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Tour de France stage 10 - live coverage

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(Image credit: ASO)

The Tour de France resumes after its first rest day with a flat but potentially windswept stage along the Atlantic coast from Île d'Oléron to Île de Ré. The stage is full of possible pitfalls - but, for now, all attention is focused on whether the race resumes with a full complement of teams. The riders and staff on the Tour underwent PCR tests on Sunday evening and Monday morning. Any team with two confirmed COVID-19 positives within their 'bubble' of 30 riders and staff will be excluded from the race. The UCI and ASO were due to issue a statement at 11am CET but we are still awaiting confirmation that all 22 teams remain in the Tour.

Deceuninck-QuickStep have responded to reports that there had been a positive case among their staff. "As you will have seen, it has been reported that a member of our team staff was collected from our team hotel this morning. An error was made in the laboratory with the sample that the individual gave yesterday, meaning they were taken for restesting this morning. The result of this second test has been returned as negative and we will continue to race as normal."

L'Equipe has reported that no rider has tested positive for COVID-19 during the rest day of the Tour, but we are still awaiting official confirmation of that news from the UCI and ASO. The report does not specify whether any staff members returned positive tests. 

Amid complaints from the teams, the 'two strikes, team out' rule had initially been watered down by ASO to cover only the riders themselves, but following the intervention of the French government’s coronavirus pandemic task force on the eve of the Tour, the original - and stricter - interpretation was restored: teams will be excluded from the Tour if any two members of their 30-strong ‘bubble’ of riders and staff test positive for COVID-19 within the same seven-day period.

Therefore, the news that no riders have tested positive for COVID-19, while very welcome, does not in itself confirm that all 22 teams can participate today, despite what some outlets are (prematurely) reporting. We are still awaiting an official statement from the UCI and ASO on the matter. 

Today's stage is due to get underway in around 70 minutes, at 13.30 CET. The sign-in has just officially opened. In the absence of official communication from the UCI and ASO (how often versions of that phrase have been dusted off over the years...), we may be reduced to waiting for teams to arrive and sign on to confirm that they are still in the Tour.

Lotto Soudal have signed on. They remain in the Tour. The Belgian team, remember, had two staff members test positive (or non-negative) just before the Tour, but while the rules had been (temporarily) relaxed to cover riders only.

NTT Pro Cycling report to sign on. The second team to confirm their participation in this stage.

Israel Start-Up Nation report to sign on, the third team to confirm their participation.

Total-Direct Energie are the fourth team to report at the signing-on podium. An hour to the start and still no official communication from the UCI and ASO.

Deceuninck-QuickStep were the subject of much speculation this morning, but the Belgian squad's eight riders have all signed on. A reminder of the team's statement this morning: "As you will have seen, it has been reported that a member of our team staff was collected from our team hotel this morning. An error was made in the laboratory with the sample that the individual gave yesterday, meaning they were taken for restesting this morning. The result of this second test has been returned as negative and we will continue to race as normal."

(Image credit: Bettini)

CCC Team are the sixth team to report for stage 10 of the Tour de France.

There is still no communication from the UCI or ASO, but Le Télégramme is one of several French publications reporting that Tour director Christian Prudhomme has tested positive for COVID-19 and must thus absent himself from the race for the next week. Again, we hope to have some formal statement from the race organiser before the stage begins.

In the meantime, Sunweb and Groupama-FDJ have both signed on for stage 10. Thibaut Pinot remains in the race despite the injuries that ruined his GC challenge over the weekend.

AFP and France-Info have confirmed the news of Christian Prudhomme's positive test. The Tour director is reportedly asymptomatic and will undergo secondary testing today to confirm the result. François Lemarchand will occupy his place in the race director's car today.

AFP are also reporting that all 22 teams will resume the Tour today. Reuters, meanwhile, have reported that four staff members from four different teams (out of a total of 650 riders and staff on the race) tested positive. But again, we await formal confirmation from ASO and the UCI. 

The signing-on ceremony continues with Astana, but it seems at this point that all 22 teams remain the race. Not that we'd know it from ASO or the UCI. 40 minutes to the start and a sum total of zero statements from the race organiser and the governing body to confirm the results of the coronavirus testing carried out yesterday and Sunday.

L'Equipe are reporting that the four teams who had one positive case among their staff are Ineos, Mitchelton-Scott, Cofidis and AG2R-La Mondiale. If is confirmed, then these teams would be excluded from the Tour in the event of a second positive test within the next seven days.

