Bis repetita for Mark Cavendish: the Briton won the sprint of the 6th stage of the Tour de France, Thursday 1er July in Châteauroux, its 32e victory in the Grande Boucle 13 years after his first success in the same city.
The Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin) kept the yellow leader’s jersey after the 160 km of this transition stage between Touraine and Berry.
→ THE ROUTE. Find the map of the 2021 Tour de France stages
The rider of the Deceuninck team beat the Belgian Jasper Philipsen and the French Nacer Bouhanni and Arnaud Démare, who found himself deprived of his pitcher (Jacopo Guarnieri) due to a fall at the end of the race.
The stage was animated by the Olympic champion, the Belgian Greg van Avermaet, who launched the start of the stage on a very high basis. Van Avermaet, joined by other strong riders (Asgreen, Politt, De Gendt, Kragh Andersen and Skujins in particular), forced the teams of Démare and Bouhanni to a vigorous pursuit over some 25 km.
Cavendish two stage record wins
The only one in the group to insist, Van Avermaet saw the return of the German Roger Kluge at the 40th kilometer to lead the day’s breakaway by two. But they only obtained a reduced margin, in the order of a minute and a half, on the peloton led by teammates from Cavendish (Declercq) and van der Poel (Vakoc).
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Cavendish, already victorious on Tuesday, June 29 at Fougères (Ille-et-Vilaine) when he had signed a resounding return after several seasons in decline, is now two victories behind the record of Belgian legend Eddy Merckx, who holds 34 stages at its assets for almost half a century.
Asked about Merckx’s record, the Isle of Man native replied: “ I don’t want to think about it. I want to win one (step) by one. If I can win more, I will. “
Friday, the 7th stage will also be the longest of the event with 249.1 kilometers between Vierzon (Cher) and Le Creusot (Saône-et-Loire), with an end which should be tough in the last 90 kilometers.
→ FIND the complete classification of the 6e stage of the Tour de France 2021
→ AND ALSO: The general classification of the Tour de France 2021