Photographer's Note

This is a mayor event that takes place in France every year. It started in 1903, and has now grown to the most prestigious cycling tour. Each year the cyclists pass wonderful landscapes in and around France along the more than 3000 km. It's been estimated that a total of about 1 000 000 spectators follow the Tour along the roads.

This is one of the most well-known streets in the world as it follows a straight line from Place de la Concorde to Arc de Triomphe, which is about 2 km long. Many famous persons have walked down that avenue. Beautiful trees on each side decorates the street.

The last stage of the Tour de France has ended at Champs-Élysées for the past 30 years, and this year I got to see it! The cyclists cycle 8 laps in a lap that goes between Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe and a little more. But they pass the spectators at Champs-Élysées 16 times. This stage is the most prestigious for the sprinters. It's a great show, and before the riders arrive, many funny cars in the caravan entertain the spectators.

The cyclists arrived the Champs-Élysées with a high tempo as usual. Some people managed to come 25 seconds ahead of the peloton, but the peloton had full control, and once again it ended in a mass sprint. The Norwegian Thor Hushovd (My hope for the day) had the lead 150 meters before the finish, but of course the Brit Mark Cavendish managed to win again, like last year. After the race, a big podium is placed in the middle of the street. In the bottom of this note I present the winners.

I had arrived at Champs-Élysées at about 11:30 am, 4 1/2 hour before the cyclists arrived. The places in front were already taken at nearly the whole street, and near the finish line was people that apparently had been there several hours before me. I walked around for almost an hour before I managed to find a small place in the front row. The caravan arrived slightly more than an hour later and was very entertaining. The cyclists arrived a little later than expected - but yes - they came. I tried several shots like this when they passed on the other side of the street. It was very difficult, and many of them were bad, but I got a few pictures I liked. This picture was taken in the fourth round, and shows Luke Robers, an Australian that cycles for Team Milram. The cyclist in the background is cycling for the Danish team Saxo Bank.

Top three at the last stage (Champs-Élysées):
1 Mark Cavendish Great Britain
2 Alessandro Petacchi Italy +00''
3 Julian Dean Australia +00''
Top three in green jersey classification (Best sprinter):
1 Alessandro Petacchi Italy 243p
2 Mark Cavendish Great Britain 232p
3 Thor Hushovd Norway 222p
Top three in dotted jersey classification (Best climber):
1 Anthony Charteau France 143p
2 Christophe Moreau France 128p
3 Andy Schleck Luxembourg 116p
Top three in white jersey classification (Best rider in general classification under 25 years):
1 Andy Schleck Luxembourg 91h 59'27''
2 Robert Gesink Netherlands +8'52''
3 Roman Kreuziger Czech Republic +11'15''
Most offensive rider: Sylvain Chavanel, France
Top three of general classification:
1 Alberto Contador Spain 91h 58'48''
2 Andy Schleck Luxembourg +39''
3 Denis Menchov Russia +2'01''
Top three in team classification:
1 Radioshack USA 276h 02'03''
2 Caisse d'Epargne Spain +9'15''
3 Rabobank Netherlands +27'48''

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Photo Information
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Additional Photos by Fredrik Henriksen (Bergenphotos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 271 W: 53 N: 654] (3326)
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