After four exciting days of racing in the Alps, Chris Froome emerged victorious in Paris for the third win of his career. Equalling the records of Philippe Thys, Louison Bobet and Greg LeMond who all have three Tour wins under their belts, and becoming Britain's first three-time winner.
After a good result on Stage 17 when the race finished at the top of Emosson-Finaut, Froome then showed his domination of the race on Stage 18 when he won the mountain time trial from Sallanches to Megeve. Another tough stage that saw the athletes 'riding up hill as quickly as they could', Froome won over favourite Tom Dumoulin in a gripping finale and by just 21 seconds. This win significantly increased his lead in the overall standings, with just two mountain stages left to go.
Stage 19 was perhaps one of the most exciting finishes of the 2016 Tour, when the rain hit in the closing kilometres of the race and the crashes came thick and fast. Second placed rider Bauke Mollema crashed on the downhill, with the yellow jersey of Chris Froome also skidding along the concrete and having to finish the race on team mate Geraint Thomas' bike. Riders were attacking until the end, but no one could pull back a very determined Romain Bardet who took France's first stage victory of this years Tour. The Frenchman took more than the win however, as he moved up the rankings in second place, 4'11" behind Froome.
The final day of racing before Paris saw the Peloton take on yet another long and difficult day on the stage from Megeve to Morzine. Team Sky kept their leader Froome near the front of the race and out of trouble, whilst the rest of them jostled for podium positions and the glory of the day. Peter Sagan in the green points jersey showed his strength by leading the front group off the descent of the Col de la Colombiere with just two more climbs to complete before the descent into Morzine. More attacks on the final climb saw Vincenzo Nibali finally showing form as he looked to be riding himself to a stage win. The rain hampered the descent once more, this time on the downhill of the Col de Joux-Plane, and as Jarlinson Pantano struggled to control his bike on a corner, Nibali was forced to slow and the third member of their group, Ion Izagirre, sped away to take a solo victory in Morzine. This was his first Tour de France stage win.
Moving on to Paris yesterday for the final day, Team Sky completed the three week gruelling race with all nine of their riders for the first time, crossing the line together in Paris alongside leader Chris Froome.
"It's like the first time, it's amazing. Every time it's special," said 31-year-old Froome. "It's an absolutely amazing feeling. It feels like a privilege to be in this position. I've always had my team-mates around me."
Froome was joined on the podium by Adam Yates in the white jersey as best young rider, the Slovak Peter Sagan in the green points top and Poland's Rafal Majka in the polka-dot king of the mountains jersey. Yates was the first ever British winner of the white jersey. During the podium speeches Chris Froome took time to mention the attack in Nice that killed more than 80 people on Bastille Day.
"This Tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice and we pay tribute to those who have lost their lives," he said. "These events put sport into perspective but it also shows the value of sport to free society."
Andre Greipel won the sprint finish ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan to take his second win in Paris and the eleventh Tour de France stage victory of his career.
All eyes now must focus on the Olympics in Rio where some of these athletes will be going in just a few short weeks time. There's nothing like the most difficult road race in the world to prepare you for the Olympics!