Cadel Evans
BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans celebrates on podium with the leader's yellow jersey after winning the 98th Tour de France cycling race. REUTERS

Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour de France on Sunday after a largely processional finish in Paris won by Britain's Mark Cavendish for the third year in row.

Cavendish had to wait until the Tour's 21st and final stage to finally claim the green jersey for the points classification after he held off the challenge of Spain's Joe Roaquin Rojas.

The Manxman became the first Briton to win the Tour de France green jersey and underlined his reputation as one of the greatest road sprinters of all time.

"Finally! I'm super happy, it did not come easy," Cavendish, who also became the first man to win the classic Champs-Elysees finish three times, told reporters.

"The rules had changed this year; I had to work even harder. I was tired but my team-mates keep working hard and we won all together. I was close the previous years now the goal is achieved. I'm so moved. It's an incredible day today," he added.

Australia Day

Australian Evans remained out of trouble on the final 95km run from Creteil to claim overall victory; after Saturday's final time trial in which he crushed Andy Schleck by 2:21, to uncomfortably overhaul a 57-second deficit.

The 34-year-old, the oldest Tour winner since World War II, rode largely under the radar throughout this year's Tour but timed his final push to perfection to hold off three-time winner Alberto Contador and Luxembourg's Andy Schleck.

"I really can't quite believe it right now," Evans said afterwards.

"I have been concentrating on one event for so long.

"It's been 20 years since I watched my very first Tour de France on TV and said I'd like to win it. A lot of people didn't believe it.

"But some very good people believed in me, from my very first coach right through to the ones who turned me to the road."