2023 Tour de France Stage 21 Preview

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines > Paris 115km

Another Tour de France comes to an end, and what a race it’s been. I thought it would be hard to follow up 2022, but the riders have again outdone themselves, I take my hat off to every single one of them. Of course, the winners will get all the headlines, but Adrien Petit deserves a special mention for hauling himself to the finish. He took a hard crash in stage 14, but instead of stepping off his bike, he’s gone to hell and back to get himself to Paris. Congratulations Adrien, you’ve made it. 


There could be a little bit of rain around, but just the odd shower or two. 


Same lap circuit as usual. A couple of years ago the organisers decided to move the finish further down the Champs-Élysées, it’s around 800m from the final turn. Getting a good position for the underpass is very important, everyone should know what they’ve got to do, all the sprinters and lead out riders have done this stage before. 


Nothing fancy, but the sprint teams do have to be careful when the attacks come on the slight rise just after the finishing line. This stage always ends in a sprint, but you just never know. 


Jasper Philipsen – this is an enormous opportunity to win his fifth stage of the race, a massive achievement for any rider. He’ll have Rickaert and van der Poel as his last men, and he knows how to win this stage, his win last year was dominant. Marcel Kittel was the last man to win five stages in a single edition of the Tour de France, that was back in 2017, Cavendish also managed it in 2010. For Philipsen to join these legends of the sport would be one of the biggest achievements in his whole career, it’s a huge moment for him. 

Dylan Groenewegen – won this stage in 2017, when the finish was closer to the final corner. That day, he decided to launch very early, and somehow managed to hold everyone off. This year, we’ve seen him go close to a win, but he’ll be frustrated with how his race has gone. With Mezgec to support, he’ll hope to have a good spot for the sprint, then it’s over to his legs. 

Mads Pedersen – he normally goes well in Paris, but he’s never won. Pedersen has enjoyed an excellent race, not only has he won a stage, he’s been very strong in the final week. With Kirsch and Stuyven to help, he should be in the mix for the win. 

Cees Bol – started the race as Cav’s lead out man, but now he gets his own chance. He won’t have a lot of support, but Bol has a good chance of challenging for the podium.  

Sam Welsford – 10th is still his best result in the race, he’s got one last chance to do better. He’ll be tired after getting through the mountains, but he needs to block that out and see if he can get in the mix for the win. In terms of top end speed, he’s got what it takes to win. 

Alexander Kristoff – won in Paris in 2018, it’s a good finish for him. Uno – X have had a decent race, but they would love to get a win. The sprint train is strong, Kristoff will hope to use all his experience to beat Philipsen and co. 

Peter Sagan – his last ever stage of the Tour de France. 12 stage wins, 7 green jerseys, 3 rainbow jerseys, 1 Paris-Roubaix and 1 Tour of Flanders, legend doesn’t do him justice. Okay, we’ve seen him slide a bit in recent years, but Peter Sagan will go down in history as one of the best of all time. It’s been my privilege to watch him over the years, I’m going to miss him. Despite all his success, he’s never won in Paris. He couldn’t, could he? 

Prediction Time 

Embed from Getty Images

Five-star Jasper Philipsen.  

Thanks for reading over the last 3 weeks, Tour de France Femmes is next.