As it happened: Tour de France stage 13 - Sprinters dominate in Pau after echelons, GC attacks and crashes

Tadej pogacar wins 2021 tour de france as van aert takes final stage.

No record for Cavendish, who brings home green jersey as Pogacar wins mountains, young riders classifications

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) sprinted to victory on the Champs-Elysées, beating Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) to the line on stage 21 to take his third stage victory of the Tour de France .

The Belgian edged out Philipsen at the line by less than a wheel length to win, while Cavendish, who had started his sprint behind Van Aert and couldn't come around, banged his bars in frustration.

Deceuninck-QuickStep may have led the way around the final corner, but it was Jumbo-Visma who had the best lead out up the 700-metre finishing straight with Mike Teunissen in front of Van Aert.

The Dutchman hit the front at 500 metres to go, with Van Aert stuck to his wheel and Cavendish next in line with his own lead out not at the front.

Van Aert launched at 230 metres to go, hugging the barriers on the left-hand side of the road as Philipsen jumped around Teunissen to the right. Cavendish couldn't make it past up the inside, even briefly freewheeling at one point late on in the sprint.

Instead of the record-breaking 35th stage victory for Cavendish then, it was Van Aert who added to his Ventoux and time trial wins, just ahead of Philipsen, who finished second for the third time this Tour.

" This Tour has just been amazing, such a rollercoaster," Van Aert said after the finish. "To finish off with a weekend like this is beyond expectations. A victory like this is priceless. Thanks to my incredible small team, especially Mike Teunissen who delivered me into a perfect position.

"It was more chance for a team like us to still come after the corner. I was fully confident that Mike was going to deliver me in the right position, I just had to hold his wheel - it was a world class lead-out today, hats off."

Tadej Pogačar crossed the line safely alongside his UAE Team Emirates teammates to claim his second Tour de France overall victory in two years. He tops the podium by 5:20 ahead of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) by 7:03.

For the second year in a row Pogačar swept up the polka dot and white jerseys too, beating Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) by 29 points to the climber's award as Vingegaard finished runner-up in the young rider's classification.

Cavendish nonetheless secured the green jersey, beating Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) by 56 points at the top of the points standings. Finally, Bahrain Victorious won the team competition by 19 minutes ahead of EF Education-Nippo, and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) claimed the super-combativity award after an aggressive three weeks of racing.

How it unfolded

The final stage of the Tour de France took the riders on a short 108.4 kilometres from Chatou to the Champs-Élysées in the heart of Paris in the traditional finish to the race, with eight laps of a circuit in central Paris to close things out.

The opening 56 kilometres would see the peloton ride in from the western outskirts of the capital, tackling the final climb of the race, the fourth-category Côte de Grès, after 7.4 kilometres.

After that – the final 52 kilometres of the stage once the riders pass through the finish line for the first time – the racing began in Paris, with the eight finishing laps left to decide the winner of stage 21.

As the flag dropped for the final time at a stage start in the 2021 Tour de France, there were – as is traditional on the final stage – no attacks as the peloton rode along at a club run pace. Instead, there was the usual parade of jerseys at the front and celebrations, with the full UAE Team Emirates squad, clad in special-edition, yellow-banded jerseys, riding off the front early on.

Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) jumped off the front at the top of the climb, jokingly celebrating his first mountain point of the race ahead of his teammates. Shortly afterwards, after the peloton passed the 100-kilometre mark, Pogačar was joined off the front by fellow Slovenians Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) and Luka Mezgec (Team BikeExchange) to celebrate together.

The team rode on the front of the peloton from that point onwards as the riders neared Paris, the average pace a pedestrian 32 kph.

The first two laps of the Champs-Élysées circuit saw a flurry of attacks from the peloton, with Harry Sweeny (Lotto Soudal), Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo), and Casper Pedersen (Team DSM) the three riders managing to get off the front with 50 kilometres to go.

They held a 30-second gap over the peloton on the high-speed laps in Paris, though that advantage was brought down to 20 seconds as the sprinters battled for the intermediate sprint at 40km to go.

There, Cavendish grabbed 13 points for fourth place as Matthews ceded two more points to the green jersey holder, ensuring that the green jersey would be his if he finished at least eighth at the finish.

The three-man break was brought back at 32 kilometres and four laps to go, prompting counterattacks from the peloton. Bora-Hansgrohe's Ide Schelling, who was in the first break of the race back in Brest, was among them as he, Michael Valgren (EF Education-Nippo), and Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) tried a move.

Back in the peloton Deceuninck-QuickStep and Alpecin-Fenix had taken control of the situation, holding the gap to 20 seconds ahead of the nailed-on bunch sprint finale. B&B Hotels p/b KTM sent two men on the move heading into the penultimate lap with Cyril Gautier launching Bonnamour in one final show of aggression from the super-combativity prize winner.

He was brought back at the 10-kilometre mark, while Schelling, Valgren, and Van Moer managed to hang out front until the final lap, sticking it out until six kilometres to go. More counterattacks followed, but Deceuninck-QuickStep worked hard to keep the situation under control at the front heading into the final five kilometres.

A mixture of teams – including Team BikeExchange, Deceuninck-QuickStep, EF Education-Nippo, and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – were up front heading into the final two kilometres, with no one team able to wrest control and establish a full lead out at the front.

Around the final corner onto the final run to the line – which this year was elongated from 400 metres to 700 metres – it was Deceuninck-QuickStep on the front, though not with a full train as they have previously in the race.

Nonetheless, Cavendish had the best wheel in Van Aert, who was following teammate Teunissen to the line. He launched just inside the final 230 metres, pulling off a long sprint and holding it to the finish to beat Philipsen and Cavendish.

tour de france winner 2021

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Dani Ostanek is Senior News Writer at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired full-time. Prior to joining the team, they had written for numerous major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly and Rouleur.

Dani has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, World Championships, and the spring Classics. They have interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Mathieu van der Poel, Remco Evenepoel, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.

As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Dani also oversees How to Watch guides and works on The Leadout newsletter throughout the season. Their favourite races are Strade Bianche and Paris-Roubaix and their favourite published article is from the 2024 edition of the latter: 'Unless I'm in an ambulance, I'm finishing this race' – Cyrus Monk, the last man home at Paris-Roubaix

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Tour de France 2021: Tadej Pogacar wins as Aussie Ben O’Connor impresses

Team UAE Emirates' Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia celebrates his overall victory.

Tadej Pogacar has won a second successive Tour de France, hailing his victory as “an incredible adventure” while Australia unearthed its next genuine contender as Ben O’Connor finished a surprise fourth overall.

Wout van Aert claimed the final stage on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday after three weeks of thrilling action. Pogacar stole in at the 11th hour to win the 2020 edition, but this year he stamped his authority in the first week before he pulled on the yellow jersey beneath the Arc de Triomphe as the undisputed champion, aged just 22.

“We did it,” he said with a huge smile.

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“It was one thing last year, the first win, I didn’t cry this year,” he said glowing in his big moment and thanking everyone with his parents and siblings all present.

“I hope we can all come back next year without masks.

“It’s been an incredible adventure being part of this cycling family,” he said dedicating his latest triumph to “all cycling fans everywhere.”

Jumbo’s Belgian rider Van Aert stormed past Briton Mark Cavendish to take the 21st stage after also winning a time-trial at Saint-Emilion and a mountain stage at Mont Ventoux.

“I’ve won a giant Tour de France stage,” Van Aert said. “But I’m just a little cyclist compared with Tadej.”

Marking the end of the old era, 36-year-old Cavendish narrowly missed out on a fifth win on this edition -- and a record 35th on the Tour de France.

Jasper Philipsen was second on the day as Deceuninck rider Cavendish fell just short, punching his handlebars in frustration.

Four wins in the six stages that ended in a mass bunch sprint were enough, however, for him to equal Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins on the Tour and secure him the green sprint points jersey.

“It was just too hard,” Cavendish said of the final sprint. “But it’s just wonderful to be here,” he said on the podium after picking up his award.

Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard, also of Jumbo, was a surprising second in the general classification, while Ineos’ Richard Carapaz was third to follow his 2019 triumph on the Giro d’Italia.

O’Connor, 25, became only the fourth Australian in Tour de France history to finish in the top five of the general classification — a result he’d said would take a “miracle” — after Richie Porte most recently did it finishing third last year.

HOW AUSSIE BOUNCED BACK FROM HORROR CRASH

West Australian cyclist Ben O’Connor is dreaming of the day he can wear the coveted maillot jaune following his stunning fourth place overall finish in the Tour de France after initially fearing he’d broken his shoulder in the horrific stage one pile up.

Tadej Pogacar won a second successive Tour de France on Sunday, hailing his victory as “an incredible adventure” while Australia unearthed its next genuine contender as O’Connor finished a surprise fourth overall.

He is only the fourth Australian in history to finish in the top five general classification - joining Cadel Evans, Phil Anderson and Richie Porte who stood on the podium with his third place finish last year.

“Would you have bet money on me coming fourth in the Tour? I don’t think so. So it’s not a ‘loss’ at all,” he told Cyclingnews.com website about missing the podium by just under three minutes.

“The yellow jersey was a long way off, another level and another game. I hope one day I can wear the maillot jaune, but I would have to progress in the same way as I did this year to get there. You never know.”

O’Connor’s result was built on a dominant stage in Tignes last week and he had to battle hard to keep a place in the top five.

The performance will put the international cycling world on notice with his French team AG2R-Citroën — which has mostly backed Romain Bardet in general classification — also reportedly making the Australian their lead rider at the upcoming Vuelta aEspaña.

“Just to make Paris is special, but now that I’m fourth overall is wild. It’s special and something that I’ll never forget,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor was one of the many riders caught up in the horrific pile up on day one of this year’s tour, the 25-year-old suffering a deep wound to his right forearm that required 10 stitches and landed so heavily on his shoulder he couldn’t lift his bike after he crossed the line more than two minutes back and he feared it would end his race.

“I couldn’t move my arm. I couldn’t stand up and move my shoulder. I thought my race was over, I was 100 per cent sure I’d broken my shoulder,” he said.

“It was a pretty awful feeling, that on day one of my first Tour de France I was going to be a DNF.

“It would have been very sad after all my hope and support from my friends and family.”

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Tour de France 2021 – Wout van Aert wins as Mark Cavendish denied outright record on Champs-Elysees

Tom Owen

Updated 18/07/2021 at 21:29 GMT

There was no fairytale ending to Cavendish’s stunning comeback story, with Van Aert leading from the front to take a memorable win. Cavendish leaves the 2021 Tour with a share of the all-time record of stage wins (34) and the green jersey. Meanwhile, Tadej Pogacar ticked off the day without incident as he claimed a second yellow jersey at the age of just 22.

‘Boxed in!’ – Cavendish frustrated as Van Aert wins Stage 21

'Now we can all say it's a fair fight' - Pogacar reacts to Vingegaard show of strength

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'This will spur him on' - Wiggins backs Cav to return and 'go for record'

  • Stage 21 as it happened – Pogacar and Van Aert celebrate as Cavendish falters
  • Opinion: Why Roglic needs to shed the control freak on his shoulder

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Pogacar holds up Roglic's number in tribute

picture

UAE celebrate Pogacar’s coronation

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Pogacar: ‘I cannot describe how happy I am’

'They're just focussing on me' - Pogacar questions Visma tactics after gravel drama

'i was pretty sure i had a puncture' - evenepoel opens up about time trial 'scare', vingegaard 'will do everything' to follow roglic and pogacar on stage 2.

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Tadej Pogacar: Five facts about the 2021 Tour de France winner who is heading to Japan for the Olympics

The Slovenian's next target is the Olympic Games. He'll be one of the most recognisable names at cycling’s road race and time trials in Tokyo.

2021-07-17T164340Z_221376839_UP1EH7H18HJGJ_RTRMADP_3_CYCLING-FRANCE

Tadej Pogacar hasn’t much down time to celebrate winning back-to-back Tour de France titles before jumping on a plane and heading for the Olympics.

The 22-year-old Slovenian dominated the 2021 Tour, leading to his final stage coronation in Paris, where he completed back-to-back race wins on Sunday (18th July).

"Tokyo is coming really fast. It's not so much time to recover, also with the jet lag, and Japan is super hot with a lot of humidity," said Pogacar according to Cycling News .

Here are five things to know about Tadej Pogacar, ahead of his Olympic debut.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tadej Pogačar (@tadejpogacar)

Tadej Pogacar: Winning the 2021 Tour de France won't guarantee Olympic success

According to the New York Times , ‘the 2021 edition of the Tour will be remembered as the one when Pogacar, no longer a surprise, morphed into an unstoppable champion.’

