Stage Report: Deceuninck – Quick-Step did it again and put Mark Cavendish in the perfect position to win his 33rd Tour de France stage – one short of ‘The Cannibal’ Eddy Merckx’s record. The Manxman was a good wheel ahead of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix). Overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), finished safely in the bunch.
The 33rd Tour stage win for Mark Cavendish
– The final kilometre of Stage 10 and read our full report and pics below:-
The tenth stage of the 2021 Tour de France was won by the green jersey, Mark Cavendish. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step sprinter was the first to push his wheel over the finish line in Valence after 190 kilometres. After an impressive lead-out from his team, he beat Wout van Aert and Jasper Philipsen. In the final the peloton broke into pieces by the cross-wind, but the yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar had no problems.
Stage 10 profile
Tour boss Christian Prudhomme describes stage 10:“At the footstep of the Savoie resorts, the quality of its infrastructures and its welcoming atmosphere makes Albertville the perfect host city. But this time, the doorway to the Alps will not send the riders towards the summits. By heading to the valleys of Isère and of the Rhone, the course is clearly made for an explanation between the sprinters.”
Jumbo-Visma down to six riders, but still strong – Who is the leader?
Yellow and green at the start – Stage for ‘Cav’?
There was not much enthusiasm for an early break after the start in Albertville. Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech) were the only attackers shortly after the starting flag dropped and the peloton were not in a hurry with any serious chase. Houle and Van der Sande were quickly allowed a 6 minute lead.
Nice customised shoes
Tadej Pogačar will stay on the wheels today
Leading the pack; DSM and Deceuninck – Quick-Step showed that they had confidence in their sprinters, Cees Bol and Mark Cavendish respectively. Due to the chase work, the lead was reduced slightly. The peloton rode on with minimal interest, but just before the intermediate sprint there was a crash including Mads Pedersen and Julien Simon, they were both able to continue. A little further, it was Sonny Colbrelli who won the intermediate sprint, ahead of Michael Matthews and Jasper Philipsen. The wearer of the green jersey, Mark Cavendish, kept out of the battle.
Victor Campenaerts and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) discuss handlebar widths
Teuns and Theuns
After that, the difference to the leaders was kept small by the sprinter’s teams, around 2 minutes. Just under 70 kilometres before the finish, there was another crash, this time with Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Mike Teunissen, Sepp Kuss and Bauke Mollema among others. Everyone was able to continue after a couple of bike changes. The nervousness remained, because at any moment the danger of a cross-wind lurked. The wind increased as the finish approached, and the direction of the wind was also uncertain.
Break of the day – Van der Sande and Houle
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) have time to chat
Just under 40 kilometres before the finish there was an uncategorised climb, where Houle rode away from Van der Sande. The Canadian could feel the hot breath of the peloton on his neck, as BikeExchange set the pace for Matthews. This also meant the end of Houle’s escape, but the pure sprinters, like Cavendish and Greipel, were still there.
Pogačar was looking for an easy day, as was everyone
Will Wout go for the sprint?
Some bad luck for Sonny Colbrelli, who had a puncture just when Deceuninck – Quick-Step tried to split the race. The Italian champion was able to return through the cars to the peloton, which had eased off the pressure again. Sixteen kilometres from the finish there was again a chance for echelons and there were some splits. The GC riders kept themselves to the front of the peloton.
A day off the front for Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech)
The peloton were quite happy to let the duo ride around 2 minutes ahead
Team DSM had missed the front echelon after they had been working all day for Bol. Thanks to a lot of lead work, the Dutch sprinter, with a few more riders, managed to rejoin the remaining peloton after 7 kilometres. EF Education-Nippo and INEOS Grenadiers set the pace, as the sprinters were brought into position.
A (sprint) storm was on the way
Deceuninck – Quick-Step took the lead with an impressive train entering the final 3 kilometres, this continued until the last kilometre. Van Aert chose Cavendish’s wheel in the last 500 metres, but it was the ‘Manx Rocket’ who rewarded the excellent lead-out with a third stage victory of this Tour. Cav also added a victory to that other statistic: his 33rd victory ever in the Tour. Eddy Merckx still leads with 34 victories.
Wout van Aert was in second place at half a wheel from Cavendish, and he narrowly kept the up-and-coming Jasper Philipsen behind him. Nacer Bouhanni was fourth, ahead of Michael Matthews.
Stage winner and points leader, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I didn’t do anything today. My team did it all. It was old school – run of the mill, really. You can say it was a textbook lead-out. Back in 2015, on this Valence stage, I got dropped and André Greipel won the sprint. We studied the route time and again, and tried to make echelons work in our favour. The bunch didn’t really split, but we didn’t mind because we were confident we had a good train. I just had to finish out the work from an Olympic track rider, a road World Champion, the winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the winner of the Tour of Flanders… I feel so humble they all devote their work to me. In the end, I didn’t do anything: just keeping my speed for the latest 150 meters. I came here to win stages. If I win the green jersey as a consequence, it’s fine, but it is not my priority. The team stayed around me to keep me safe when the rivals accelerated to try and drop me on the climbs. I knew BikeExchange would try to do that! A bit of support from my team just what I needed to get over those climbs, and they helped me out brilliantly.”
Happy, happy, happy!
Overall leader and best young rider, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was not an easy day in the end. It was windy for most of the stage, but on the last 20 kilometres there was a bit more of a headwind. It was quite restful in between accelerations. I’ve been able to relax and eat well, and later I will catch a good massage. So that’s one stage less to worry about. I have gone to the Mont Ventoux only once, just before this Tour de France. There were so many fans there on a normal day that I can’t imagine how crowded it will be tomorrow. I’m looking forward to racing there. It will be a long, hard, hot day. We will see how the hot weather affects me tomorrow. I’ve trained for it, so I feel prepared.”
Good to see a smile on the face of Mark Cavendish
Tour de France Stage 10 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:14:07
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
6. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
10. Cees Bol (Ned) DSM
11. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
12. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar
13. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
14. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
15. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
16. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
17. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
18. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash
19. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Qhubeka-NextHash
20. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
21. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo
22. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
23. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën
24. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
25. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 10:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 38:25:17
2. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 2:01
3. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:18
4. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:32
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:33
6. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 5:47
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:58
8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:12
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 7:02
10. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 7:22
11. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 8:38
12. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 11:38
13. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 11:54
14. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious at 20:54
15. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 22:22
16. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 25:07
17. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic at 25:12
18. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 25:59
19. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 26:40
20. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 27:17
21. Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash at 32:51
22. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 36:09
23. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo at 36:57
24. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 39:46
25. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 40:44