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Tour de France Stage 21: Kittel to finish with a flourish in Paris

| 24.07.2014

The general classification may have been sewn up for what seems like eternity at the 2014 Tour de France, but there’s still the small matter of the most prestigious sprint finish in the sport to sort out as the race concludes in Paris.

Stage 21 may be a procession for the winner of the coveted yellow jersey, but for the true sprinters in the field a win up the straight of the Champs-Elysees is the dream.

So while Tour leader since stage 10, Vincenzo Niabli, simply tries to stay clear of danger the usual suspects will be battling out in a bunch finish on Paris’ most famous street.

If only Mark Cavendish, four-time winner of the last leg, had still been involved then British interests would have at least been alive on the final day of Le Tour.

Still, even Cav was beaten in Paris in 2013 by the man with three stage wins of this year’s edition to his name already and that’s overwhelming 8/11 favourite Marcel Kittel.

The Giant-Shimano rider has not picked up a stage win since the first stretch of the race on French soil after claiming two of the three stages held in England.

But without Cavendish to worry about, the German will be fixated on finishing with a flourish in 2014.

Winning the first and the last stage of the Tour is something Kittel is hoping to repeat, as the German became only
the 14th man to have accomplished the feat when he did it last year.

Other than the lightning quick legs of Kittel, his three nearest coompetitors are once gain thought to be comaptriot Andre Greipel (13/2), Norweigan Alexander Kristoff (13/2) and green jersey winner Peter Sagan at 12/1.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.