TOUR’21 Stage 7: Marvellous Matej Mohoric!
Stage 7 split the 2021 Tour
Stage Report: A 250 kilometre stage seemed to be a step back into Tour de France history, with memories of hours of dull viewing. In the end, stage 7 was far from tedious. Matej Mohoric of Bahrain Victorious was the worthy winner of a stage that blew the race apart. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) was part of the big break and guaranteed his yellow jersey for another day.
Great stage win for the young Mohoric and the KOM
– The final kilometre of Stage 7 and read our full report and pics below:-
Matej Mohorič has added the hilly Tour stage 7, finishing in Le Creusot, to his palmarès. After a long day on the attack with Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, the Bahrain Victorious rider crossed the line solo. Van der Poel finished fourth and kept his overall lead.
Stage 7 profile
Tour boss Christian Prudhomme describes stage 7: “The following day of a “sprint-course”, the Tour will vary the pleasures offering its longest stage for 21 years. But length doesn’t mean languor: all along another cultural journey (Bourges, Nevers, Bibracte, Autun…), the Morvan will offer 3,000 m of elevation to the menu and a spicy finish up the demanding Signal d’Uchon on the course of the Tour for the very first time.”
The start line in Vierzon – A long stage ahead
Neutralised out of town
From Vierzon to Le Creusot, 249 kilometres had to be covered, making stage 7 the longest in years. The first 140 kilometres were relatively easy, but after that the road kept going up and down to the finish. Due to the length and the tough finalé, in which the riders had to climb the Signal d’Uchon, this stage resembled a Classic. Men such as Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe and Wout van Aert were among the favourites, although a group of strong escapees could also make it to the end.
The peloton crossed the river after the start
The race was on straight from the start. Victor Campenaerts took care of the first attack, while the pace was already high. Despite a slight headwind, the first half hour was covered at an average of 55kph. After 40 kilometres a serious leading group broke away. The 29 riders included yellow jersey Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, green jersey Mark Cavendish, Simon Yates, Toms Skujins, Matej Mohoric, Vincenzo Nibali and Philippe Gilbert. Only UAE Team Emirates, the team of defending champion Tadej Pogačar, Israel Start-Up Nation, Groupama-FDJ, Arkéa Samsic and TotalEnergies had missed the move.
It wasn’t long before the attacks came
Wout van Aert, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Dylan van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers), Vincenzo Nibali, Toms Skujins, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo ), Kasper Asgreen, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Imanol Erviti, Ivan Garcia (Movistar), Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Mathieu van der Poel, Xandro Meurisse (Alpecin-Fenix), Ruben Guerreiro, Magnus Cort (EF Education-First), Dorian Godon, Michael Schär (AG2R Citroën), Søren Kragh Andersen (DSM), Philippe Gilbert, Harry Sweeny, Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech), Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka-NextHash), Jan Bakelants, Boy van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels) made up the big break.
And then the chase group
Although several teams had missed the break, it was primarily UAE Team Emirates that worked hard in the peloton. Later, TotalEnergies also sent Jérémy Cabot to the front. Jumbo-Visma and INEOS Grenadiers watched from the second line as Pogačar’s team turned themselves inside out. Initially the difference remained at 30 seconds, but the break took more and more time. In the run-up to the intermediate sprint in Saint-Benin-d’Azy, after 115.4 kilometres, the lead was approaching 5 minutes.
The yellow jersey of Mathieu van der Poel was to the fore
Cavendish did a good job for the points classification. After Asgreen led-him out, Cav took 20 points ahead of Jasper Philipsen, Nacer Bouhanni and Michael Matthews, who all took zero. Shortly after the sprint, Cavendish was dropped from the leading group with Van Baarle, Skujins, Guerreiro and Godon. The other four were able to close the gap to the rest of the leading group, but Guerreiro lost more and more ground. The Portuguese rider of EF Education-Nippo was unable to return to the front and had to drop back into the peloton.
“What cross races are you riding this winter?”
With 90 kilometres to go, the race entered the Morvan, and in this low mountain range the riders were faced with the first serious climb. On the Côte de Château-Chinon, Mohoric was the first to cross the top ahead of Van Moer, earning his first points for the mountains classification. Due to the absence of Ide Schelling, the polka dot jersey was up for grabs. After the KOM, the Slovenian and the Belgian rider continued together and took a lead of 20 seconds. The peloton was now at 6:30.
