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Jonas Vingegaard defends Tour de France title as Jordi Meeus wins the final stage | Cycling News

Jonas Vingegaard defeated his rival Tadej Pogacar to win his second straight Tour de France title; Pogacar was in second while Britain’s Adam Yates came in third place; Jordi Meeus won the final stage in a photo finish on the Champs-Elysees

Last Updated: 23/07/23 7:28pm

Jonas Vingegaard and his teammates cross the finish line

Jonas Vingegaard was crowned Tour de France champion for a second consecutive year as Jordi Meeus won the final stage in a photo finish on the Champs-Elysees.

As the Paris finale came down to the customary sprint finish, all eyes were on Jasper Philipsen, winner of four stages in this Tour, and Dylan Groenewegen on the right-hand side of the road as they bounded over the cobbles, but it was Meeus who shot down the left to nick it with a bike throw.

Four riders came to the line almost together, with Philipsen taking second, Groenewegen third and Mads Pedersen fourth.

Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard won the yellow jersey

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard won the yellow jersey

Vingegaard came home arm-in-arm with his Jumbo-Visma team-mates to confirm his victory by a margin of seven minutes and 29 seconds from two-time winner Tadej Pogacar, with Britain’s Adam Yates in third.

The 26-year-old Vingegaard was already poised for victory going into the final day, when the race leader is traditionally not challenged.

“To take my second victory in the Tour de France I almost can’t believe it,” he declared.

His great rival Tadej Pogacar had proved unable ultimately to challenge Vingegaard in the last week.

“It’s been a crazy battle we had over these last three weeks,” Vingegaard added.

“It’s been an amazing fight since Bilbao and hopefully we’ll do it again in the future.”

Vingegaard had positioned himself to win going into the final stage

Vingegaard had positioned himself to win going into the final stage

An indescribable feeling’

Jordi Meeus, making his Tour debut, could not immediately celebrate his win, looking around at his rivals as he asked if any of them could say for sure who finished first.

But when the result was confirmed, the Belgian celebrated wildly with his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates.

“I knew from the previous sprints that more was possible than the results I showed so far and today everything went perfectly and I’m super happy to finish it off,” he said.

“I felt good all day … and from the moment we went full gas my legs felt incredibly good. Marco Haller did a perfect job with positioning, I had the wheel of Pedersen then I could just come out of his slipstream and catch it on the line.

“It’s my first Tour, it was a super nice experience already so far and to take the win today is an indescribable feeling.”

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