Tour de France stage 6: Mark Cavendish widens lead in green jersey competition

CHATEAUROUX, FRANCE - JULY 01: Arnaud Démare of France and Team Groupama - FDJ & Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck - Quick-Step Green Points Jersey sprint at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021, Stage 6 a 160,6km stage from Tours to Châteauroux / @LeTour / #TDF2021 / on July 01, 2021 in Chateauroux, France. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) sprints to victory on stage 6 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

This is not the sprint field that we expected to see challenging at the Tour de France this year. Just before the Tour started, the riders that were predicted to be up there on flat stages were Sam Bennett, Caleb Ewan and Arnaud Démare, three riders who have proved themselves as the fastest in the world over the past couple of years. They dominated at the Giro d’Italia and the Tour in 2020, and it was thought it would be exactly the same this year.

Things change at lightning speed in cycling, however. First, Bennett was withdrawn from the start list due to a knee injury, and replaced by Mark Cavendish. More about him in a minute. Then, Caleb Ewan unfortunately crashed out on stage 3, breaking his collarbone in four pieces. Démare, meanwhile, has barely challenged so far; fourth place on stage 6 being his best result, despite an entire team built around his success.

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Adam Becket is the staff writer for Procycling magazine. Prior to covering the sport of cycling, he wrote about ecclesiastical matters for the Church Times and politics for Business Insider. He has degrees in history and journalism. A keen cyclist himself, Adam’s favourite race is the Tour of Flanders or Strade Bianche, and he can't wait to go to the Piazza del Campo for the end of the race one day.