuel Beltran (Spa/MAP) 21:11.
12. Pascal Herve (Fra/PLT) 23:13.
13. Javier Ochoa (Spa/KEL) 25:00.
14. Felix Garcia Casas (Spa/FES) 32:04.
15. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz/TEL) 32:26.
16. Roberto Conti (Ita/VIN) 34:18.
17. Kurt Van de Wouwer (Bel/LOT) 34:29.
18. Guido Trentin (Ita/VIN) 35:57.
19. Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra/BJT) 43:12.
20. Geert Verheyen (Bel/LOT) 46:24.