Mark Cavendish won the 10th stage of the Tour de France, in the sprint, this Tuesday in Valence. The British sprinter benefited from the incredible work of his teammates at Deceuninck Quick-Step to bring him one length closer to the all-time winning record (34), held by Eddy Merckx.
Mark Cavendish sees triple! The Deceuninck team sprinter has won his third massive sprint since the start of the Tour de France on Tuesday in stage 10 in Valence. Cavendish won for the 33rd time in his career in the Tour.
The Briton is only one length behind the record for 34 stage victories for Belgian legend Eddy Merckx. In Valence, Cavendish, masterfully led by his teammates, beat the Belgians Wout van Aert and Jasper Philipsen. Nacer Bouhanni took fourth place.
The survivors of a decimated peloton secretly hoped to live a second day of rest by setting off from Albertville (Savoie). Their disappointment must be equal to the suffering inflicted on them by this merciless 2021 edition.
Nervous racing phases
For a very long time, however, the peloton was content to control the breakaway, two riders setting out as scouts to lead the way. With the arrival in Valence being one of the last opportunities for the sprinters to smile before the Champs-Elysées, the escapade of Tosh van der Sande and Hugo Houle was unlikely to come to an end. have never foreseen the final victory in this 10th stage.
Picked up 35 kilometers from the finish, they watched like others, sometimes powerless, the spectacle offered by the team deceuninck Quick-Step, who took matters in hand under the effect of the wind. Serving the collective and the train of Mark Cavendish, who hugged him at the finish line, Julian Alaphilippe did a monstrous job at the head of the peloton to try to blow it up.
With the support of the Jumbo-Visma, the Deceuninck Quick-Step team succeeded more than once, even dividing the peloton into three. On another planet from the start, Tadej Pogacar, in person, brought the rest of the peloton back to the pedal during one of the race moves. Monstrous.
Make way for Mont Ventoux!
These very tense phases of the race, however, trapped other riders stuck in the fans that were forming, with interleaves trying to the end to make the connection, within a group on borrowed time. A group that included names from the bike like Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas, both caught in a fall about 60 meters from the finish. Anecdotal however, so far are they in the general classification.
In a chair before the finish, Mark Cavendish settled what needed to be done, to validate the work of an extraordinary team, which seems as united as ever, judging by the strong thanks from Cavendish to his teammates. Four massive sprints are still possible in this Tour so that the native of the Isle of Man can equal or exceed Merckx. The next meeting is set for Thursday in Nîmes.
On Wednesday, the 11th stage starts from Sorgues (Vaucluse) and climbs the Mont Ventoux twice, the first time by Sault on the side, a second time by the classic climb from Bédoin on the southern slope. But the finish is judged this time in Malaucène, at the bottom of the 22 kilometer descent.