Tour de France 2021: Stage 7 – Mohoric’s magnificent victory on a day the Tour went BONKERS

If you thought stage 7, the longest Tour de France stage since the year 2000 would end in a breakaway win you would be correct. But I don’t think ANYONE was expecting the break to contain the yellow jersey Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix), the green jersey of Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck Quick Step), Jumbo-Visma’s Wout Van Aert and a whole host of assorted rouleurs and riders high in the GC. Hats off to Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) who attacked with 88km to go, went solo in the last 10km, crossed the line sobbing and also climbed the podium as King of the Mountains. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) was second with EF Education-Nippo’s Magnus Cort rounded out the podium. To say the GC was shaken is the understatement of the day. The only rider to remain in place was the man at the top who takes the maillot jaune into the Alps Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) tumbled out of contention on the climbs and now lies at +9:11, while Tadej Pogacar and his UAE team wobbled under testing. That could be very telling for the days to come.

Level of Bonkers

“So what level of bonkers are we talking about, Midge?” Well, I haven’t seen anything like this since the day Alberto Contador went on a raid of crazy proportions on the Formigal stage of the La Vuelta in 2016 (if you don’t know what I’m talking about sit back and enjoy these highlights).

A Monument length stage, backloaded with nearly 3000m of climbing in final 150km, coming the day before the first day in the mountains was ALWAYS going to be a day for the break. But I don’t think anyone was ready when the first tweets came rolling through.

All these riders and CAV!!!

It did stick and the gap grew and grew as the peloton left all the chasing to UAE-Emirates.

And chase they did, until someone in the team car decided no one was going to help them to bring the break back and they should just switch to trying to limit the damage because MOUNTAINS TOMORROW!

So, that left us with riders in break looking for the win, looking to secure top 10 on GC, looking to wrestle the yellow jersey off the shoulders of van der Poel and looking for green jersey points. What a magical day on a parcours that started flat and then entered an energy-sapping final 100km of rolling terrain with 5 categorised climbs.

Bear with me while I attempt to make sense of the madness. We’ll start with the easy ones.

The stage winner

All hail Matej Mohoric. The Slovenian National Champion picked this stage as one to suit his style and he rode an absolute blinder of a race. Attacking with Lotto Soudal’s Brent Van Moer to claim the first of his KOM points on the Côte de Château-Chin with 88km to go. Then making his decisive move to ride away from Van Moer and Jasper Stuyven on the Cat 2 Signal d’Uchon.

Watching him ride in with a face caught between agony and tears was very moving. Here he is, post race, where he does not stop smiling

He now joins a very select club of riders who have won a stage at each Grand Tour. He also moves up to 4th on GC, gets to wear the polka dots, AND picked up a well-deserved combativity award. Not a bad day out really for a rider and team who had such a torrid time at the Giro d’Italia.

Yes, yes they do and we LOVE IT

Shout out to Jasper Stuyven and Magnus Cort too. Heck of a ride by the two classics men

The Green Jersey

Those Quicksteppers always have a plan and they put one into practice in grand style today. Putting both Kasper Asgreen and Mark Cavendish into the break was a stroke of genius. We’ll discuss the GC implications for the Dane later in the review, let’s concentrate on Cav and the quest for the maillot vert 

A rider who has won Milan San Remo knows what it takes on days such as these

Having Asgreen with him meant he got the best lead out and had no trouble mopping the max 20 points at the intermediate sprint.

The Manx Missile is now sitting pretty with a 66 point advantage over his closest sprint rival Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix). Dare we dream???

The GC

Now we get to the complicated bit. the part where I try and explain what the heck was going on in the break and in the peloton behind them. #PrayForMidge

I want to pick out three more riders in the break besides our stage winner who had everything to play for on the GC.

Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) 

Never count the Shark of Messina out. He said he was coming for stage wins and he made his play today. With Stuyven up the road fighting for the win, Vinnie’s feisty ride saw him move up to 6th overall

Kasper Asgreen started the day in 11th place but a powerful performance, particularly on the Signal d’Uchon, puts him 3rd overall.

