Rain neutralises Tour de France finish

AFP
Great Britain's Christopher Froome drinks a glass of champagne as he rides during the 21st and final stage of the Tour de France on July 26, 2015 (AFP Photo/Sebastien Nogier)

Great Britain's Christopher Froome drinks a glass of champagne as he rides during the 21st and final stage of the Tour de France on July 26, 2015

Great Britain's Christopher Froome drinks a glass of champagne as he rides during the 21st and final stage of the Tour de France on July 26, 2015 (AFP Photo/Sebastien Nogier)

Paris (AFP) - Rain has caused Tour de France organisers to neutralise the 10 laps around the Champs Elysees on the prestigious race's finish in Paris on Sunday.

Riders will arrive from the suburb of Sevres after 41km of the final stage to complete ten 7km laps around the famous Parisian avenue.

Organisers ASO decided shortly before the peloton arrived in Paris to neutralise the race form the moment the peloton first crosses the finish line.

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Article 20 of the race rules state that the stage can be neutralised from the first crossing of the finishing line if rain renders the cobbled streets dangerous.

The women's race earlier in the day saw many riders fall on the slippery cobbles.

It means the official time will stop once riders cross the finishing line for the start of their 10 laps.

From that point on, a rider cannot lose time even if he is held up by a crash or mechanical problem. But he must nonetheless complete all 10 laps and cross the finishing line in order to earn a final classification.

It means that race leader Chris Froome will be officially classed as the winner once he crosses the finishing line for the first time ahead of the 10 laps of the Champs Elysees, as long as he then goes on to finish the stage.

However, he could still lose the race if he was to crash on the Champs Elysees and be unable to continue all the way to the finish.

The 21st and final stage, 109.5km long, began at 16.45 local time (1445 GMT) and is expected to last around three hours.

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