Mohoric wins marathon stage on Tour de France

Van der Poel increase general classification lead on longest stage for 21 years

 Matej Mohoric celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the today’s stage of the Tour de France from Vierzon to Le Creusot. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/EPA

Matej Mohoric celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the today’s stage of the Tour de France from Vierzon to Le Creusot. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/EPA

 

Matej Mohoric won the 2021 Tour de France’s longest stage, from Vierzon to Le Creusot, slipping clear of the day’s breakaway group to take his first victory in the Tour, as overall race leader, Mathieu Van der Poel, increased his lead to half a minute.

The 30-rider attack was a high-quality move, an ‘echappee royale,’ that included Van der Poel of the Alpecin Fenix team, Wout Van Aert of Jumbo-Visma, double stage winner in 2020, 2014 Tour winner, Vincenzo Nibali of Trek-Segafredo, green jersey wearer, Mark Cavendish from Deceuninck Quick-Step, past stage winner and former Vuelta a España champion, Simon Yates of Team Bike Exchange and several other accomplished riders.

The sudden rise in temperatures, allied to the Tour’s longest stage for 21 years and his ongoing recovery from last weekend’s bad crash, made it a day to forget for Chris Froome. But the four-time champion, from the Israel Start-Up Nation squad, was not alone and pre-race favourite, Primoz Roglic of Jumbo Visma, still in pain from earlier crashes, also struggled in the closing kilometres.

As the chase entered the final 50 kilometres and approached a succession of short sharp climbs, the breakaway’s seven minute lead remained intact, as the gradients took their toll on an exhausted peloton.

Three riders - Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal) and Jesper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo) - moved clear of the breakaway, while Cavendish lost ground, leaving the remnants of the group to attack the stage’s toughest climb, the Signal d’Uchon, with gradients of 18 per cent.

Mohoric, already winner of a stage in the Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia, moved clear and tackled the final descents and the last climb of the Côte de la Gourloye with aplomb to seal the most prestigious win of his career. - Guardian

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