Porte gets his long-awaited podium, Pedersen second in final Stage

The 2020 Tour de France comes to a successful conclusion for Trek-Segafredo on Champs-Élysées.

A flawless lead-out from Jasper Stuyven, a remarkable second-place sprint from Mads Pedersen, and a long-awaited podium for Richie Porte as the 2020 Tour de France came to a successful close in Paris for Trek-Segafredo.

While the 122-kilometer Stage was mostly a parade of celebrations, as each year when the peloton arrives onto the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the race is on.  While a few opportunists tried to spoil the sprinters’ last stab at glory, the extreme speed on the final seven-kilometer loop in the heart of Paris resulted in the usual ending.

Trek-Segafredo only had Stuyven in the lead-out as Edward Theuns crashed with a few laps remaining, an unfortunate fall, but even with the usual two Classics specialists helping Pedersen, beating a red-hot Sam Bennett was going to take something special.

“We know that Sam Bennett is one of the fastest guys, so it would have to be a miracle for me to win today,” admitted Pedersen. “But if you don’t try, you never win.  We hoped that he would be a few spots behind me, and then I actually had a chance. In the end, Jasper did a perfect leadout, but so did Quick-Step. Sam was just straight in my wheel when I started the sprint, and then it was almost mission impossible.

“Of course, I would have loved to finish my last race in the World Champion jersey with a victory, but I’m really happy with a podium on the Champs-Élysées.”

Finishing safely behind the chaos happening in the front, Richie Porte crossed the line in 62nd place and could breathe a heavy sigh of relief.  When the Tour de France’s final Stage hits Paris, it’s never easy, and everyone must get across the last finish line to certify the final classification.

“Everyone says it’s a procession, but it’s a hard stage,” said Porte. “The cobbles are not getting any softer over the years, so it’s just a relief really to get it over and done with.

“It’s a great feeling, a dream come true, to be honest. To stand on the podium in Paris is just unbelievable. It was so nice to be up there with two champions. It’s a moment I will savor for the rest of my life.”

It was a long and tough three weeks of ups and downs. When Porte lost 81 seconds to many rivals in the crosswinds of Stage 7, he never gave in.  In the high mountains, he began chipping away at his deficit, and in the penultimate Stage’s race against the clock, he gave arguably the best time trial of his life.  The dreaming was over: He had finally reached the podium of the Tour de France.

“This result just caps everything off – I’ve had some bad luck over the years, so it’s finally nice to have a three-week race where everything goes to plan,” continued Porte. “The Stage where I really started to believe was the Grand Colombier. Obviously, the Slovenian guys were the strongest there, but I was third.

“And the time trial yesterday was one of the best I have done in my career. It’s just been such a journey. I am just so happy to finally be on the podium of a Grand Tour.”