Another wet, cold and crazy day in the mountains of the 2021 Tour de France. A big break rode away through the rain to build up a good lead, then it split leaving Ben O'Connor and Sergio Higuita at the front for the Australian to add to his Giro d'Italia stage win. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) easily took care of his yellow jersey.
Dylan Teuns may have won stage 8, but the 'hero of the day' and maybe the 2021 Tour de France was Tadej Pogačar. The young Slovenian crossed from what was left of the peloton to the front of the race, a gap of over 6 minutes. Teuns was the only rider he didn't catch before the finish in Le Grand-Bornand.
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 was the worthy winner of a stage that blew the race apart. Mathieu van der Poel was part of the big break and guaranteed his yellow jersey for another day.
There was a crazy start and finished to stage 6 finishing in Chateauroux. After failed break attempts, the race settled down, but there was a wild sprint finish on the menu. With some 'ducking and diving' Mark Cavendish took his second stage win of 2021 and his 32nd of the Tour de France.
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) rode the time trial of his career to hold on to his yellow jersey by 8 seconds from stage winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates). Many of the top GC men kept their overall dreams alive, but there were some disappointments.
The stage nearly went to the solo Brent Van Moer, but the Lotto Soudal rider was swamped by the sprint hungry bunch only metres from the finish line. The battle was on for the win and it was the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) who shot ahead of the others for his 31st Tour de France stage win.
Another day of crashes, from the start to the finish riders were hitting the tarmac. Primoz Roglič was the main loser of the GC men, but he wasn't the only one. In the sprint The yellow jersey of Mathieu van der Poel led-out Tim Marlier for the stage win. The Dutchman held his overall lead.
Alpecin-Fenix's Mathieu van der Poel made up for the stage 1 disappointment by winning stage 2 in an up-hill battle on the Côte de Mûr-de-Bretagne, he also took the yellow jersey from Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) who finished fifth at 8 seconds.
Saturday is the big day for the 2021 Tour de France, but as always the peloton was introduced to the public on Thursday evening. The team's presentation was held in the Breton town of Brest, here is the full video and the best of the photos.