While Pogacar dominated on the streets of France, Olympic gold in either the road race or time trial at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021 isn’t a given.

He finished eighth at the final time trial stage at the Tour and only won three stages overall.

Tadej Pogacar: The second youngest winner of the Tour de France

In 2020, Pogacar became the second youngest winner of the Tour de France.

Frenchman Henri Cornet won the Tour de France at the age of 19 way back in 1904.

Pogacar was 21 when he won his first title in 2020 .

Tadej Pogacar: Having fun is the priority

It’s a serious business winning any Grand Tour title but winning the Tour de France for two consecutive years takes serious commitment.

Despite the inordinate amount of endurance and mental strength to even finish the race, Pogacar is committed to enjoying himself - even if it is sometimes painful.

"If we don't have fun in what we do, it wouldn't be great. Just having fun is easier for me," he said to Cycling Weekly .

Tadej Pogacar: Growing up in Slovenia

Slovenia is famous for its beautiful lakes and nature, and it was where Pogacar enjoyed learning the basics of cycling.

"I've had some great memories. I trained a lot with my brother on local roads, a few kilometres from home, doing laps, full gas every day. It's a nice memory."

Even if there was the occasion mishap.

"The first training," he said. "I crashed because I didn't know how to unclip.”

Tadej Pogacar: Watching his cycling heroes

Just over a decade ago, Pogacar was watching some of the legends on TV.

"I started watching the Tour de France back in 2009 or 2010, following Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck, spending all day in front of television and then going riding myself," he said in 2020.

Now, he'll head to the Olympic Games as the double Tour de France champion.

Tadej Pogacar: Olympic hopes

For Pogacar, the Olympics presents a unique opportunity.

“I'll go there for a new experience and with super motivation because it's the Olympics and it's only every four – or five – years. I will grab it and try to race for the win," he said .

There’s not much time for specific preparation with the Slovenian leaving France for Japan the day after racing finishes at the Tour de France.

"After the Olympics I hope to find some quiet time, some peace and to chill out."

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108th tour de france 2021 stage 21

Results and Highlights From the 2021 Tour de France

Stage-by-stage updates, results, and highlights from this year’s race.

Read below for stage-by-stage updates, results, and highlights.

108th tour de france 2021 stage 21

Tadej Pogačar won a second successive Tour de France on Sunday as Wout van Aert claimed the final stage on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

In 2020, Pogačar didn’t take the lead until Stage 20, but this year he stamped his authority in the first week and pulled on the yellow jersey beneath the Arc de Triomphe as the undisputed champion aged just 22.

“We did it,” he said with a huge smile that was absent after his exhausting time trial on Saturday when he effectively sealed this victory. “It’s never over until the last lap of the Champs-Élysées.”

Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard, of team Jumbo-Visma, was a surprising second in the general classification, while Ineos Grenadiers’s Richard Carapaz was third to follow his 2019 triumph on the Giro d’Italia.

Pogačar survived a litany of crashes as the Tour embarked from the nation’s western tip at the Atlantic port of Brest. The Slovenian then dominated his rivals in the first time trial as the race headed towards the Swiss and Italian border ski resorts, where he also held his own.

The UAE Team Emirates leader then produced a pair of joyful mountain victories in the Pyrénées to rubber stamp his status as the best rider in the Tour this year.

Pogačar also won the awards for best rider under-25 and the king of the mountains polka-dot jersey—a triple he also achieved in his debut last year.

On Sunday, Belgian rider van Aert of Jumbo-Visma stormed past Briton Mark Cavendish to take Stage 21, after also winning the Stage 20 time trial at Saint-Emilion and a mountain stage on Mont Ventoux.

“It’s incredible to win again today, it hasn’t sunk in,” he said, holding his baby on the podium.

“It’s a great send-off for Tokyo,” he said, before flying off to the Olympic Games on Monday where he will lead the Belgian team.

The 36-year-old Cavendish of Deceunick-QuickStep narrowly missed out on a fifth stage win—and a record 35th ever in the Tour de France. Jasper Philipsen was second for the day and Cavendish was third, punching his handlebars in frustration as he crossed the finish line.

However, that doesn’t take away from Cavendish’s four wins in the six stages that ended in a mass bunch sprint. It was enough for him to equal Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins in the Tour and secure him the green sprint points jersey.

The Bahrain Victorious outfit won the team award to end the Tour with a smile, after a police anti-doping raid on their hotel and team bus earlier this week.

tour de france results

Wout van Aert of team Jumbo-Visma won the Stage 20 time trial by a solid 21-second margin on Saturday, making it his second stage win this Tour.

Tadej Pogačar all but became champion of the 2021 Tour de France as the UAE Team Emirates rider protected his large overall lead in the time trial, ahead of the traditionally ceremonial final ride to Paris. Defending champion Pogačar’s solid ride means he need only cross the Champs-Élysées finish line with the peloton on Sunday’s 21st and final stage to retain the fabled yellow jersey as the overall winner.

Pogačar won three stages on the way to his dominant triumph in a manner reminiscent of former champions Alberto Contador and Chris Froome, who were strong in both the time trials and the mountains. He will also win the awards for best rider under-25 and the king of the mountains polka-dot jersey—a triple win that he also achieved on his debut last year.

“I can’t say which one is more beautiful. Last year everything was decided on the last individual time trial and the emotions were by far stronger. This time, I took the yellow jersey earlier. It has been totally different,” said the man who will ride into Paris in yellow.

The Monaco resident, who earns five million euros (5.9 million dollars) a year, appeared overcome as he climbed onto the podium for his three jerseys, with Briton Mark Cavendish also wearing a huge grin as he was awarded his green sprint jersey.

“I’m so happy it’s coming to an end,” said Pogačar, admitting he was wiped out. “What a demanding three weeks it has been.”

cycling fra tdf 2021 stage20

“I wasn’t so motivated last night and had to get myself going,” said Pogačar, who ended the day five minutes and 20 seconds ahead of the second place rider in the overall classification. “It was very hot and I was suffering a bit. But I’m super happy. It still was a super performance.”

The top three in the standings remained the same after the 30K course on a sizzling hot Saturday, as rowdy fans packed the roadsides all the way to the scenic Saint-Emilion vineyards.

Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard goes into the final day in second, while Ineos Grenadiers’s Richard Carapaz is in third.

“I’d have told anyone they were nuts,” Vingegaard said with a sparkle in his eye as he dove into a large bowl of pasta. “Tadej was so strong in the rainy stages, he won it there in the rain.”

“He’s not unbeatable”

A second place for Dutch team Jumbo-Visma is a triumph of sorts after their leader Primož Roglič crashed hard early in the race. Van Aert’s victory on Saturday also gave them three stages, even though only four of the eight-rider team have made it through to the final stage after a series of falls.

“I’m very proud of our performance. These three wins and a second place in the general [classification] is great,” said van Aert, who also won Stage 11, which climbed up Mont Ventoux twice, while American Sepp Kuss took Stage 15 in the Pyrénées.

“But if we want to win the Tour de France we need to stay on our bikes and finish the Tour with a full team,” va Aert said. “Tadej deserves his win, but I don’t believe he is unbeatable.”

Van Aert also sent out a warning to Cavendish, who is targeting an all time record of 35 stage wins with the Champs-Élysées sprint Sunday.

“I’ll be challenging [it] for sure. I won’t miss out. The Champs-Élysées sprint is a huge thing in the career of any rider,” said van Aert.

A third place overall finish for the British team Ineos Grenadiers , which took no stage wins, seems like the end of their era, after the 2020 failure was blamed on Egan Bernal’s bad back.

The British team went into this race with four co-leaders, hoping to win an eighth title in ten years, but experienced terrible luck as three suffered bad falls, leaving only Carapaz to soldier on—although they did win the Giro d’Italia in May with Bernal.

108th tour de france 2021 stage 19

Bahrain Victorious’s Slovenian rider Matej Mohorič won stage 19 of the Tour de France on Friday, a day after his team hotel and bus were subjected to an anti-doping raid .

It was Mohorič’s second win this edition of the Tour. After he joined an early breakaway, he then broke clear for a solo win at Libourne, with the main peloton several minutes behind.

Overall leader Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates team led the peloton over the line 20 minutes and 49 seconds later, with no change in the overall top ten ahead of Saturday’s decisive 30K individual time trial.

Mohorič made a gesture at the finish line, running a finger across his lips horizontally as if he were closing a zipper , after the team’s third victory at this year’s race.

Mohorič said his gesture was meant as a message for people to be careful about jumping to conclusions after the raid, which has led to a preliminary enquiry that authorities said was to see “whether or not there has been acquisition, transport, or possession of banned substances.”

Mohorič faced the press calmly after celebrating on the podium.

“It was a sign to show all people to be mindful that we are making sacrifices with our work away from home and family and on training camps. We have a good level here and also had it in the past,” he said.

Raid has united the team

The 26-year-old former junior world champion was trying to remain positive after the police raid, although he admitted it was deeply upsetting at the time.

“If someone needs to go through my stuff and take my phone, well if this eventually proves my innocence then so much the better,” he said. “I felt weird about my integrity being questioned, but then I felt it was good for the integrity of a sport that has had big problems in the past.”

Mohorič said that he felt the raid had helped unite his team.

“We are so determined to show we have nothing to hide. We are here to focus on a bike race and show we are one of the best teams in the world,” he said.

The winner raced the 207K at an impressive average speed of 47.9kph (29.7mph), often riding into a headwind through the Bordeaux vineyards. Along with winning the stage, he also took the most combative rider award for the day.

Christophe Laporte of Cofidis was second at 58 seconds back and Casper Pedersen of DSM was third for the stage.

The 19th stage had been billed as the day Mark Cavendish would set a new record of 35 Tour de France stage wins, his fifth win this edition. But an early mass fall and lack of will from other teams to stop a breakaway allowed a large group to build up a big lead over the main pack. Cavendish was unperturbed by the day’s action.

“I still have Paris,” he said of Sunday’s sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées.

“And I still have the jersey,” he said as he stepped down from the awards ceremony in the sprint points leader’s green jersey.

The 36-year-old was a late inclusion on the Deceuninck-QuickStep team roster but has won four stages so far this year, with a fifth possible win on Sunday when the race ends in the French capital.

Cavendish was given a fright as a mass domino-effect pileup swept through the peloton shortly after leaving the start town Mourenx on Friday, but the Briton was unhurt.

tour de france results

Overall leader Tadej Pogačar again proved his dominance in the Tour de France as he won a second consecutive mountain stage in the Pyrénées on Thursday—and said, “It's a game for me.”

On a short final mountain stage of 130K, Pogačar out-rode his two closest rivals, Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz, just as he did on the previous day. The 2020 champion continued the most dominant run in recent Tour memory, by climbing onto the post-race podium four times—as stage winner, as best young rider, best climber, and as the runaway overall leader.

The peloton left Pau under a shadow Thursday, after an overnight anti-doping raid on the Bahrain-Victorious team at their hotel.

“It’s something strange, maybe just one more control to see nobody’s hiding anything,” said Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates. “We only found out in the morning, I don’t know what to think.”

But by the time an Ineos Grenadiers quartet of riders were leading the remnants of the pack up the final climb of this Tour de France, the focus was on the possible challenges to the leader on the road.

“It was full gas racing today, Ineos were pressing from deep,” the leader said of what was likely Carapaz’s last chance to unseat him.

“We had nothing to lose today, so we are happy,” said the Ecuadorian. “Our goal was to win the stage. I think we put up a good fight.”

With 3K left to go, Pogačar, Vingegaard, and Carapaz were left to cross swords in a pulsating uphill battle to a finish line above the clouds at the ski resort of Luz Ardiden, with hundreds of thousands of fans lining the roadside and cycling-loving French President Emmanuel Macron in the race director’s car at the head of the action.

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The struggle was quickly settled. Pogačar raced ahead with ease over the last kilometer and slowed down to take a look over his shoulder as he crossed the line for his third stage win this Tour.

“I felt good and I’m really happy with the win. It’s a game for me, I’m enjoying playing it,” said the 22-year-old who has dominated in the mountains and in the all important time trials, just as Spaniard Alberto Contador and Briton Chris Froome did in their time.

Pogačar enjoying new era

But Pogačar was adamant he is not on the cusp of greatness.

“This is not the ‘Pogačar era,’ but for sure a new generation is here,” he said.

“It’s important to have fun and enjoy what you are doing. Some you win, some you lose, but always have fun, my coach says,” Pogačar said, smiling and looking relaxed. “Tomorrow I aim to enjoy every minute of the flat run,” he said of Friday’s stage.

