Stage 7 of the Tour de France to Le Creusot was the longest of the 2021 edition and ripe for a successful breakaway. But few expected race leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) to star in the day's escape. The Dutchman aimed to extend his time in the maillot jaune and went on the attack with an elite group after a furiously fast first hour of racing.
Finally, with still 200km to go, the elastic snapped and the 29-rider breakaway gained enough time on the peloton to be assured of success. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) made the selection and duly added to his points tally at the intermediate sprint in Saint-Benin-d'Azy then sat up and the series of five sharp climbs in the last 80km further splintered the group.
It was Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) who went the distance, going solo before the steep climb of the Signal d'Uchon and holding on to ink his name in the history books as one of the few riders to win stages of each Grand Tour.
Thanks to the successful attack, Van der Poel extended his lead in the overall standings with fellow escapee Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) moving into second place overall at 30 seconds. Next the riders take on the first major mountain stage of the race.
Watch the video above for the full highlights.
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