Mark Cavendish rocketed to the front of the peloton on Champs-Élysées in Paris to win his fifth stage of the 2011 Tour de France on Sunday.
Somewhere behind him, Cadel Evans was mobbed by his teammates as he crossed the finish line to become the first Australian ever to win the Tour.
He'd been protected throughout the 95km (58.9 mile) stage by his BMC Racing teammates to ensure he retained the yellow jersey after winning it in the individual time trial on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Cavendish became the first Briton to win the green points jersey at the Tour. His Paris win marked his 5th in this Tour and 20th in his career. After the race, he said he was happy to finish off the race in style and was proud of all his teammates.
His HTC-Highroad team was credited for setting up Cavendish for his wins with their lead-out train. That train was a little late to leave the station on Sunday as a six-man breakaway got a 45-second time gap in Paris.
Not surprisingly, France's Jeremy Roy (later crowned the Tour's most aggressive rider) was in that breakaway, and one of the last swept up by the closing peloton. The final rider in the break was HTC-Highroad cyclist Lars Bak.
In addition to Roy's most aggressive jersey and Cavenish in green jersey, Samuel Sanchez (Eusaltel Euskadi) won the mountain jersey and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) for best young rider.
Evans, 34, was joined on the final podium by Andy Schleck, 26 (Leopard-Trek), and Frank Schleck, 31, in second and third, the first time brothers had finished on the podium at the Tour. This was the third straight second-place finish for Andy Schleck, who at 6-foot-1, still towered over Evans from his lower podium step.
After the race, Evans said he grew up watching Miguel Indurain excel at the Tour de France and aspired to similar success. He said some of the difficulties he faced over the years “made it all that more special now.”
Other cyclists to hold the yellow jersey this year were Thomas Voeckler
(Europcar) for 10 days, Thor Hushovd (Garmin Cervelo) for seven days, and one day each for Phillippe Gilbert, Andy Schleck and Evans.
The US-based Garmin-Cervelo was awarded the best team award. All team members got to climb onto the podium for their medals. As David Zabriskie crashed out earlier, he was represented by a grinning cardboard cutout.
Top 10 overall
1 Cadel Evans, BMC Racing Team
2 Andy Schleck, Leopard Trek — 1:34
3 Fränk Schleck, Leopard Trek — 2:30
4 Thomas Voeckler, Team Europcar — 3:20
5 Alberto Contador, Saxo Bank — 3:57
6 Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi — 4:55
7 Damiano Cunego, Lampre – ISD — 6:05
8 Ivan Basso, Liquigas-Cannondale — 7:23
9 Thomas Danielson, Team Garmin-Cervelo — 8:15
10 Jean Christophe Peraud, AG2R — 10:11
9. Tom Danielson, Team Garmin-Cervelo — 8:15
17. Christian Vande Velde, Garmin Cervelo — 27:12
32. Levi Leipheimer, RadioShack — 1:03:58
56. George Hincapie, BMC Racing — 1:45:16
82. Tejay Van Garderen, HTC Highroad — 2:25:11
114. Brent Bookwalter, BMC Racing — 3:03:47
159. Tyler Farrar, Garmin Cervelo — 3:38:32
165. Danny Pate, HTC Highroad — 3:45:26
Green points jersey champion — Mark Cavendish, HTC Highroad
King of the mountains — Samuel Sanchez, Eusaltel Euskadi
Best young rider — Pierre Rolland, Team Europcar
Best team — Garmin Cervelo