He did admit to worrying about the final challenge, a 30K time trial. “You can lose six minutes over 30K like that,” he said.

Pogačar pulverised the opposition in the first time trial, which he won on Stage 5.

Pogačar leads the Danish rider Vingegaard by almost six minutes, with Carapaz right on the Jumbo-Visma man’s tail in third with three stages left: a flat run on Friday, Saturday’s time trial, and Sunday’s parade into Paris.

Vingegaard is on paper a better time trialist than Carapaz, but with only a few seconds between the pair, it is too early to call a top three.

Whatever happens in Paris, the events in Pau on Thursday night may take longer to run their course, after French police said the investigation was in its preliminary stages.

“A preliminary inquiry has been opened to see if there has been, or not, acquisition, transport, or possession of banned substances,” the Marseille-based police unit overseeing the matter told AFP.

tour de france results

Tadej Pogačar emerged above the clouds atop the Pyrénéen Col du Portet to extend his overall lead and win Stage 17 of the Tour de France on Wednesday, after an epic struggle with his two closest pursuers, Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz.

Ecuadorian Carapaz launched a blistering attack 1.5K from the 2,200-meter summit finish, but was agonizingly reeled in by the defending champion Pogačar , for whom this was an iconic career moment, winning a tough stage with the overall leader’s yellow jersey already on his back.

After pulverizing the field on the Stage 5 time trial, the Slovenian took his second victory this Tour to extend his lead over the Vingegaard to 5 minutes and 39 seconds. The discrete Carapaz climbed to third overall four seconds back, after Rigoberto Uran was dropped on the final climb. The Colombian slipped to fourth overall at 7 minutes and 17 seconds behind Pogačar.

“It was the most difficult stage of the Tour, and I dedicate this win to my team who worked so hard for me here,” said Pogačar.

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“This Tour isn’t over until the last lap of the Champs-Élysées,” he said when asked if he believed the defense of his title was now sealed.

Storming Bastille Day

On the French national holiday of Bastille Day, there were almost as many Slovenian flags on the final climb as French flags, and a healthy smattering of Basque berets were being sported as well in the huge crowds that lined the slopes.

French fans had plenty to smile about as Groupama-FDJ’s home hope David Gaudu came in fourth at a finish line above the clouds in this remote corner of France. Up-and-coming climber Gaudu raced the stage with the French tricolour on his helmet.

Another French team, AG2R Citroën, saw their Australian podium hope Ben O’Connor consolidate fifth overall as he rounded out the day’s top five, having previously won the Alpine stage up to the Tignes ski resort.

AG2R Citroën boss Vincent Lavenu told AFP that the stage, with its 36K of steep climbing in the final section, was a “race for second place and that half the contenders will be dropped here.”

It proved true, but Ineos Grenadiers rider Carapaz, who looked to be struggling after the lead trio broke off, kept fighting with his late but fruitless burst.

Before Vingegaard attacked an elite clique on Mont Ventoux last week, he was relatively unknown. Since then, the painfully shy Jumbo-Visma rider from the remote Danish region of North Jutland has emerged as a serious podium contender. With his team down to four riders, he admitted that on Wednesday “the plan was just to follow.” He cemented his grip on second by surviving the climb up Col du Portet and said he was “relieved, happy and proud” and said that his family was at the finish line.

The leader had warm words for the man hot on his tail.

“He’s fantastic, a top class rider,” said Pogačar who, like Vingegaard, is racing his second Tour de France. “I like racing against him. He’s a super good guy and he could win a Tour de France soon.”

One last mountain-top finish awaits the riders Thursday before Saturday’s potentially decisive time trial and Sunday’s parade into Paris.

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Austrian Patrick Konrad won a hilly Stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday, after joining an early breakaway and then attacking solo from 38K out on a rainy ride through the Pyrénées.

Overall leader Tadej Pogačar and his general classification rivals rode the 169K course at a gentle pace and were trailing the 29-year-old Bora-Hansgrohe rider by some 14 minutes on an unseasonably cold day, with two major mountain stages coming up over the next two days.

An elite clique of 15 riders including all of the top 11 in the general classification broke off the front of the peloton just outside Saint-Gaudens—with Slovenian Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates, EF Education-Nippo rider Rigoberto Uran, and Ineos Grenadiers rider Richard Carapaz all finishing with the same time after a last-gasp burst of speed.

On an overcast day in the Pyrénées, the peloton embarked from Pas de la Casa in the Principality of Andorra, where the roads appeared even narrower with the wet, overhanging foliage.

Green jersey wearer Mark Cavendish and a ten-man grupetto of stragglers fell off the back, but made it home within the time cut.

Konrad had been close twice before this Tour de France, a factor that drove him to attack.

“It makes me really proud,” said the Austrian national road race champion on his first ever Tour de France stage win, after being chased over the final 30K by David Gaudu and Sonny Colbrelli. “I’ve been in three breaks already, and I had waited until too late. Today, I said to myself I am the guy, and I had the legs to bring it to the finish.”

Monster Pyrénéen climbs next

After Monday’s final rest day and Pogačar leading the others in the top five by more than five minutes, there was little appetite for a major attack. But there’s three potential chances to overturn the order, starting with two summit finishes Wednesday and Thursday, and Saturday’s individual time trial to Saint-Émilion likely to deliver the champion.

Pogačar got the backing of four-time Tour winner Chris Froome Tuesday morning. “If Pogačar can stay on the bike, then it’s over,” Froome said.

Pogacar seemed as relaxed as ever after the 16th stage.

“I like this weather, and I hope it’s like this tomorrow,” said the 22-year-old. “We are going to ride as hard as we can. It will be a big GC battle.”

The race began with the rare sight of the entire peloton shuddering to a halt and engaging in a mass shedding of cold weather clothes after a 20K neutralized downhill start.

British rider Mark Cavendish kept the green jersey and has two opportunities—on Friday and on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday—to beat Eddy Merckx’s all-time record , after his four stage wins so far saw the sprinter equal the tally of 34 set by the Belgian great 46 years ago.

The race for the polka-dot jersey will be tense as Wout Poels leads just ahead of Michael Woods of Canada and Nairo Quintana of Colombia.

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American Sepp Kuss of the Jumbo Visma team won a grueling Stage 15, as the Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Sunday. Defending champion Tadej Pogačar survived the torrid day in the saddle, with the Slovenian holding on to the overall lead despite constant pressure from a clique of Ineos riders.

Near the top of the last climb, Kuss skipped away from Spain’s Alejandro Valverde, who at 41 years old finished second, and Dutch rider Wout Poels, who pulled on the king of the mountains jersey after coming in third.

Many of the riders live in the tax haven principality of Andorra, and there was much talk ahead of the days racing of motivation to do well in front of families.

Kuss had been sent into the day’s long-haul attack with the aim of eventually dropping back and helping team leader Jonas Vingegaard, third overall.

“We had planned to help Jonas, but there were two of us so Steven [Kruijswijk] dropped back, so we got the stage and the team tactics right,” Kuss explained of the windy stage where the protection of a teammate can make all the difference.

“My girlfriend and my family were on the final climb cheering me on. I’m lost for words,” said climb specialist Kuss, whose family has roots in Slovenia.

“It was a hard day in the break, but I know this ride well from training and knew where I could get a break,” he said.

Pogacar said his family being there was also a boon.

“My family are here most days although I don’t always see them, but I did today,” he said, smiling. “When I see my mum it takes away the pain for a moment.”

Pogacar is perhaps the big winner on the day after he was isolated on the windy slopes of the third climb, but he kept his calm and, crucially, his pace as his closest rivals took turns to attack him.

Ineos have said they plan to grind him down in a bid to manoeuvre their own rider, Richard Carapaz, into contention for the yellow jersey.

The Ecuadorian currently lies fourth, five minutes and 33 seconds behind Pogačar. Colombian EF rider Rigoberto Uran is second at 5:18, while Denmark’s Vingegaard is third at 5:32.

“We’re doing everything for Richard now, I really hope we can get him on the podium,” said 2018 champion Geraint Thomas, who led a quartet of his teammates until he dropped off exhausted on the third climb.

But the 22-year-old champion scoffed at the Ineos tactics, despite watching his teammates drop off one by one.

“I didn’t feel scared because I was comfortable with Ineos’s placing,” said Pogačar.

“Sure, it’s looking like a really tough third week and today they made me work really hard,” he admitted.

While Monday is a well-deserved rest day, Sunday’s first Pyrenean stage was the first of four challenges in this secluded mountain range where the 2021 Tour is likely to be decided.

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Dutchman Bauke Mollema won stage 14 of the Tour de France on a semi-mountainous run from the citadel at Carcassonne to the small town of Quillan at the foot of the Pyrenees on Saturday.

Overall leader Tadej Pogačar was under no threat, even if he finished some seven minutes adrift on what he called a boring stage. His UAE team raced at the front of the main peloton with INEOS keeping an ever-watchful eye on them.

Frenchman Guillaume Martin of Cofidis was the day’s other big winner as he moved into second overall, four minutes behind the 22-year-old defending champion.

“Anyone in the top ten is dangerous, if I have a bad day any of them can catch me,” Pogačar said. “Cycling is like that, one day you’re the strongest, another day you aren’t.”

Martin looked drawn when he spoke at the finish line in the overwhelming heat.

“I took a risk, but this is the Tour and you have to take risks,” said Martin, a former philosophy student and author of the novel Socrates on a Bike .

“It was really hard. I saw an opportunity and it took a great deal of energy,” said Martin. “I’ll need to get back on form for tomorrow, this is the Tour, today it payed off, but who knows.”

Stage 14 was a grueling affair, exposed to beating heat, along narrow, winding Pyrenean foot-hill roads dotted with patches of melting tarmac and featuring over 20km of steep inclines and around the same of narrow, winding descents.

One of these tricky descents ended Michael Woods' chances of winning the stage from the escape group as the Israel Start Up Nation rider took a bend too wide and fell heavily.

He climbed back on his bike to make a small piece of Tour de France history for his own nation as he took the lead in the climbing category.

“I’m the first Canadian to get the polka-dot jersey,” Woods said after he had overtaken Colombian Nairo Quintana in the points race.

As a wearying afternoon sun beat down on the exposed hills, the 2018 champion Geraint Thomas and world champion Julian Alaphilippe dropped off the back of the peloton with 20km to go and it became clear the overall leader's chasing group would not catch the escape.

“Some of the guys in the escape group were not working, so I went from 45km on my own,” explained the 34-year-old Mollema, after winning his second Tour de France stage. “I like racing in the heat and most of my wins have been solo.”

On Friday, Mark Cavendish matched Eddy Merckx’s 46-year-old record for Tour stage wins. But the Deceuninck rider was well behind the peloton starting at the first slopes and trailed in more than 25 minutes behind Mollema’s winning mark.

Cavendish remained in green with two more mountain stages to survive before he has two more chances to break the record. He could steal the race winner’s thunder when the Tour winds up on the Champs Élysées, where he has won four times, on July 18.

108th tour de france 2021 stage 13

Mark Cavendish equaled the all-time tally of Tour de France stage wins when he sped over the finish line at Carcassonne on Friday for a landmark 34th victory in the race. It was Cavendish’s fourth win this Tour, tying the Belgian sprinter equal Eddy Merckx’s 46-year-old record of Tour de France stage wins.

Until Friday, Cavendish had steadfastly refused to hype the record due to his reverence for Merckx, who won the Tour de France five times.

“I can’t be compared to him,” said the Briton, who has two more flat stages in which to actually beat the record. “Eddy Merckx is the greatest rider of all time, and he will remain so.”

The feat is all the more remarkable considering Cavendish’s career looked compromised in December, teamless, without a Tour de France win in five years, and struggling to put a long bout of the tiring Epstein Barr virus behind him.

Team-less at the end of last season, Cavendish signed a short-term contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step by maverick Belgian team boss Patrick Lefevere, a larger-than-life character Cavendish has always trusted and believed in.

Lefevere sent Cavendish to the level two Tour of Turkey in April and when he won four stages there, the foundation stone for a return to the top had been laid.

Tadej Pogačar retained the yellow jersey on Friday, and has a wide margin of five minutes to defend.

“I felt good on the day,” said the Slovenian, who was swift to praise the green jersey. “I watched him as a kid, sprinting like Rocketman, all respect to him.”

British Olympic hope Simon Yates pulled out of the Tour de France after a nasty mass-fall caused by gravel earlier on the stage.