Wout Van Aert

It’s fair to say Jumbo-Visma have had a dreadful start to the Tour and there was more woe to come today with both Plan A – Primoz Roglic and plan B – Jonas Vingegaard losing time (see later). Wout played his part in the break with all the fierceness and dedication we expect from the Belgian champion. Starting the day just 30 seconds behind the yellow jersey, he attacked multiple times to try to wrestle it off the shoulders of his most famous rival.

He could not do it, and did not gain time, but he does rise to 2nd on GC – I wonder how his climbing legs are?


Tadej Pogacar

When it is clear the break was home and free, last year’s champion must have been looking at his watch all day long. I guess his team figured they could afford to lose time to the likes of Nibali, Asgreen, Van Aert and van der Poel, and he probably can if he climbs anything like he did last year.

However, with his UAE -Emirates team under the cosh all day and looking more wobbly as the kilometres ticked down. I don’t think his DSs will sleep soundly knowing what is to come in later stages.

A philosophical Pogacar in his post-stage interview

We tried to close the gap really fast, but we saw it was going like crazy from the beginning. The group snapped in half and it was a really unlucky moment. We knew it would be a tough stage and we made a little mistake. But we started to pull together and the team did fantastic job. I’m super-proud of them.


He drops to 5th overall. But perhaps he was wiser after all

Primoz Roglic

With one Slovenian on top of the podium, one breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn’t worse, our final one has dropped out of contention altogether.

It was heartbreaking to watch Roglic lose contact with the main group on the Signal d’Uchon, a climb we would expect him to attack with all the pizazz we love about him. Instead he was alone and exerting every ounce of his willpower to hang on – until eventually he could not.

We LOVE him. No matter what racing throws at this man, and boy it has thrown a LOT, he remains a good and decent human being.

Does it make sense for Primoz to ride on in the face of this time loss and all the injuries he carries. GOLD FOR ROGLIC would be AMAZING

Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers)

Richard Carapaz is a master of the attack and we saw a full blown example yet again today. With Roglic struggling the INEOS-Grenadiers leader took full advantage and flew off to gain time on his rivals. He was cheetah-like in his speed and daring.

He got a gap of around 40secs and rode balls-to-the-wall to maintain it all the way to the finish. He would have done it too if Movistar hadn’t unexpectedly started to chase him down. A fact which left fans and commentators scratching their heads

Slips to 12th at +5:19

Alejandro Valverde and Enric Mas of Movistar both had words with Michal Kwiatkowski of INEOS after the finish, reason unclear. Twitter is on tenterhooks about the next Movistar Netflix drama.

But the question of the day was: why exactly do INEOS call Carapaz Billy? Issie had the answer

The Yellow Jersey

I can’t finish the review without once again singing the praises of Mathieu van der Poel. I don’t think anyone knows, least of him, how far he can go with the yellow jersey. But we do know he will ride with everything he has in him because he knows no other way.

The Final thoughts

Final pic

As if the day wasn’t bizarre enough …

Final Word


Stage 7 Top 5

1 Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) 5:28:20

2 Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) +1:20

3 Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) +1:40

4 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) same time

5 Kasper Asgreen (Deceunuinck Quick Step) same time

General Classification Top 10

1 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 23:39:17

2 Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +0:30

3 Kasper Asgreen (Deceunuinck Quick Step)  +1:49

4 Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious)+3:01

5 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +3:43

6 Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo)  +4:12

7 Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +4:23

8 Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) +4:56

9 Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) +5:03

10 Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo) +5:04

All the Jerseys

Leaders jersey : Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix)

Points jersey: Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick Step)

KOM jersey : Matej Mohoric (Bora-Hansgroghe)

Best young rider jersey : Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates)

For full stage review, go to cyclingnews

Official Tour de France website is here

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