36 minutes before the start of the stage, the UCI-ASO statement finally lands:

"In accordance with the Tour de France health protocol, developed in the framework of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) rules for the return of the road cycling season in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire “race bubble” was tested on the 7th and 8th September. With all those with accreditations being tested within the 5 days preceding the Grand Départ in Nice and the “race bubble” once again being tested upon arriving on the Tour, this is the 3rd testing campaign since the beginning of the Tour. A 4th test campaign is scheduled, with the same conditions, for the next rest day, in Isère on the 14th September. Its objective is to guarantee the health of the race for the riders and accredited personnel. A total of 841 tests were performed. 

- No rider has tested positive for COVID-19 or is considered a contact case requiring quarantine.

- 1 staff member each from Team Cofidis, AG2R La Mondiale, Ineos Grenadiers and Mitchelton-Scott have tested positive and left the race bubble.

- A technical service provider has also tested positive and has left the race."

36 minutes before the start of the stage, the UCI-ASO statement finally lands:

"In accordance with the Tour de France health protocol, developed in the framework of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) rules for the return of the road cycling season in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire “race bubble” was tested on the 7th and 8th September. With all those with accreditations being tested within the 5 days preceding the Grand Départ in Nice and the “race bubble” once again being tested upon arriving on the Tour, this is the 3rd testing campaign since the beginning of the Tour. A 4th test campaign is scheduled, with the same conditions, for the next rest day, in Isère on the 14th September. Its objective is to guarantee the health of the race for the riders and accredited personnel. A total of 841 tests were performed. 

- No rider has tested positive for COVID-19 or is considered a contact case requiring quarantine.

- 1 staff member each from Team Cofidis, AG2R La Mondiale, Ineos Grenadiers and Mitchelton-Scott have tested positive and left the race bubble.

- A technical service provider has also tested positive and has left the race."

The UCI-ASO statement made no reference to reports of a positive test from Christian Prudhomme, but the news has been confirmed by the ASO-owned L'Equipe. The newspaper reports that Prudhomme will be absent from the Tour until next Monday's second rest day in Isère.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme wearing a face mask arrives for a press conference to present sanitary measures over the COVID19 novel coronavirus pandemic put in place for the start of the 107th edition of the Tour De France cycling race in the French Riviera city of Nice on August 19 2020 The 2020 edition of the Tour de France kicks off in Nice on August 29 and runs to September 20 postponed from June 27 to July 19 due to the coronavirus pandemic Photo by Valery HACHE AFP Photo by VALERY HACHEAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Given that so much of Christian Prudhomme's job involves meeting and greeting local - and national - dignitaries, one imagines there are many, many contacts to be traced from the first week of the Tour. Among those to share a car with Prudhomme on this Tour include French prime minister Jean Castex, who was present on stage 8.

From R Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme and French Prime Minister Jean Castex applaud the riders during the 8th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 140 km between CazeressurGaronne and Loudenvielle on September 5 2020 Photo by AnneChristine POUJOULAT AFP Photo by ANNECHRISTINE POUJOULATAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

More details on the Prudhomme news are available here. It might perhaps have been more correct to say that there was no explicit reference to Prudhomme in the UCI-ASO statement. The Tour director may have been referred to obliquely in the final line: "A technical service provider has also tested positive and has left the race."

Christian Prudhomme has confirmed his positive test for COVID-19 to AFP. “I’m leaving the Tour for eight days. I’m going to do what any French employee would do in this kind of case,” said Prudhomme, who said that he had tested negative in PCR tests prior to the Tour on August 6, 20 and 27. “From the information I’ve been given, it’s just happened. I’m going to watch the Tour on television, something I haven’t done for 15 years."

ASO has released a separate statement on Christian Prudhomme's positive test for COVID-19.

“The testing campaign revealed that Christian Prudhomme has tested positive for COVID-19. The Director of the Tour de France, taking his 4th test in 1 month, will now quarantine for 7 days.

Although he was not part of the ‘race bubble’ and had not been in direct contact with any of the riders and their entourage, Christian Prudhomme still decided to get tested.

The anti-COVID-19 protocol, which provides reinforced protection for the ‘race bubble,’ distinct from others in the organisation allows for the following plan to be put in place following such a situation:

In the absence of Christian Prudhomme from the 10th stage from Île d’Oléron to Île de Ré until the 16th stage from La Tour du Pin to Villard de Lans, François Lemarchand, who was in the lead car on Paris-Nice, will occupy Christian Prudhomme’s place in the lead car. Jean-Michel Monin, meanwhile, will replace François Lemarchand in the no. 3 car.”