Yates of BikeExchange looked dazed and badly grazed, and was one of the last men to remount and try and ride off his knock, but the British Olympic road-race hope was in too much difficulty and withdrew within 10 minutes of the accident.

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Germany’s Nils Politt won Stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday, after early winds helped a breakaway build up a convincing lead over the main pack in the Rhone Valley and foil the best laid plans of the sprinters.

An escape group finished the short, flat stage to Nimes more than 15 minutes ahead of a resigned peloton, with the defending champion, UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogačar , retaining his five-minute overall lead over a group of rivals.

“I felt good on the bike today, and in the coming stages I won’t hold back if I see an opportunity,” the Slovenian warned.

Stage winner Politt attacked from within a reduced group of 12 powerful riders who had defied the wind for a dominant solo victory.

“Directly after the start was the wind and it turned into a Tour de France win, it’s unbelievable,” said Politt, who rides for the Bora-Hansgrohe team.

“I attacked and opened up a gap from the other guys in the escape. This is my passion, and this is the biggest thing,” he said referring to the stage win.

108th tour de france 2021  stage 12

It was a sweet end to the day for Bora-Hansgrohe after a sore knee brought a premature end to the race for the team’s seven-time green jersey winner Peter Sagan, with only 157 riders taking to the starting line in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateau on Thursday. It was the first time the Slovak has failed to finish the 21-day, 3000K haul, but his absence freed up Politt.

“Peter not being in the race allowed me to go for it, it could be a moment that changes my life,” said Politt, who came second the last time the grueling Paris-Roubaix was run.

Mock sprint from stone-faced Cavendish

The escape hampered an ideal scenario for the Mark Cavendish comeback roller-coaster. While Cavendish himself refuses to talk about equaling Eddy Merckx’s 35-year-old all-time record of 34 Tour de France stage wins, it appeared to be a feasible scenario ahead of the stage. When the peloton rolled into the red-roofed town of Nimes, the “Manx Missile” made a statement of intent by racing to the head of the main pack in a mock sprint, which he easily won.

After a five-year barren patch in the Tour de France, Cavendish is in a full blown Indian Summer following his last-minute call up to the Deceuninck-QuickStep roster at 36 years of age. The Isle of Man rider has seized his chance with three stage wins for a cumulative tally of 33, leaving him just a single stage short of Merckx’s record.

Due to what organizers called “favourable winds,” the start was delayed by 15 minutes, and as soon as it did get going a northern wind blustering down the vineyard-filled Rhone Valley caused immediate breaks in the peloton.

Cavendish stayed in the first group, looking relaxed as Stage 12 rolled through the magnificent Cevennes National Park—taking in the gorges of the Ardeche with its stone arch, the Pont d'Arc, and ending close to the Roman arena in Nimes, on what was billed as the 2021 Tour’s prettiest stage.

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Wild crowds cheered Wout van Aert to a frantic Stage 11 win in the Tour de France on Wednesday, after a double ascent of Mont Ventoux —the first in Tour history within a single stage.

UAE Team Emirates leader Tadej Pogačar retained the overall lead by more than five minutes over his pursuers after a long, daredevil descent to the finish line with EF Education-Nippo’s Colombian Rigoberto Uran and Ineos Grenadiers’s Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz.

Jumbo-Visma’s van Aert crossed the summit of “the Giant of Provence” alone in his Belgian champion’s jersey on an incredibly hot day and was greeted after his expert descent by a group of fans at the finish line.

“There’s loads of Belgians here,” said an exultant van Aert, who played to the crowds by bending his ear to their acclamation.

On this iconic climb, where Tom Simpson died in 1967 and where Eddy Merckx, Marco Pantani, and Chris Froome climbed to memorable wins, van Aert’s effort was magnificent, and he rode with a free spirit now that his team leader Primož Roglič is out injured.

“It’s my best victory ever,” said van Aert, who finally reaped his reward, after his combative riding helped light the Tour fuse on the opening stages.

Behind him, his teammate Jonas Vingegaard climbed into the top three overall, crossing the line in the small group that included Pogačar, one min and 38 seconds after van Aert. Pogačar leads Uran by 5 minutes and 18 seconds, Dane Vingegaard is in third 14 seconds further back and a second ahead of Carapaz, while Australian Ben O’Connor is fifth. Colombian Nairo Quintana kept the polka-dot climber’s points jersey while Mark Cavendish came home seven minutes inside the time cut to hold on to the green sprinter’s jersey.

“Anything is possible”

Vingegaard dropped Pogačar after a struggle over the final 3K of the last ascent, only for the Slovenian’s group to catch up on the 25K descent.

“I couldn’t follow him, the heat, Ineos, there was a lot going on,” said a cool and relaxed looking Pogačar at the finish line, where he immediately went to see the stage winner. “We had some nice words for each other, I just wanted to say ‘great ride mate.’”

With a vehicle ban on Ventoux, police searched the vast crowds ascending on foot for alcohol and handed out bin bags after 40 tonnes of rubbish were left behind last time the Tour climbed the mountain.

108th tour de france 2021  stage 11

The peloton pulled out of the pretty Provence town of Sorgues to the summer sound of chirruping cicadas, with the mercury rising to over 30 degrees Celsius and the multicoloured peloton shimmering in the southern French sunshine.

By the time the lead group emerged above the clouds on bleak Ventoux, the peloton was scattered all the way down the 21K, one-hour climb. The leaders cut stark figures as they struggled for dominance across the lunar landscape.

Pogačar resisted concerted pressure from Ineos Grenadiers to lead an elite quartet across the line, but only after a wobble on the upper reaches of the second Ventoux slog.

After his dash to the finish, van Aert celebrated with sheer joy, his arms raised straight up in the air and standing high on his pedals.

“If you believe in it, anything is possible. Now, I’ll be helping Jonas in the overall and hopefully trying to win more stages,” said van Aert, who has promised to go shoulder-to-shoulder with Cavendish.

Thursday’s Stage 12 is a flat run to Nimes, where Cavendish will equal Merckx’s all-time Tour de France stage win tally of 34 if he claims a fourth victory in this year’s race.

tdfr 2021

Mark Cavendish won his third stage in the 2021 Tour de France on Tuesday, moving to within one of Eddy Merckx’s all time record of 34 stage wins, but said he is motivated more by inspiring people to overcome difficulties.

At the end of a flat run from Albertville to Valence, 36-year-old Briton Cavendish edged Belgians Wout van Aert and Jasper Philipsen to the line with his 33rd stage win in the world’s greatest bike race, while also keeping a firm grip on the sprint points green jersey.

Cavendish was a surprise late inclusion on Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Tour roster and had seized the opportunity, ending a five-year barren patch in the race with wins on Stages 4, 6, and now 10. The 2009 world champion, known as the Manx Missile, was teamless in December before being taken in by former mentor Patrick Lefevere on the Belgian team, where he has finally put behind him the after effects of the tiring Epstein-Barr virus .

“I’ve been blown away by the love and support from around the world,” a beaming Cavendish said. “People can be inspired by some kind of comeback if you think things are over, if anyone can use that to get inspired, that is the greatest joy for me.”

Cavendish cut a much lighter character when interviewed, after coming across prickly on his previous two triumphs here.

“I didn’t do anything today, they just delivered me, it was phenomenal again,” he said, after hitting 63.5kph (almost 40mph) on the home stretch.

Cavendish refuses to discuss the Merckx stage milestone; the Belgian won the last of his Tour stages in 1975. The former Team Sky rider is described by Tour director Christian Prudhomme as the greatest sprinter ever on the Grand Boucle, but will never win the race outright. On Sunday, he scraped over the line just inside the time cut on a major mountain stage and described this feat as perhaps his greatest victory.

“My boss has been talking about me winning a fifth stage on the Champs Elysees,” he said, a feat that would see him surpass the long-standing Merckx’s tally. “But I’m just taking it one day at a time, and I’ll keep trying to win stages.”

Pogačar ready to go full gas

The 22-year-old defending champion Tadej Pogačar retained the yellow jersey for the overall lead after keeping a low profile ahead of Wednesday’s monster double climb of Mont Ventoux , with its barren, lunar upper reaches.

“Yeah, I didn’t get too involved today, I need to get ready to go full-gas on Mont Ventoux,” said the overall leader. “There’s no point me risking everything going for a stage win.”

“I crashed the first day on the Tour, and I’ve crashed six times this year, so that’s my main stress on these flat stages, keeping out of trouble,” Pogačar continued.

Stage 10 embarked from the 1992 Winter Olympics host city of Albertville and took the peloton through the magnificent Rhone Valley, where the 165 survivors from the original 184 starters appeared relaxed after their rest day, all of them having tested negative for Covid-19 on Monday.

The race ended minutes before a heavy rainstorm lashed the finish line in Valence, halfway between Lyon and Marseille, that had been on an ‘orange alert’ in France for bad weather. A crosswind prelude to the storm picked up 30K out of Valence, known for its Crozes Hermitage wines, wafting the pungent scent of the lavender fields across the open plains outside the arrival town in the Drome region.

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Australian climber Ben O’Connor soared to a high-altitude stage win in the Tour de France on Sunday, on a cold, rainy day that culminated in a 21K climb to Tignes.

UAE Team Emirates controlled the main contenders and their leader, the 22-year-old defending champion Tadej Pogačar, again hurt his rivals and strengthened his hold on the Tour lead, while the Citroën AG2R rider O’Connor hauled himself into second in the overall standings.

O’Connor skipped up the 21K final climb to Tignes, leaving the other members of his breakaway group, including Colombian pair Nairo Quintana and Sergio Higuita, trailing in his wake.

“It’s mind-blowing, it can make your heart stop and it definitely did that to mine,” said a visibly thrilled O’Connor, who dedicated the win to his happy Citroën AG2R team, family, girlfriend and mates back in Australia.

The temperature was in single digits Celsius and rain fell most of the day.

“Conditions were atrocious,” O’Connor said, and riders looked frozen to the bone at the finish line, many trembling with cold.

Pogačar once again showed he is currently the strongest of the overall contenders as he dropped Ineos Grenadiers riders Geraint Thomas and Richie Carapaz with 4K to go, gaining another 30 seconds in his title defence.

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Defending champion Tadej Pogačar soared into the Tour de France overall lead on Saturday on an Alpine stage won by Belgian Dylan Teuns, as British outfit Ineos Grenadiers’s hopes were again battered.

UAE Team Emirates’s Slovenian leader Pogačar finished fourth, around a minute behind Teuns, but took another three minutes out of his most credible rival Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz of Ineos.

Overnight leader Mathieu van der Poel went into a trademark “all or nothing at all” meltdown and looks set to drop out of the Tour as promised and jet off to Tokyo to contest the mountain bike gold medal.

At one point, a wind-blown umbrella flew across Van der Poel’s path, but the Dutch Tour rookie swerved brilliantly to avoid it, keeping his Olympic dream alive even as he let go of the yellow jersey.

Pogačar, who stunned his rivals with a Stage 5 time trial win, was again head and shoulders above the rest of the field. He attacked from the group of contenders a full 30K out after his sports director said ahead of the race, “the Tour de France starts here.”

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With 13 stages remaining, Pogačar leads the Tour by one min and 48 seconds ahead of Belgian Wout Van Aert, who is Jumbo-Visma’s main hope, after Primož Roglič’s crash several days ago and subsequent decline in form.

The 22-year-old Pogačar will wear the yellow jersey for only the second time on Sunday. He took control of the 2020 Tour on the penultimate day, but rather than bide his time on this raucous edition, he has seized control early.

Teuns, a 29-year-old Belgian, who also won a stage of the 2019 Tour de France on the storied Planche des Belles Fille climb, dedicated his win to his grandmother—his grandfather passed away just two days before the start of the Tour.

“I hope she’s not suffering too much by being alone,” said Teuns, who was only 12 seconds ahead of Pogačar at the summit of the final climb.

“I didn’t know he was so close, there was so much noise up there,” said Teuns, who rode recklessly on the descent to open a larger lead on the gifted descender Pogačar.

Have fun up there

Before Van der Poel dropped off the pace on the second climb, he drew alongside Pogačar and the two chatted for a few moments.

“He wished me well and said he hoped I got the jersey today,” Pogačar said.

When Pogačar put the hammer down, as they say in cycling, only Carapaz was able to follow, but not for long.

“Attack is the best defence,” Pogačar said. “I haven’t won the Tour de France yet,” he said, looking ahead to Sunday’s stage with it’s summit finish at Tignes.

“Tomorrow we have a super, super hard stage, we may have to defend there,” he said, looking pale and cold after his long day in the rain.