The break of the break
At 81 kilometres from the finish, Jumbo-Visma and INEOS Grenadiers suddenly started to work in the peloton. On the narrow roads of the Morvan, the teams of the GC riders wanted to sit as much as possible at the front to stay out of trouble. The teams of Roglič, Carapaz and Thomas set the pace. Mohoric and Van Moer soon saw the next climb, the Côte de Glux-en-Glenne. While their lead over the other attackers was already 1 minute, the Slovenian rider from Bahrain Victorious was again first over the top.
Then there was three: Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal)
On the descent; Nibali counter-attacked, but the experienced Italian got very little room from the others. On the hilly section to the town of Autun, just outside the Morvan, the next counter-attack was not long in coming. While Cavendish sat up at the front with 53 kilometres to go, Stuyven and Campenaerts attacked. After a short chase they joined Mohoric and Van Moer. On the Côte de la Croix de la Libération, Campenaerts was dropped from the front, after which the other three rode on. At the top, Mohoric took two more points, which put him on the same level as Schelling.
The chase group split
At 23.8 kilometres from the finish, the dreaded Signal d’Uchon started. On the steep second part of the climb, Mohoric went solo. The 2013 U23 World champion doubled his points total in the KOM classification at the top. Konrad had counter-attacked on the climb and came second over the top at 1 minute. Just behind him came the Van der Poel group. From the peloton on the climb came the message that Roglič had been dropped. Four days after his hard crash, he could no longer follow. This was the signal for Carapaz to attack.
The stage winner would come form these three
Mohoric crossed the top of the Côte de la Gourloye, the last climb, alone, bringing his points total in the KOM classification to 11. Behind; Asgreen, Garcia, Bonnamour, Cort, Van Moer, Stuyven and Schär had joined Konrad, while Van der Poel counter-attacked with Van Aert. Van der Poel seemed to want to defend his yellow jersey at all costs against Asgreen, who was only 1:49 behind. While Mohoric secured the stage victory, Van der Poel and Van Aert joined the chasing group. Despite the long day and the tough final, the Dutchman managed to sprint to fourth place.
Mohoric stormed solo to the win
Carapaz looked good on the Signal d’Uchon with his attack, but in the end the Ecuadorian made little progress. Just before the finish, the INEOS Grenadiers leader was overtaken by the peloton, who crossed the line more than five minutes after Mohoric. Roglič crossed the line in 65th place, just over 9 minutes, losing 4 minutes to the other GC riders. In the general classification, Van der Poel is still in the lead, but the top places have been turned upside down.
A very emotional Matej Mohoric
4th on the stage for Mathieu van der Poel
Stage winner and 4th overall, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious): “This definitely is the best day of my career. I’ve won stages on the two other GTs, and it has always been on the longest stage of those GTs – that endurance effort suits my characteristics. On this kind of breakaways there always are many tactical games at stake, so I decided to go early. What I didn’t expect was leaving the rest of the group behind that early, with 88km to go. The fact I was to win the stage didn’t sink until I went under the flamme rouge: that’s when I started to cry out of pure emotion. I was actually going for the KOM jersey today because, since Schelling wasn’t on the break, I knew it was up for grabs. From now on I will try to honour the jersey, maybe even go in the break tomorrow, and absolutely go for it.”
Tadej Pogačar lost time, but still in the Top-5
Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “It has been a very hard stage. It is not often that you ride over 255 km – especially not on a Grand Tour. I wouldn’t have thought so many guys would want to be in the break today. I guess everyone will get a good night sleep today. I was pretty empty in the final. I was on my very limit, but I’m happy to keep the yellow jersey. I want to keep it for as long as possible. We will see what I can do tomorrow: I might be a bit too heavy to get over those climbs…”
Not a good day for Primoz Roglič as he was in trouble on the last climb
Tour de France Stage 7 Result:
1. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious in 5:28:20
2. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 1:20
3. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo at 1:40
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
9. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:44
10. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 2:45
11. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
12. Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech at 2:57
13. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
14. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange
15. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 4:22
16. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
17. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 4:25
18. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM at 4:32
19. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 5:15
20. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
21. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
22. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
23. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
24. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
25. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 7:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 25:39:17
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:30
3. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:49
4. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 3:01
5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 3:43
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 4:12
7. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 4:23
8. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 4:56
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 5:03
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 5:04
11. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:18
12. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:19
13. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:29
14. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:31
15. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 5:33
16. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 5:43
17. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech at 5:51
18. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 5:54
19. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 6:10
20. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM at 6:30
21. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 6:41
22. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 6:59
23. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange
24. Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash at 7:30
25. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:33.