In the middle of it all, a bike race is about to break out. The peloton is assembling for the neutralised start at Le Château-d'Oléron, which is due in a little under 10 minutes at 13.30 CET. After a 6.7km neutralised section, the riders will hit kilometre zero around 13.45 CET.

A reminder of the general classification picture ahead of stage 10:

1          Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma      38:40:01

2          Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers    00:00:21

3          Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis         00:00:28

4          Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale       00:00:30

5          Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic    00:00:32

6          Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling            00:00:32

7          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     00:00:44

8          Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 00:01:02

9          Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team            00:01:15

10        Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 00:01:42

11        Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo    00:01:53

12        Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team      00:02:02

13        Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo          00:02:31

14        Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma   00:03:22

15        Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers       00:03:42

16        Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren        00:03:42

17        Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team     00:03:43

18        Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  00:05:45

19        Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling 00:06:08

20        Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott         00:12:13

Today's stage is entirely flat but very exposed to the wind, with the start and finish both on islands in the Charente-Maritime deparment. There are plenty of changes in direction, too, on a coastal route that brings the race through Rochefort and La Rochelle en route to the finish. In this part of the world, a little bit of wind can make a very big difference…

(Image credit: ASO)

Stephen Farrand has more here on the four teams who had staff members test positive and the consequences of a second positive test in the coming seven days. Ineos, Cofidis, AG2R La Mondiale and Mitchelton-Scott are the teams involved.

The peloton is navigating the neutralised zone ahead of kilometre zero.

-168km

The flag drops and two riders immediately escape with no reaction from the peloton. Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Schär (CCC Team) have slipped clear in the day's early break.

-164km

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Schär (CCC Team) have a lead of 56 seconds over the peloton. Speaking to Eurosport before the start, Küng said that the main objective was to get through the day safely and that positioning in the peloton would be the most stressful aspect of the day. He is thus making life easier for himself by escaping up the road early on with his former BMC teammate Schär.

Paris Nice 2020 - 78th Edition - 6th stage Sorgues - Apt 161,5 km - 13/03/2020 - Stefan Kung (SUI - Groupama - FDJ) - photo Nico Vereecken/PN/BettiniPhoto©2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-160km

Break:

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Schär (CCC Team)

Peloton at 1:00

-153km

There is only the gentlest of breezes so far this afternoon. Küng and Schär have a mild tailwind at their backs, and their lead over the bunch is 1:25.

-148km

It's been a fairly brisk opening to proceedings and the peloton are understandably reluctant to give the European time trial champion Stefan Kung much freedom. Tim Declercq leads the chase for Deceuninck-QuickStep. 1:37 the gap.

While conditions are calm on this part of the route, there are murmurs of a stiffer breeze on the exposed roads that follow the race's passage through La Rochelle with 30km to go.

-142km

Deceuninck-QuickStep and Lotto Soudal look to be finding common cause at the head of the peloton for the time being, but the run-in of this stage might offer a chance to eliminate a rival sprinter from the running before the finish.

-140km

Break:

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Schär (CCC Team)

Peloton at 1:50

-136km

Thomas De Gendt is on the front of the peloton for Lotto Soudal together with a contingent from Deceuninck-QuickStep. The Jumbo-Visma team of yellow jersey Primoz Roglic are content to sit a little further back for the time being.

-132km

The average speed thus far has been a brisk 48kph and the peloton continues to keep the Swiss duo close at hand. 1:42 the gap.

A reminder that Tour director Christian Prudhomme has left the race after testing positive for COVID-19 in a PCR test during the rest day. Four teams had a single staff member test positive - Ineos, Mitchelton-Scott, Cofidis and AG2R La Mondiale. No riders tested positive and all 22 teams remain in the Tour. If Ineos, Mitchelton-Scott, Cofidis or AG2R La Mondiale have a further confirmed positive case in the next seven days, they will be excluded from the race, though it's worth noting that their next mandatory PCR test will come on the next rest day of the Tour - which would be seven days after the previous PCR test.

-123km

Break: 

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Schär (CCC Team)

Peloton at 1:25

-118km

The Deceuninck-QuickStep and Lotto Soudal-led peloton has closed the gap on the break to just 54 seconds. The sprinters' teams don't want to take any risks with the escapees, and there will be even more tension in the finale, where the race can expect to be met by a cross-tailwind on the exposed roads past La Rochelle in the last 30km.

As well as the risk of echelons, there seems an above-average threat of crashes on today's route, given the sheer volume of traffic islands, roundabouts and assorted road furniture on show.

