With Team Sky swapping the blue stripes on their Rapha kit and Kask helmets for yellow, as they did 12 months ago, the stage played out in typical fashion for the processional finale – Froome and his team-mates sharing champagne as they rolled out towards Paris.
A small descent saw Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff) inadvertently, and temporarily, burst clear of the peloton but the sense of joviality – and relief – at making it to Paris was universal as the riders in the bunch happily chatted on the run-in to the Champs-Elysees.
Yates, in the white jersey, rode alongside fellow Brit Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) – the two will form part of Britain’s Rio 2016 men’s road race team – and chatted freely, reflecting that mood.
Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff) took the final climbing point of the 2016 Tour de France, chased half-seriously by Nairo Quintana (Movistar), before Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), in his final Tour de France, led the way onto the Champs-Elysees.
With the crowds roaring the riders in, Froome fist-bumped Team Sky team-mate Luke Rowe and gave a thumbs up to the camera after another near-perfect Tour de France for the 31-year-old approached its conclusion.
Of course, it was not all fun and games – there was still a stage to be won – and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) were among those getting their sponsors’ names in the breakaway one final time.
Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Lawson Craddock (Cannondale), Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing), Jeremy Roy (FDJ) and Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) completed the eight-man group, which boasted a 20-second advantage up the road.
Knee pain cost Marcel Kittel one of his lead-out men – Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) becoming the 24th rider to leave the 2016 Tour de France.