To paraphrase Gary Lineker: sprinting is a simple game. One hundred and eighty men battle on the roads of France for 190km and at the end, Mark Cavendish always wins. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but if you had told me at the start of the year that Cav would win three stages of the 2021 Tour de France and hold a 59-point lead in the green jersey competition, I would have laughed in your face. Yet here we are. A sensational third stage win for the Manx Missile on Stage 10, following a chaotic run into Valence through blustery crosswinds. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) finishes safely in the bunch, keeping his 2:01 lead over Ben O’Connor (Ag2r) intact and the yellow jersey firmly on his shoulders.
One of those Tour de France stages where nothing really happens and then everything happens at once … near the end. And crazy stuff happened today in Stage 9 in the green jersey competition and the King of the Mountains jersey competition. We had a worthy winner on a cold, wet day in Ben O’Connor (Ag2r Citroen Team), who not only wasn’t even supposed be in the break but ended the day second in the GC! And we had Ineos giving Tadej Pogacar a launch pad from which to put even more time into his rivals and stay firmly in yellow.
Enrico Gasparotto pointed to the skies in remembrance of his Wanty-Groupe Gobert teammate Antoine Demoitié as he crossed the finish line in an emotional end to this year’s Amstel Gold. The 34-year-old Italian outsprinted Tinkoff’s Michael Valgren after they broke away from the peloton on the final climb of the Cauberg. Sonny Colbrelli of Bardiani-CSF completed the podium.