2017 Tour de France: Stage 21 live race updates, blog

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    Michael Matthews has won the green jersey. Can he take a stage win in Paris? (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    The Tour de France comes home to Paris and all things being equal, all the major jerseys have been decided. The question remains though, who will sprint to victory on the Champs-Élysées? Join The Roar for live coverage and updates of Stage 21 from 12:40am (AEST).

    Stage 21 is the traditional parade type stage into Paris, only stretching over 103 kilometres and finishing with seven laps of possibly the most famous lap in cycling.

    The Champs-Élysées, looping around the Arc de Triomphe, has been home to the finish of the Tour de France since 1975 and there is no visible change to that in the coming years, with this being the 33rd year in a row of finishing with laps between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle.

    This year, similar to last, the peloton will ride past the finish line seven times, with the eighth being the end of the stage. The loop is seven kilometres in total, with the peloton entering the circuit for the first time with 58 kilometres to go and doing half the circuit to the finish line for the first time.

    After a long transfer from Marseille overnight, the stage itself starts to the south of Paris in Montgeron, where Chris Froome will enjoy a glass of champagne and the peloton will be out on their Sunday stroll.

    Things will start to heat up as we get to the circuit itself. Breakaways will start kicking off the front and the sprinter’s teams will come to the front to control the race.

    In saying that, generally the team of the yellow jersey – in this case, Team Sky – will stay out of danger and complete at least the first lap on the very front of the peloton unchallenged.

    While the sprinters’ stocks have been reduced throughout this year’s race, with Marcel Kittel gone there is genuine intrigue over who is going to rise up and take this final stage.

    Not being the purest sprinter in the peloton, Michael Matthews will be out to prove a point in green, but the undoubted favourites for the day’s racing are Andre Greipel and Nacer Bouhanni.

    Respectively, their Lotto-Soudal and Cofidis teams will be desperate to deliver them their first stage win of what has been a lean tour. Doing it in Paris almost makes up for not winning a stage for 20 days.

    If you’re a sprinter, it’s quite literally The Ashes, the World Cup or the Olympics.

    It’s the highest point you can go as a sprinter to win on the Champs-Élysées. Sonny Colbrelli is the other fast man to watch.

    Prediction
    It’s been a long time since Andre Greipel failed to record a stage win at the Tour de France. Despite his form, the German will find a way to win in Paris ahead of Bouhanni and Matthews.

    Join The Roar for live coverage from 12:40am (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment below.

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.