Chris Froome yesterday won the Tour de France for a second time after a ceremonial final stage in Paris.
Froome’s defence of the 2013 title ended with a broken hand and fractured wrist 12 months ago, but the Team Sky leader responded to win the 102nd Tour by one minute 12 seconds from Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Andre Greipel won the 21st and final stage on the Champs-Elysees - his fourth stage success of the race - as Mark Cavendish was squeezed out of contention.
A crash in the final kilometre fractured the peloton and Froome’s Team Sky squad rolled over the line together to celebrate a third Tour title for the British squad in four years.
Froome secured the yellow jersey despite Quintana’s late attack to Alpe-d’Huez on Saturday, which left the 30-year-old Kenya-born Briton clinging on.
The 109.5-kilometres concluding stage from Sevres to the Champs-Elysees is traditionally a procession and saw Froome sip champagne and pose for photographs with his team-mates.
The only trouble Froome encountered on a memorable day was when a paper bag became caught on his bike, requiring a change, on the penultimate lap of the Champs-Elysees.
He finished well behind Greipel, whose dominance of the sprints continued, but it mattered not as Froome celebrated overall victory.
La Course by Le Tour, the women’s race which preceded the final Tour stage, took place in torrential rain and the slippery roads resulted in numerous crashes.
The Tour finale began in the same conditions, but the rain had relented by the time the peloton reached the Champs-Elysees.
The general classification times were set after the first passing of the finish line on Paris’ most famous boulevard, with almost 70km of racing remaining.
Froome, who became the second British winner of the King of the Mountains title in the competition’s 40-year history, still had to complete the stage to win, but he could avoid the sprinters’ teams battling for position.
Kenneth Vanbilsen (Cofidis) and stage one winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) attacked entering the last of 10 laps, but the sprinters’ teams soon swallowed them up.