Teuns’s Bahrain Victorious team had a second reason to be cheerful as Wout Poels took the King of the Mountains polka-dot jersey.

The 150K course, which culminated with the ascent and descent of a classic Tour climb, the Col de la Colombiere with a 7.5K climb at an 8.5 percent average gradient, was the first of eight mountain stages. There were large weekend crowds in the Upper Savoy region known for Evian water, melted-cheese dishes, and the Chamonix ski resort.

tour de france results

Slovenia’s Matej Mohorič won Stage 7 of the Tour de France on Friday, as Mathieu van der Poel kept the yellow jersey, after leading a breakaway on an epic 249K run from Vierzon to Le Creusot.

Defending champion Tadej Pogačar limited his losses and remains a force to be reckoned with, while Ineos’s best-placed rider Richard Carapaz wasted energy with a doomed late breakaway before being caught on the line as the British team continue to suffer.

A mass attack after 50K of the longest stage in 21 years stunned race favourite Pogačar, as over 20 riders got away after a 15K struggle to contain them wilted. The large escape group, all working hard to maximize the damage, soon opened up a seven-minute lead, leaving a sense of confusion in the teams left behind including UAE Team Emirates and Ineos Grenadiers. It was to produce an unexpected day of drama to round off an eventful first week.

Ahead of two tough mountain stages in the Alps, the rookie Van der Poel, who took the overall lead on Stage 2, is a defendable 3 minutes and 43 seconds ahead of fifth-placed Pogačar.

“It was just a brutal day, I haven’t witnessed this often on the bike, or even watching a race on television,” said Van der Poel, who insists the Tokyo Olympics is his chief aim.

“I just wanted to protect the jersey and followed my rivals in the attack,” he said in reference to Jumbo-Visma’s Wout Van Aert, who is now second overall at just 30 seconds back after the pair came home with six other riders, a minute and 40 seconds after the winner.

Brutal shock

Pogačar admitted after the race that he felt the effects of his individual time trial win on Wednesday, saying he had not refused to chase and thanking his team, even if they lost three minutes on Van der Poel.

“I knew it was going to be hard when they attacked in crosswind, but I’m super proud of the team. I can’t be the strongest every day,” said the 22-year-old.

His countryman, stage winner Mohorič, climbed to fourth in the overall standings and claimed the King of the Mountains polka-dot jersey.

“It hasn’t sunk in,” said a visibly thrilled Mohorič. “This completes my set as I won at the Giro and the Vuelta.”

“But this is something else, this is the biggest race in the world,” he continued.

Another Slovenian, Primož Roglič, had the biggest loss of the day and was dropped with 15K to go. The 2020 runner-up fell badly on Stage 3 and now appears to be out of the running after losing 3 minutes and 50 seconds on Pogačar and Carapaz.

With its hills, forests, and sheer length, Stage 7 had the feel of an Ardennes one-day classic, and Belgium’s Wout Van Aert and Van der Poel of the Netherlands were key protagonists in forcing a hesitant peloton into a dramatic charge for the line.

Mark Cavendish continued his astonishing return to form by following the escape in the crosswind, as he often did in days of old, to win an intermediate sprint and take another 20 points in the chase for the green jersey before dropping back to the peloton.

108th tour de france 2021 stage 6

The Mark Cavendish comeback gathered pace Thursday as he won his second stage in three days with a triumph on a day for pure sprinters along a 1.7K home straight at Chateauroux.

After a barren five-year spell at the Tour, the win on Stage 6 took Cavendish’s tally at the world’s greatest bike race to 32 stage wins, just two short of Belgian great Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34.

“Please don’t ask me that question,” Cavendish said at the line when asked about the record.

Nobody else dared, but the rider himself broached the subject.

“You can’t look at this as ‘there’s no two without three,’ let’s just take it one day at a time,” he explained.

On a pancake-flat sixth stage run over a scenic 160K run through the Loire Valley, Dutch rookie Mathieu van der Poel kept hold of the yellow jersey in a race that, for the first time this edition, passed off without any major incident.

Less of a shock

The stage finished in the actor Gerard Depardieu’s hometown, a city Cavendish knows well after two previous stage victories in 2008 and 2011 on a finale that suits out-and-out sprinting, and on Thursday he once again produced a deadly last-second pounce for the line.

“When I knew there was a finish here it didn’t make me feel romantic as such but, there’s this massive old school Tour de France sprint finish. Here, Paris, and Bordeaux are the big sprint towns,” he said.

Two days ago, Cavendish shook his head in disbelief after winning Stage 4, but he was all grace and smiles after launching his 70km/h (43.5mph) finish after a sign from world champion teammate Julian Alaphilippe.

“It was less of a shock today than Tuesday’s win, we knew we could do it now, but it means just as much as that win,” said the 36-year-old, who keeps the green jersey for best sprinter.

Story of the Tour

The man known as the Manx Missile dismissed any suggestion that the quality of sprinters remaining operational was diminished due to the crashes that marred the opening stages.

“I’m sorry about my friend Caleb Ewan, it would have been an honor to sprint against him,” he said of the Australian who won three stages in 2019, but crashed out on Stage 3 this year.

“But look at the speed today. When I won here in 2011, 52km/h was standard, now it’s 54 or 55 km/h,” he said. “There’s an incredible group of sprinters here.”

Cavendish was teamless in December, but his old mentor Patrick Lefevere took him in at Deceuninck Quick-Step, with a sponsor providing the salary. In his old Belgian hunting grounds, Cavendish regained his smile after recovering from the Epstein Barr virus, an energy-sapping illness.

Against all expectations, when he was sent to the Tour of Turkey in April he won four stages, and another one in the Tour of Belgium in June. Stunning everyone, Lefevere then selected him ahead of Irish sprinter Sam Bennett for the Tour roster.

“What a story this is, something you couldn’t make up. It’s incredible,” a glowing Lefevere said at the finish line.

Race favorite and defending champion Tadej Pogačar said he had enjoyed the incident-free stage after winning the time trial Wednesday.

“It was fast but I felt good racing here,” he said of the fast-paced run alongside vast wheat fields and through vaunted vineyards.

“Tomorrow might be tricky, tough with that punchy finish,” Pogačar warned.

Friday’s stage is the longest on the Tour at almost 250K and features a finish hard to call: either a shake up of the peloton or perhaps another chance for Cavendish to take a further step towards Merckx’s record.

tour de france results

Defending champion Tadej Pogačar fired out a defiant warning to would-be Tour de France title contenders by storming the individual time trial on Wednesday, while Mathieu van der Poel clung on to the overall lead after Stage 5.

Van der Poel kept hold of his yellow jersey by just eight seconds while Ineos pair Geraint Thomas and Richard Carapaz lost more than a minute on Slovenia’s ever-improving Pogačar, who is now second in the overall standings.

Ahead of the 27.2K time trial, Pogačar described the stage as critical to his chances of defending the title he won in 2020 and the manner in which he raced Wednesday backed up that statement.

Pogačar won last year’s Tour de France by overturning compatriot Primož Roglic’s comfortable lead in a time trial on the penultimate day, and here he appeared to do at least as well as that fateful day on the feted La Planche des Belles Filles slopes where he clinched the Tour on his rookie appearance.

“It couldn’t really have gone any better today,” said the 22-year-old UAE rider. “With so many fans along the route it was really emotional and I rate this as one of my best days in the saddle.”

“I have changed my riding position, it’s less aerodynamic but allows me a stronger push,” added Pogačar after timing 32 minutes exactly over the 27.2K course, clocking an average speed of 51km/h (32mph).

tour de france results

His time was 44 seconds faster than that of Roglič, who fell heavily on Monday, and one minute and 18 seconds quicker than 2018 champion Thomas, who dislocated his shoulder before managing to pick himself up and finish the same crash-marred stage.

Pogačar’s time unseated Stefan Kung of Groupama-FDJ, who held the fastest time through much of the stage, with a 19-second lead. Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma placed third in the stage, with Wout van Aert of Jumbo-Visma placing fourth, and Van der Poel taking fifth. Primož Roglič also gave a strong performance, despite his injuries, and placed seventh.

Pogačar’s phenomenal ride didn’t quite give him the overall lead but it leaves him in the driving seat for the title, one minute and 44 seconds ahead of Carapaz, with Roglič and Thomas four and 10 seconds further adrift respectively.

“There are still some tricky stages, even an easy looking day, you never know what can happen,” said Pogačar. “I’m further ahead now and attacks will come every day.”

Welshman Thomas said he had been feeling poorly, and had mixed feelings after the stage.

“I got the pacing right, but lacked a bit of power. I woke up feeling dreadful, and only loosened up out on the road,” he said.

Carapaz said he was glad the test was behind him, while Richie Porte suggested it was far from over saying, “We have a good tactical card to play, it was a good performance.”

The yellow jersey “gave me wings”

Van der Poel had vowed to defend the yellow jersey, but this was only the second time he had raced a time trial at the top level, and he reached beyond expectations to hold the lead on his debut Tour.

“He’s a true champion, he deserves his yellow, and he put on a great show, didn’t he,” Pogačar said of Van der Poel.

The raw emotions that accompanied Van der Poel taking yellow on Stage 2, avenging his recently deceased grandfather and former cyclist Raymond Poulidor, who never wore yellow despite winning seven stages, made way to a lighter-hearted side of “VDP” (as fans call him).

“The jersey gave me wings. I’m really proud of this achievement, it’s one I’ll remember,” said the 26-year-old who was cheered wildly by French fans packed tightly along the course.

tour de france results

On a day when a spectator who caused a mass crash of riders on Stage 1 was arrested by French police, there were tens of thousands of roadside fans infringing onto the route as the tension mounted towards the finish line.

“This was the best day of my career, we didn’t think I could keep the jersey today, but we worked well past midnight last night in preparing it all,” said Van der Poel, who had a tailored yellow skinsuit on. Van der Poel will likely keep the overall lead a few days longer, with two flat stages to come.

Another happy man was veteran Mark Cavendish, who kept hold of the green jersey for best sprinter.

“I held back a bit today because there are two flat stages coming up and I’ll need my energy to sprint,” said the Isle of Man rider.

The Briton won Tuesday’s bunch sprint finish to take his Tour de France tally to 31 stage wins and close in on the all-time record of 34 held by Belgian great Eddy Merckx.

mark cavendish wins 108th tour de france 2021  stage 4

Mark Cavendish broke down and wept after sprinting to his first Tour de France stage victory in five years on Tuesday, taking his tally of wins to 31 in the world’s greatest bike race.

Cavendish only made the Deceuninck Tour de France roster after Irish sprinter Sam Bennett pulled out at the last minute and was generous in his praise of the team’s crucial role in his return to the top.

The signs looked good early on in the fourth stage when Cavendish won the intermediate sprint, his maximum 70-point gain on the day handing him the green jersey awarded to the sprint points leader. In the sprint on this relatively short stage Cavendish showed all his savvy, biding his time to edge ahead with 50 meters to go and eventually finishing ahead of French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni.

Known as the “Manx Missile,” the rider from the Isle of Man shook his head in disbelief as he pulled on the green jersey.

“It’s been five years too long,” said Cavendish, inching closer to Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 individual stage wins between 1969 and 1975.

“There has been a lot of talk about my condition and I hope this gives hope to people in my condition,” said the 36-year-old who was diagnosed in 2017 with the Epstein-Barr virus, which can cause persistent fatigue.

Conversely, there was heartbreak for Belgian rookie Brent Van Moer as the 23-year-old Lotto-Soudal rider was caught just 150 meters from the finish line after leading an escape for the majority of the attack.

“I had fire in my eyes”

Cavendish hailed world champion Julian Alaphilippe, from whom he inherited the green jersey, after the Frenchman gave everything to get Cavendish into position.

“I didn’t think we were going to catch him,” Cavendish admitted. “The GC guys were ahead blocking the road and we couldn’t get them going.”

“But I had fire in my eyes,” said an emotional Cavendish.

“It’s not easy winning a Tour de France stage, the hardest thing has been people not understanding how hard it was to win those stages,” he said of the years when his career seemed to have stalled.

“It’s not about proving anyone wrong. I knew I could do it, I just need someone to believe in me and that was Patrick Lefevere, and my wife at home, those are the people I wanted to believe,” he continued.

Cavendish was out of contract in December but was taken ‘home’ to Deceuninck Quick-Step, who call themselves “the Wolfpack” by Belgian team boss Lefevere, a larger-than-life character Cavendish has always trusted and believed in. Lefevere sent Cavendish to the level two Tour of Turkey in April and when he won four stages there, the foundation for a return to the top had been laid.

