2021 Tour de France S6: The legend continues! Mark Cavendish won the 32nd TDF stage
On July 1, the sixth stage of the Tour de France ended. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) once again ignited the missile. The experienced he rushed out of the group flexibly, reproduced his victory in Châteauroux with absolute strength, and taught young cyclists a good lesson.
Leaving the northwestern coast of France, the sixth stage came to the central region, which was also the last flat road stage of the first week. In terms of intensity, this stage may be the lowest in the first week of the schedule. On the one hand, cyclists who are good at ITT have spent the last stage. On the other hand, cyclists who are expected to win the stage, or cyclists with overall results, will try to save their energy as much as possible. Therefore, this stage is likely to end with a group sprint, and it is not a big threat to break through the group.
At the beginning of the race, the breakout cyclists immediately started a tug-of-war with the main group. Lotto Soudal team sent cyclists to break through many times, and the first wave of offense was recovered by the leader of Deceuninck-QuickStep team. The second wave of offense came soon, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) accelerated to bring out Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën), a strong group of eight formed, in addition to Thomas De Gendt and Greg Van Avermaet, Toms Skujins (Trek- Segafredo), Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Søren Kragh Andersen (DSM) and George Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) are also involved, and the FDJ team In the rear with the main group struggling to catch up, the time gap temporarily stabilized at more than 50 seconds.
The lead of the breakout group gradually declined, and only 15 seconds were left after 30km from the start of the race. In the end, they could not escape the fate of being recovered. Greg Van Avermaet made a desperate move and flew away solo. Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal) tried to bring a wave of chasing rhythm, but he was the only one who chased Greg Van Avermaet in front of the main group. With 119km from the finish line, Roger Kluge and Greg Van Avermaet converged, and the two led the main group by more than 2 minutes.
Greg Van Avermaet took Roger Kluge through the only grade 4 climbing point in the race. The two led the main group by 1 minute and 30 seconds at a distance of 85km from the finish line. The Alpecin-Fenix and Deceuninck-QuickStep teams took on most of the lead tasks. The situation is very stable, and everyone is waiting for the next sprint point on the way.
After the two broke through the sprint point on the way, the Bahrain Victorious team first took the sprint rhythm, and Michael Mørkøv then rushed for Mark Cavendish, but Mark Cavendish did not catch the wake of Michael Mørkøv, who also blocked Peter Sagan's sprint route. Seeing that he was almost passing the sprint point, Michael Mørkøv found that Mark Cavendish hadn't followed and couldn't help slowing down. And Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) seized the opportunity and rushed to a top speed of 79.6km/h on the right side of the track, winning the third sprint point. Michael Mørkøv is fourth, Jasper Philipsen is fifth, Michael Matthews is sixth, Mark Cavendish is seventh, and Peter Sagan is eighth. At this point, Michael Matthews' sprint points reached 88 points, 10 points behind Mark Cavendish, and temporarily ranked second in the rankings.
In the last 8km, the breakout group was still struggling, the main group was 32 seconds behind to catch up at a high speed, and the teams began to seize a favorable lead position. The Deceuninck-QuickStep team led Mark Cavendish in the front, and the Bora-Hansgrohe and Bahrain Victorious teams lined up on the left and right, waiting for a suitable attack opportunity. In the last 3km, the main group appeared not far behind the breakout two. Greg Van Avermaet wanted to hold on again, but after 500m, both breakout cyclists were chased back, and the dream of winning the championship was broken.
In the last 2km, Julian Alaphilippe came to the front of the group and led the race into the final 1km straight. In the last 600m, Mathieu van der Poel led the convoy to pull out a sprint train to keep pace with the Deceuninck-QuickStep convoy. The Alpecin-Fenix team took advantage of the number of people and came to the front of the Deceuninck-QuickStep team by virtue of the card position, and Mark Cavendish took the opportunity to follow behind Jasper Philipsen.
When the critical moment came, Meryl started the rush. As Jasper Philipsen's lead rusher, he can be said to be very dedicated. Jasper Philipsen found the right time to launch himself, and Mark Cavendish behind him had already seen everything. The veteran Mark Cavendish did not follow Jasper Philipsen, but faced the wind alone and rushed out with all his strength. Mark Cavendish gradually gained the upper hand and sprinted without emotion, but Jasper Philipsen lacked stamina, and he stopped while sprinting, and his speed dropped significantly.
Unsurprisingly, Mark Cavendish won the stage champion and set his own record once again. It is worth mentioning that Mark Cavendish won the stage championship here 13 years ago, and today he reproduced his victory with the same celebration gesture. Jasper Philipsen was second and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic) was third. At this point, Mark Cavendish has won 153 games in his career and 32 in the Tour de France. Whether he can break Eddy Merckx's 34 wins in the Tour de France, we will wait and see!
At the end of the stage, Mathieu van der Poel maintained the overall result to lead the yellow jersey, Mark Cavendish expanded his lead in the sprint green jersey, Ide Schelling continued to wear the climbing polka dot jersey, and Tadej Pogacar’s best young cyclist remained unreliable. Change, Greg Van Avermaet won the stage Combativity award.