“I know why I’m good or bad, and I need a happy place, a team that functions as a team, a bike that fitted me, that’s why I came back to [Deceuninck] Quick-Step for the happiest time of my life,” said the sprinter.

“The Wolfpack thing is not just the face of a wolf on a t-shirt, look at Julian Alaphilippe today giving all that, I feel privileged,” Cavendish said.

Alaphilippe won Stage 1 to take the yellow jersey before losing it to Mathieu van der Poel on Sunday, but on Wednesday’s time-trial the French rider, on paper at least, has a good chance of winning it back.

The 2020 champion, Tadej Pogačar, is also gunning for a win on Wednesday.

“Yes, tomorrow is critical,” Pogačar said. “I’ve been thinking about it since I got here.”

Dutch rookie Van der Poel, who shed tears in memory of his renowned cyclist grandfather, Raymond Poulidor, on Sunday, said he felt he would lose the overall lead during the Stage 5 time trial.

“We’ll be trying to get another stage victory somewhere else, it’ll be too tough for us tomorrow,” he said.

Alaphilippe has worn the yellow jersey 18 times and trails Van der Poel by just eight seconds, with Pogačar in sixth overall, a further 30 seconds down on his chief threat ahead of Wednesday’s 27K test.

tim merlier wins stage 3 of 108th tour de france 2021

Race favourites Primož Roglič and Geraint Thomas, as well as ace sprinters Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan were all involved in nasty crashes before Tim Merlier won a drama-filled Stage 3 of the Tour de France on Monday, with one manager making a passionate plea for new safety measures.

Merlier’s teammate Mathieu van der Poel kept hold of the overall lead on a brutal day of racing peppered with falls on the rain-slick, narrow winding roads in Brittany with Thomas dislocating a shoulder and 2020 runner-up Roglič losing valuable time.

team ineos grenadiers geraint thomas of great britain receives medical treatment after crashing during the 3rd stage of the 108th edition of the tour de france cycling race, 182 km between lorient and pontivy, on june 28, 2021 photo by thomas samson  afp photo by thomas samsonafp via getty images

Yellow jersey wearer Van der Poel cut a dour figure compared to the tear-filled elation he experienced after winning Sunday's stage two.

“It was a very fast, technical run-in with all the general classification guys racing for their places, it’s difficult to say anything now,” said Van der Poel.

“It’s a big race, (in the) overall standings guys fighting against sprinters, for sure it’s a dangerous sport,” said the Dutch Alpecin-Fenix rider in muted celebrations after he not only retained the yellow jersey but also led out Merlier’s sprint train.

“Will mothers let their kids cycle?”

With two mass pile-ups marring Stage 1 and an ensuing hunt for the mystery culprit French police have vowed to catch up with, followed by the thrill and raw emotion of Van der Poel winning one for his illustrious cycling family on Stage 2, drama was always likely to be coming round the next corner.

And so it proved on the seafront at the Plage de Testel, 2018 champion Thomas losing his concentration and hitting the ground so hard he dislocated a shoulder before making it back to the peloton with the help of three teammates. Images of Thomas shaking his legs while having his shoulder put back in by medics won’t be easy to forget.

Slovenia’s Roglič then hit the tarmac hip first with 10K to go, and while shaken he also limited his losses with the help of teammates. Although his Tour is not finished, he now has time to make up on Tadej Pogačar and Thomas.

The worst fall came in the home straight with Caleb Ewan hitting Merlier’s back wheel at over 80kph and taking Slovak sprint specialist Sagan down with him, the pair sliding for tens of meters on the tarmac.

tour de france 2021 stage 3 crash

Ewan’s main sprint rival from FDJ, Arnaud Demare, had also fallen on a bend just outside Pontivy and his manager Marc Madiot was furious.

“Kids, families, mothers are watching this, will mothers want their kids to cycle? We have been speaking about this for years, this isn’t cycling , what condition is Ewan in,” said an impassioned Madiot.

Ineos’s Carapaz into third

In the chaos of all the crashes, Ineos’s Ecuadorian rider Richard Carapaz was the overall title contender ending the day with relative good news as he climbed to third in the overall standings.

Van der Poel enjoys an eight-second lead over Stage 1 winner Julian Alaphilippe, with Carapaz in third at 31 seconds along with Wout van Aert of Jumbo-Visma.

But Pogačar and Thomas both lost 26 seconds Monday while a grazed Roglič crossed the line one minute and 20 seconds down, having rallied heroically to save his Tour.

As for the mystery woman in yellow who caused the first crash on day one with her sign held up in front of the pack, French authorities are still actively looking for her , a high-ranking gendarme told AFP Monday.

“We don’t know who she is, if she’s German or Franco-German or whatever. But don’t worry, we’ll find her,” the gendarme said. “She isn’t at risk of much more than a fine, the ASO (race organizers) are making this move more as a warning to fans on the roadside.”

There were massed ranks of fans again Monday, but none of the falls were their fault.

tour de france stage 2

Mathieu van der Poel won Stage 2 of the Tour de France on Sunday to claim the overall leader’s yellow jersey and strike a blow for his famous cycling family.

The Dutch 25-year-old is the grandson of French cycling icon, the late Raymond Poulidor, who was a regular on the Tour de France podium and beloved of French fans despite never wearing the fabled yellow jersey.

Van der Poel dropped to the tarmac gasping for breath before weeping with his hands covering his face as the weight of Poulidor's historic legacy was settled on two dramatic ascents of the same Brittany hill, the Mur-de-Bretagne.

“Imagine how he’d feel, he’s not here,” said van der Poel of Poulidor who died in 2019 at the age of 83. “This was my last chance on the Tour to do it, it’s so good.”

cycling tour de france 2021 stage two

French fans saw their own hero Julian Alaphilippe lose the yellow jersey, but cheered the Dutchman both for his gung-ho passion and for his beloved grandfather.

Van der Poel won a maximum of 18 bonus seconds for crossing the summit in the lead twice, and then winning by a clear margin after accelerating away from a chasing clutch of elite road racers.

Defending champion Tadej Pogačar was second followed by Primoz Roglič, while Alaphilippe was fifth at eight seconds.

tour de france 2021 stage 1

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe dusted himself off from a fall to claim the first yellow jersey of the Tour de France on Saturday, winning Stage 1 by a clear margin on a crash-marred opening day.

World champion Alaphilippe shot up the early section of the final 3K climb taking 10 bonus seconds at the finish line and ended another 12 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger.

Australia’s Michael Matthews was second and is second overall at 16 seconds while Slovenia’s Primož Roglič came third and is in the same position in the overall standings.

Crossing the line in his world champion's rainbow jersey, Alaphilippe put his thumb in his mouth in honor of his newborn son with his partner Marion Rousse, a former professional cyclist and now commentator.

INEOS Grenadiers leader Geraint Thomas and defending champion Tadej Pogačar were just behind this group on a hugely stressful finish with major time gaps at stake that almost certainly led to the second of two mass falls on the day.

Just before the finish, around 20 riders lay stricken and needing attention shortly after a first mass fall on the Tour de France opening stage including four time champion Chris Froome.

Unlike the earlier crash caused by a fan, the second came as the peloton was going around 70kph some 5km from the finish line.

tour de france 2021 stage 1 crash

A first fall happened some 45K away from the finish line of stage one of the Tour between Brest and Landerneau.

A fan brandishing a sign brought down German rider Tony Martin who was riding near the head of the pack and close to excited roadside spectators.

The Jumbo-Visma rider fell, bringing down a huge number of fellow peloton members behind him. The crash held up the race for five minutes while bikes and bodies were untangled.

The race leader slowed down to allow the stragglers to catch up and despite the spectacular tangle only one rider, Germany's Jasha Sutterlin of DSM, has so far had to pull out due to the accident.

Italian champion Sonny Colbrelli and Dutch rider Wout van Aert, who ran over Martin before falling head over heels, had both been amongst the favorites to win the first stage hilltop finish but were both badly delayed.

Hordes of unmasked fans decked out in red-and-white polka dot caps and shirts lined the narrow Brittany country lanes for the 197K stage as France eases its COVID-19 restrictions.

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Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard wins the Tour de France for 2nd straight year

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Tour de France winner Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, lifts his bicycle after the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, drinks champagne with teammates during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, Pool)

Tour de France winner Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, second placed Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar, left, and third placed Britain’s Adam Yates, right, celebrate on the podium after the last stage in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, rides in the pack during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey passes the Louvre Museum during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (Pascal Rossignol/Pool Photo via AP)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, toasts champagne with teammates during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, Pool)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, poses with teammates during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. Belgium’s Nathan van Hooydonck, third left hold the race number of teammate Wout van Aert who left the race to be with his wife Sarah ahead of the birth of their second child. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, Pool)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, waits for the start of the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, poses with teammates during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. Belgium’s Nathan van Hooydonck, third left, holds the race number of teammate Wout van Aert who left the race to be with his wife Sarah ahead of the birth of their second child. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, Pool)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, rides under one of the arches of the Louvre museum during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, rides during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, Pool)

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, toasts champagne with teammates during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, Pool)

Tour de France winner Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, and his teammates cross the finish line of the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

The pack speeds down Champs-Elysees avenue as the Arc de Triomphe is seen in the background during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Italy’s Giulio Ciccone, wearing the best climber’s dotted jersey, celebrates on the podium after the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Tour de France winner Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, celebrates after the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Tour de France winner Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, celebrates after the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Teammates congratulate Tour de France winner Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, after the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

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PARIS (AP) — Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour de France for a second straight year as cycling’s most storied race finished Sunday on the famed Champs-Élysées.

With a huge lead built up over main rival Tadej Pogačar, the 2020 and 2021 winner, Vingegaard knew the victory was effectively his again before the largely ceremonial stage at the end of the 110th edition of the Tour.

The 26-year-old Vingegaard drank champagne with his Jumbo-Visma teammates as they lined up together and posed for photos on the way to Paris.

“It’s been a long journey, yet it went by so fast,” Vingegaard said. “Day after day, it was a super hard race with a super nice fight between me and Tadej. I’ve enjoyed every day. I hope to come back next year and see if I can take a third win.”

It had been a three-week slog over 3,405 kilometers (2,116 miles) with eight mountain stages across five mountain ranges. Vingegaard seized control of the race over two stages in the Alps.

Little had separated the two rivals until Vingegaard finished a time trial 1 minute, 38 seconds ahead of Pogačar on Tuesday , then followed up the next day by finishing the toughest mountain stage of the race almost 6 minutes ahead of his exhausted rival.

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“I’m dead,” Pogačar said.

The Slovenian rider responded by winning the penultimate stage on Saturday, but Vingegaard still had an insurmountable lead of 7 minutes, 29 seconds going into the final stage – a mostly ceremonial stage which is contested at the end by the sprinters.

“We have to be careful not to do anything stupid,” Vingegaard warned Saturday, “but yeah, it’s amazing to take my second victory in the Tour de France.”

Vingegaard kept that lead and was able to celebrate early Sunday as organizers decided to take the times one lap before the finish when it started raining on the cobblestones of the Champs-Élysées. The decision invited the sprinters to fight for the stage victory – the only remaining uncertainty.

Belgian cyclist Jordi Meeus prevailed in a photo finish between four riders on the line, just ahead of Jasper Philipsen, Dylan Groenewegen and Mads Pedersen.

“It was my first Tour. It was a super nice experience already so far, and to take the win today is an indescribable feeling,” said Meeus, who clocked a top speed of 68.8 kph (42.8 mph) on the last kilometer.

Pogačar, who attacked after just one lap of eight altogether on the Champs-Élysées, was wearing the white jersey as the best young rider for the 75th day – extending a career Tour record. The 24-year-old Slovenian rider has won the best young rider classification every year since 2020.

But Pogačar had to be content with second place in the general classification again.

British rider Adam Yates, Pogačar’s teammate, finished third overall, ahead of his twin brother Simon.

Colombian rider Egan Bernal, the 2019 Tour winner, completed the race as he made his impressive comeback from a life-threatening crash. The 26-year-old Bernal said he narrowly avoided becoming paralyzed after an accident with a bus while training in Colombia in January 2022.

“It’s difficult to compare with the year I won but it’s almost the same feeling because for me it’s a great victory,” Bernal said. “Yesterday, in the last climb, I was so lucky I was alone and could enjoy the last kilometers. I was so emotional.”

AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Tadej Pogačar Has Won His 2nd Tour De France In A Row

James Doubek

tour de france winner 2021

Tadej Pogačar of Slovenia celebrates in Paris after claiming his second Tour de France victory in a row on Sunday. Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Tadej Pogačar of Slovenia celebrates in Paris after claiming his second Tour de France victory in a row on Sunday.

Slovenian powerhouse Tadej Pogačar officially claimed his second Tour de France victory on Sunday after dominating the field for most of the race's three weeks.

Pogačar, 22, pulled ahead in the general classification standings on a rainy stage eight and never gave up the leading rider's yellow jersey, winning three of the race's 21 stages.

Last year, Pogačar came to an unexpected victory after his rival Primož Roglič faltered in the penultimate stage time trial. At the time he was the youngest winner of the Tour in 116 years.

"I can't compare both Tour de France victories, I can't say which one is more beautiful," Pogačar said, according to The Associated Press. "This time, I took the yellow jersey quite earlier. It has been totally different."

A Pro Cyclist Rode An Unofficial, Solo Tour De France And Beat The Pack

A Pro Cyclist Rode An Unofficial, Solo Tour De France And Beat The Pack

Twenty-four-year-old Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard finished second overall, with Ecuadorian star Richard Carapaz, age 28, finishing third. Carapaz is the first Ecuadorian to ever finish in the top three in the Tour's history.

Pogačar was a favorite to win going into the race. Roglič, also of Slovenia, was another favorite but was caught up in multiple crashes early in the race and dropped out to recover from his injuries.

Mark Cavendish resurrects his cycling career

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish, 36, a native of the Isle of Man, resurrected a career that had seemed to be on a downturn, winning four stages of the Tour.

tour de france winner 2021

Mark Cavendish, pictured on his fourth win of this year's Tour de France on July 9, matched the record Tour wins of the legend Eddy Merckx. Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Mark Cavendish, pictured on his fourth win of this year's Tour de France on July 9, matched the record Tour wins of the legend Eddy Merckx.

In doing so, Cavendish reached a total of 34 Tour de France stage wins in his career, matching the record set between 1969 and 1975 by Eddy Merckx, who is generally considered the greatest cyclist of all time.

Cavendish broke out in tears after his first win of this year's Tour, his first in five years. He was only selected to be on the team at the last minute after another rider's injury.

"I didn't think I'd ever get to come back to this race," he said in an emotional post-race interview.

"I don't know what to say man" First words from the 🇮🇲 Manx Missile, fresh from a 31st stage win. @MarkCavendish #TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/9tMygrixNA — Tour de France™ (@LeTour) June 29, 2021

American Sepp Kuss breaks through

And this year American audiences also saw the first American win a stage of the Tour since 2011: Sepp Kuss of Durango, Colo.

tour de france winner 2021

Sepp Kuss became the first American to win a stage of the Tour de France since 2011 this year, with a win in the 15th stage on July 11. Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Sepp Kuss became the first American to win a stage of the Tour de France since 2011 this year, with a win in the 15th stage on July 11.

"He's been tremendous," writer Patrick Redford of the website Defector told All Things Considered . "I mean, he's 26 years old, so some people are potentially talking him up as the next American winner of the Tour. He's looked incredibly strong."

Several of the riders from the Tour are now readying to travel to Tokyo, where they'll take part in this year's Olympics.

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Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France Wins Record Was Hardly a Cakewalk

The British sprinter just became the most prolific stage winner in Tour history. The milestone came after years of setbacks.

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Don't miss a moment of the 2024 Tour de France! Get recaps, insights, and exclusive takes with Velo's daily newsletter. >","name":"in-content-cta","type":"link"}}'>Sign up today! .

There was a time in the not-so distant past when British cyclist Mark Cavendish seemed to have a better shot at winning a bowling tournament or a game of darts than claiming another stage at the Tour de France . Cavendish, perhaps the best pure sprinter in cycling history, spent the 2017-2020 seasons struggling with illness and injury and various other setbacks.

Cycling journalists, myself included, watched as these calamities tore Cavendish apart from inside. He’d cry in post-race interviews , y ell at rivals , and regularly lose his cool with the media . In 2019, Cavendish could barely stay with the peloton at the Tour of Slovenia, let alone thrive at the Tour de France. This fallow period came during his mid-thirties, the age when most pro cyclists ride off into the sunset.

But one goal kept Cavendish coming back to the sport in lieu of the losses and heartache: his dogged pursuit of the Tour de France’s record for most stage victories. Since 1977 that number had held at 34, set by the greatest all-around cyclist of all time, Belgian legend Eddy Merckx.

⚔️ SIR MARK CAVENDISH 🏆 🇬🇧 @MarkCavendish #TDF2024 pic.twitter.com/v6GBrCYjoH — Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 3, 2024

And then, Cavendish’s form returned. During the 2021 Tour, Cavendish scored an amazing four stage wins, which brought him even with Merckx. The history books seemed within reach. And then, more setbacks. His Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl team left him off the Tour roster in 2022 in favor of the younger sprinter Fabio Jakobsen. He returned to the Tour with a different team, Astana Qazaqstan, in 2023, only to crash out of the race on the eighth stage during what was supposed to be his final season.

I, along with a few other cycling pundits, assumed Cavendish would simply retire after that heartache, content to be tied with Merckx in the history books. Boy were we wrong.

On Wednesday, Cavendish unleashed a sudden burst of speed in the waning moments of the Tour’s fifth stage to win the stage, vaulting him past Merckx in the history books as the Tour’s most prolific winner.

The victory showcased Cavendish’s brains and brawn as a racer: after he lost touch with his teammate in the chaotic gallop to the line, Cavendish found the wheel of the sport’s new dominant sprinter, Jasper Philipsen of Belgium, and then bolted around him just before the finish.

The 39-year-old Cavendish was mobbed after crossing the line, first by his Astana teammates, and then by other Tour riders as he celebrated his milestone. He brushed back tears during his post-race television interview, and shook his head in disbelief as he replayed the win.

“It’s how the Tour de France is. You sprint as hard as you can until you get to the finish line. And maybe your life changes” Mark Cavendish talks to Matt after winning his record breaking 35th Tour de France stage 🙌🇮🇲 #TDF2024 pic.twitter.com/sWPJrA8vfY — ITV Cycling (@itvcycling) July 3, 2024

“You sprint and go as hard as you can until you get to the finish and maybe your life changes if you cross that line first, maybe it doesn’t if you don’t,” Cavendish said. “That is the nature of this race and what makes it so beautiful.”

It’s also been the nature of his career. Cavendish has raced in the pro ranks since the 2006 season. For context, the Tour’s current leader, Tadej Pogacar, was eight years old back then. He won his first Tour stage in 2008, which kicked off a six-year run of dominance, before enduring winless streaks, returns to greatness, and more fallow times.

Over that span Cavendish has battled multiple generations of rivals: Erik Zabel, Robbie McEwan, Marcel Kittel, Peter Sagan, Dylan Groenewegen, among others. He’s enjoyed longevity as a sprinter—a chaotic and dangerous profession that rewards strong legs, daredevil attitudes, and a big ego.

Two memories popped into my head as I watched Cavendish celebrate his historic win—scenes that reminded me of Cavendish’s good times and bad. The first came from stage 11 of the 2018 Tour, which finished high in the alpine ski resort of La Rosiere. Half an hour after stage winner Geraint Thomas had finished the stage, Cavendish huffed and puffed up the long ascent by himself, the final rider to finish. I stood alongside a handful of journalists as we watched him ride across the line.

He crossed it well past the elimination time cut, which mean he was disqualified for the remainder of the Tour. It was a yet another setback during Cavendish’s four-season fallow period, and it stung.

Cavendish cursed and spat and rode straight past his Dimension Data team bus and the gaggle of journalists standing out front, and beelined it straight to the hotel. His poor team director at the time, Douglas Ryder, had to answer for him. “Mark is bitterly disappointed,” Ryder told those of us gathered at the bus.

The next memory comes from the final stage of the 2013 Tour—a race where Cavendish collected two stage wins and challenged for the win in three others. Cavendish didn’t win the final sprint along the Avenue du Champs Elysees in downtown Paris, but still he was still encircled by adoring fans along the historic avenue. Whatever disappointment he felt seemed to melt away, and he enjoyed the attention, smiling and signing autographs. At the time he was 28 and still dominating the Tour’s sprint stages, and the Merckx record seemed like an inevitability.

We now know that the record wasn’t predestined—but rather something Cavendish would spend the next 11 years chasing. And the struggles he endured to get back to the Tour’s winning circle, in my mind anyway, make his accomplishment all the more worthy of praise.

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Pogacar takes the yellow jersey in the 2nd stage of the Tour de France. Only Vingegaard can keep up

BOLOGNA, Italy (AP) — Them two again.

It took only two days into the Tour de France to show that Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard are in a class of their own.

Pogacar attacked from the chasing peloton up the second ascent of the short but brutally steep San Luca climb in the second stage of the Tour on Sunday and only Vingegaard was able to follow him.

By the top of the climb, Pogacar and Vingegaard had opened up a 40-second gap ahead of the other contenders.

The move meant that Pogacar took the leader's yellow jersey from Stage 1 winner Romain Bardet . Primoz Roglic, another expected overall contender, dropped 21 seconds behind.

Breakaway rider Kevin Vauquelin made it two French wins in two days by winning the hilly stage with an attack of his own up San Luca to follow up countryman Bardet’s success.

Pogacar won the Tour in 2020 and 2021 then finished second behind Vingegaard the last two years.

Pogacar is aiming for the rare Giro d’Italia-Tour double after dominating the Italian Grand Tour last month. Vingegaard hadn’t raced since a big crash in April left him with a broken collarbone and ribs, plus a collapsed lung.

“I can be very happy,” Vingegaard said, “that I was able to follow Tadej on the second time of San Luca, because this is probably one of the stages we feared the most. We actually expected me to lose time — because of the preparation.

“Honestly speaking, I didn’t have a good preparation for this race,” Vingegaard said. “I only had 1 ½ months to prepare properly,” adding that the race “went way better” than he “had ever expected.”

The opening four stages are being held in Italy for the first time.

The 199-kilometer (124-mile) route starting in Cesenatico featured six categorized climbs, including two ascents up San Luca before the finish in downtown Bologna.

The San Luca climb is only 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) long but it features an average gradient of 10.6% with sections at nearly 20%.

Pogacar had already shown his legs during the first ascent up San Luca when he accelerated to grab a water bottle from a team staffer lining the road. That must have given him belief for his decisive attack on his second trip up.

In the overall standings, second-place Remco Evenepoel — the 2022 world champion and Spanish Vuelta winner — and third-place Vingegaard share the same time as Pogacar. Olympic gold medalist Richard Carapaz is fourth, also with the same time, while Bardet dropped to fifth, six seconds behind.

Evenepoel and Carapaz caught up to Pogacar and Vingegaard after the descent from San Luca.

Vauquelin clocked nearly 5 hours and finished a comfortable 36 seconds ahead of Jonas Abrahamsen and 49 seconds ahead of Quentin Pacher.

The 23-year-old Vauquelin, who won his first ever Grand Tour stage, rides for the Arkea-B&B Hotels team, which earned its first victory at the Tour in its 11th time racing cycling's biggest event.

Vauquelin’s teammate Cristian Rodriguez was also in the breakaway and set up his attack.

“I had a perfect day,” Vauquelin said. “I have to thank Cristian for his role in the way he helped me get through to win the stage. He put me in the perfect position and I knew I was going to be able to attack.”

The stage was dedicated to 1998 Tour champion Marco Pantani, who was from Cesenatico, and passed by a museum dedicated to the still beloved Italian rider, who died in 2004. Fans painted Pantani’s name all over the roads.

The stage also passed through Imola’s Formula 1 circuit.

There was a crash midway through the stage involving Wout van Aert, Laurens De Plus and Matteo Jorgenson but all three riders continued.

Van Aert was then dropped on the first climb up San Luca.

Earlier, world champion Mathieu van der Poel also fell behind.

Stage 3 on Monday is the Tour's longest, a mostly flat 231-kilometer (144-mile) leg from Piacenza to Turin that represents the race’s first chance of a mass sprint finish. That means it’s an opportunity for Mark Cavendish to break his tie with Eddy Merckx for the most career stage victories at the Tour, with the pair currently tied on 34 each.

Cavendish struggled with heat and stomach issues in Saturday’s opening stage and had to dig hard to finish within the maximum time limit. But he rode better on Sunday.

The race crosses back into France during Stage 4 on Tuesday, which is also the first big mountain leg going up to Sestriere and over the Col du Galibier — one of the Tour's classic climbs.

AP cycling: https://apnews.com/hub/cycling

Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar, front, and Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard break away from the pack during the second stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 199.2 kilometers (123.8 miles) with start in Cesenatico and finish in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, June 30, 2024. (Bernard Papon/Pool Photo via AP)

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As the Tour de France Climbs Higher, It’s a Two-Man Race

Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard, who have split the past four Tour de France wins, are set for a duel in the mountains.

Jonas Vingegaard stands up out of his bicycle saddle while racing on an asphalt road against Tadej Pogacar, who is wearing yellow.

By Victor Mather

The world’s best cyclists have been battling one another in the Tour de France since late June. But the Tour is won in the high mountains. And the highest mountains are just ahead.

The Pyrenees and the Alps stand in the way of the July 21 finish in Nice, and the two prerace favorites are right where they were expected to be: near the front of the pack.

Jonas Vingegaard, the Danish two-time defending champion, and Tadej Pogacar, the 2020 and 2021 winner from Slovenia, are joined by the Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel for now. But Vingegaard, 27, and Pogacar, 25, are expected to resume their two-man race for the yellow jersey when a traverse of the Pyrenees begins on Saturday.

Pogacar leads the field by about one minute after success in the race’s first pass through the Alps. But Vingegaard seems to be recovered from an injury he suffered earlier this year and could have the wherewithal to land a third straight Tour.

There’s already been a record and historic firsts.

Much of this three-week-long race has been flat so far. When there are no challenging mountains to break up the field, the riders stay bunched, and a different type of athlete, a sprinter, often wins the day.

And this year, the flat stretches of the Tour have produced notable moments.

On July 1, the speedy Biniam Girmay of Eritrea became the first Black African to win a stage of the Tour. A crash about a mile before the finish sowed chaos in the field, but Girmay was able to stay safe and pull away.

“This victory means a lot to me, to my team which has been waiting a long time to win a stage, for my country and also to all of Africa,” he said after his win. “Now we are really part of the big races.”

For good measure, Girmay, 24, won two more stages, on July 6 and 11, and leads the green jersey competition for best sprinter.

Mark Cavendish, 39, of Britain, has never been a contender to win the Tour, but his sprinting prowess had earned him 34 stage victories over the years, tying the 1970s superstar Eddy Merckx for most stage wins in Tour history. Win No. 34 came in 2021. Cavendish did not race in 2022 and crashed out in 2023, so he had to wait until this year, his 15th Tour, to break the record and win his 35th career stage. He did so on July 3.

“Every little detail has been put toward specifically today. You see what this means. It doesn’t mean we are going to be top of the U.C.I. rankings or anything,” he said, referring to the international cycling rankings . “But the Tour de France is bigger than cycling isn’t it?”

On the day of Girmay’s historic win, Richard Carapaz became the first Ecuadorean cyclist to wear the yellow jersey, albeit briefly.

There’s a duel within the race.

If there were any doubt that the race for yellow was strictly between Pogacar and Vingegaard, it was laid to rest on Wednesday, in the Tour’s second big mountain stage. With about 20 miles to go on the Pas de Peyrol, a mountain pass, a group of elite cyclists caught the last breakaway rider and then Pogacar struck, making his move up the steep grade. Vingegaard pursued, but fell about 30 seconds behind.

The stage was not over, however. Vingegaard chased Pogacar down, and the two contenders raced side by side through the Massif Central with the rest of the world’s great cyclists well behind them.

Vingegaard, whose fitness was a question heading into the Tour after he broke his collarbone in a crash in April, got the psychological boost by winning the final sprint by mere inches. Going into Friday’s flat stage in southern France, Vingegaard still trailed Pogacar overall by 1 minute 14 seconds. (Evenepoel was actually in second, 1:06 back, but because he can’t match the big two in the high mountains, he is probably racing for third place.)

Riders approach the Mediterranean finish line.

On Saturday in the Pyrenees, though, a 1:14 lead may suddenly look like nothing. First the riders will climb one of the Tour’s most fearsome mountains, the Tourmalet. Then, after another tough climb and two speedy descents, the stage will finish on the slopes of the Pla d’Adet, another mountain.

The Tour cheerily describes this stage as “a festival of summits.” Few of the riders will be enjoying themselves.

There are more tough climbs on Sunday, as well as on July 17, 19 (including Cime de la Bonette, the Tour’s high point at 9,193 feet) and 20. Crucially, several of these stages have an uphill finish. With no flat or downhill stretch after the final climb for the weaker climbers to catch up, the strongest men will benefit.

And it will all play out in the heat of southern France: Temperatures have been in the upper 80s Fahrenheit recently, causing a few riders to drop out.

On July 21, the Tour will come to an unusual end with a time trial. And in a first, the race will finish in Nice, rather than Paris, to steer clear of the coming Summer Olympics. After more than 2,000 miles, there will be a winner.

All the mountain racing may decide the Tour before then. But given that both Pogacar and Vingegaard are riding well, and that oddsmakers are currently calling the race a tossup, the time trial could be a dramatic finish.

That would evoke the closest Tour in history, which happened to be the last time a Tour ended with a time trial. In 1989, Greg LeMond, an American, made up a 50-second deficit to the French cyclist Laurent Fignon, winning by just eight seconds.

Victor Mather, who has been a reporter and editor at The Times for 25 years, covers sports and breaking news. More about Victor Mather

Tour de France standings, results: Biniam Girmay sprints to Stage 12 victory

tour de france winner 2021

Biniam Girmay put on a powerful final kick to win Stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday for his third stage victory in this year's race.

Girmay, of Eritrea, outlasted Wout van Aert of Belgium and Arnaud Demare of France to finish in 4 hours, 17 minutes, 15 seconds. However, Demare was later demoted to 67th place for pushing van Aert during the 204-kilometer stage in southwestern France.

Overall, there were no changes atop the leaderboard as two-time Tour champion Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia retained the yellow jersey.

Here's a full look at the  2024 Tour de France  standings after 12 days of competition:

Tour de France Stage 12 results

TOUR DE FRANCE:   Recap, results and standings after Stage 11

Tour de France general classification standings after Stage 12

Tour de france jersey standings after stage 12.

  • Yellow ( general classification ) : Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)
  • Green ( points classification ):  Biniam Girmay (Intermarché - Wanty)
  • Polka dot ( mountains classification ):  Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)
  • White  (young rider classification ):  Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep)
  • Yellow numbers ( teams classification) :  UAE Team Emirates
  • Golden numbers ( combativity award ):  Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ)

IMAGES

  1. Tour de France: new victory for the yellow jersey Tadej Pogacar, on the

    tour de france winner 2021

  2. Tour de France 2021: winner, results, overall classification, Tadej

    tour de france winner 2021

  3. Tour de France 2021: latest news and results from the world's biggest race

    tour de france winner 2021

  4. Defending Tour de France champion Vingegaard, 2-time winner Pogacar

    tour de france winner 2021

  5. Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard wins the Tour de France again

    tour de france winner 2021

  6. 2021 Tour de France

    tour de france winner 2021

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COMMENTS

  1. Who Won the 2021 Tour de France?

    Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) took home the yellow jersey as the overall winner of the 2021 Tour de France. The 22-year-old finished safely in the peloton at the end of Stage 21 ...

  2. 2021 Tour de France

    Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates defended his title and became the youngest rider to win the Tour twice. He dominated the race with three stage wins and a huge lead in the mountains classification.

  3. Tour de France 2021: Results & News

    The route of the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: ASO). The 2021 Tour de France will start in Brest in Brittany, on Saturday, June 26 having originally been scheduled for a Grand Départ in ...

  4. Tadej Pogacar wins 2021 Tour de France as Van Aert takes final stage

    Here's how it works . Tadej Pogacar wins 2021 Tour de France as Van Aert takes final stage. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) sprinted to victory on the Champs-Elysées, beating Jasper Philipsen ...

  5. Tadej Pogacar Claims Second Straight Tour de France Title

    July 18, 2021. Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia won his second straight Tour de France on Sunday, entering a new era of dominance after reigning over his adversaries for nearly two weeks and leaving ...

  6. Tour de France 2021: winner, results, overall classification, Tadej

    Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia defended his title and won his second Tour de France in a row, while Ben O'Connor of Australia surprised everyone by finishing fourth. Wout van Aert of Jumbo took the final stage in Paris and Mark Cavendish equalled Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins.

  7. Tour de France 2021: winner, results, overall classification, Tadej

    Marking the end of the old era, 36-year-old Cavendish narrowly missed out on a fifth win on this edition -- and a record 35th on the Tour de France. Winner team UAE Emirates' Tadej Pogacar (C) of ...

  8. Tour de France 2021

    Cavendish leaves the 2021 Tour with a share of the all-time record of stage wins (34) and the green jersey. Meanwhile, Tadej Pogacar ticked off the day without incident as he claimed a second ...

  9. Tadej Pogacar: Five things to know about the 2021 Tour de France winner

    Tadej Pogacar: Winning the 2021 Tour de France won't guarantee Olympic success. According to the New York Times, 'the 2021 edition of the Tour will be remembered as the one when Pogacar, no longer a surprise, morphed into an unstoppable champion.'. While Pogacar dominated on the streets of France, Olympic gold in either the road race or time trial at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021 isn't a ...

  10. Tour de France 2021 Stage 21 results

    See the final standings of the 2021 Tour de France general classification (GC) after the final stage from Chatou to Paris Champs-Élysées. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the GC, followed by Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers).

  11. 2021 Tour de France

    The 2021 Tour de France is in the books, and what a Tour it was! Won by Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), this year's French grand tour was defined by crashes, comebacks, and a ...

  12. Tour de France Results 2021

    On Sunday, Belgian rider van Aert of Jumbo-Visma stormed past Briton Mark Cavendish to take Stage 21, after also winning the Stage 20 time trial at Saint-Emilion and a mountain stage on Mont ...

  13. Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard wins the Tour de France for 2nd straight

    Teammates congratulate Tour de France winner Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, after the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) with start in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and finish on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday, July 23, 2023.

  14. Who won the 2021 Tour de France? Yellow-jersey wearer in Champs-Elysees

    Yellow-jersey wearer in Champs-Elysees. Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar made history a year ago when he became the second-youngest winner of the Tour de France. In 2021, he's making history again ...

  15. Tour de France standings 2021: Winners for each stage, results, jersey

    Tour de France winners, results by stage. The 2021 Tour de France will begin in Brest on June 26 and will race southeast before cutting back toward the southwest portion of France and wrapping up ...

  16. Tadej Pogacar: Slovenian cycling sensation clinches second Tour de

    Sunday's processional final Tour de France stage that concluded in Paris confirmed Tadej Pogacar as winner of the race for a second year running.. In truth, Pogacar's domination of the 2021 ...

  17. Tadej Pogačar Has Won His 2nd Tour De France In A Row

    Tour De France: Tadej Pogačar Wins For A Second Year In A Row The 22-year-old Slovenian powerhouse dominated the field over the last two weeks. Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish matched a record number ...

  18. Mark Cavendish Just Set a Record at the Tour de France

    — Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 3, 2024 And then, Cavendish's form returned. During the 2021 Tour, Cavendish scored an amazing four stage wins, which brought him even with Merckx.

  19. List of Tour de France general classification winners

    The Tour de France is an annual road bicycle race held over 23 days in July. Established in 1903 by newspaper L'Auto, the Tour is the best-known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours"; the others are the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España. The race usually covers approximately 3,500 kilometres (2,200 mi), passing through France and neighbouring countries such as Belgium.

  20. Tour de France 2021: Mark Cavendish wins 33rd stage to move ...

    Mark Cavendish surges to his 33rd stage victory at the Tour de France to move within one win of the all-time record held by Belgian legend Eddy Merckx.

  21. Tour de France 2021 Stage 5 (ITT) results

    Tadej Pogačar is the winner of Tour de France 2021 Stage 5 (ITT), before Stefan Küng and Jonas Vingegaard. Mathieu van der Poel was leader in GC.

  22. Pogacar takes the yellow jersey in the 2nd stage of the Tour de France

    Riders climb the Col de San Luca climb along the Portico di San Luca, left, during the second stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 199.2 kilometers (123.8 miles) with start in Cesenatico ...

  23. As the Tour de France Climbs Higher, It's a Two-Man Race

    Riders approach the Mediterranean finish line. On Saturday in the Pyrenees, though, a 1:14 lead may suddenly look like nothing. First the riders will climb one of the Tour's most fearsome ...

  24. Tour de France standings, results: Biniam Girmay wins Stage 12

    Biniam Girmay put on a powerful final kick to win Stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday for his third stage victory in this year's race.. Girmay, of Eritrea, outlasted Wout van Aert of ...