-114km

Jumbo-Visma are keeping Primoz Roglic well posted near the head of the peloton. Cofidis are making sure Guillaume Martin is up there too.

-110km

Ineos, Bahrain-McLaren and AG2R are also muscling their way to the front of the bunch. The speed and the tension are both high even at this early juncture. The gap to the break, meanwhile, is down to 41 seconds. 

-109km

The tension in the peloton is translating into rising speeds and a rapidly diminishgin gap. Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Schär (CCC Team) now have just 37 seconds in hand. 

The average speed thus far is a very brisk 47.6kph and the stage is slightly ahead of its quickest predicted schedule.

-105km

A day of tension on the Tour. Plenty of anxious moments in the morning as to whether all 22 teams would be able to start and now extreme vigilance in a high-speed peloton. Kung and Schar, meanwhile, are chugging along at over 50kph, 26 seconds up on the bunch. 

Remi Cavagna and Tim Declercq pile on the pressure on the front of the peloton for Deceuninck-QuickStep. An assortment of GC teams - including Ineos and Jumbo-Visma - are also posted towards the front.

-102km

The peloton frays slightly under Deceuninck-QuickStep's forcing but it's not clear if this will solidify into a split.

The bunch is just about intact but there are plenty of riders forced to climb out of the saddle to make sure they hold the wheel in front of them.

-101km

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Pavel Sivakov, Dylan van Baarle (Ineos), Wout Poels (Bahrain-McLaren), Jan Hirt (CCC) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) are among the riders who have been caught out by a split, with the gap expanding...

They will have more company in due course. There has been a crash in the front part of the peloton. A touch of wheels sees a lot of riders go down, including Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma), Nicolas Roche, Casper Pedersen (Sunweb) and Esteban Chaves (Mitcheltin-Scott).

-98km

Sam Bewley (Mitchelton-Scott) was also a faller. He is on his feet but it's not clear if he'll be able to continie.

Meanwhile, the escapees Stefan Kung and Michael Schar have been caught by the front part of the peloton, which is being driven by Deceuninck-QuickStep.

-96km

There seem to be 60 or so riders in the front group, including yellow jersey Primzo Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Egan Bernal (Ineos). Jumbo-Visma have joined Deceuninck-QuickStep at the head of the race, but it's unclear if any GC men have missed the split.

The reduced front group has a lead of 39 seconds on the rest of the peloton, which is presumably fractured into several constituent parts after the earlier crash.

Sam Bewley (Mitchelton-Scott) has abandoned the Tour de France after going down in that crash a few minutes ago.

-93km

Roglic, Bernal and Nairo Quintana are prominent in this front group, but it appears that all of the GC contenders are safely accounted for. The gap is coming down, meanwhile, to the second group on the road, which has closed in to 21 seconds. 

-90km

Emanuel Buchmann and Dan Martin were the most notable names in the second group on the road, which looks to be on the brink of linking up with the head of the race.

-89km

A slight lull in intensity sees the peloton expand in size as the second group latches back on. The tension remains, however, with Bahrain-McLaren and Deceuninck-QuickStep prominent at the front.

-86km

The succession of roundabouts and traffic islands only adds to the general air of tension in the peloton. Deceuninck-QuickStep have plenty of company from the GC teams at the head of the bunch. 

-82km

Toms Skuijns' torn kit - plain Trek-Segafredo kit after the Latvian Championships were held in his absence at the weekend - shows that he went down in the crash, but he is in the front group as they hurtle across a cobbled street in Brouage.

-80km

Deceuninck-QuickStep, Bahrain-McLaren and Movistar occupy the front row of the peloton. It's difficult to envisage any more breakaways between now and the finish in Île de Ré, but we can certain expect further splits and echelons, especially in the last 30km...

Toms Skujins is back at the medical car receiving treatment to the cuts on his arms, side and shoulders. Nicolas Roche also went down heavily in that crash but we understand that he remains in the race. 

-74km

B&B Hotels-Vital Concept, Astana, Bahrain-McLaren and Deceuninck-QuickStep are among the teams represented at the head of the peloton. The pace has dropped slightly over the past 10km or so, but the tension remains.

The average speed thus far is a very quick 47.44kph. It may well be higher by day's end.

-70km

We finally catch sight of Nicolas Roche. His jersey is scuffed, but the Irishman is sitting in the peloton once again.

The race is approaching Rochefort, which is where the intensity might began to ratchet up a little once again. The day's intermediate sprint at Châtelaillon-Plage comes quite late in the stage, with 39km remaining.

-67km

The peloton crosses the Viaduc du Martrou ahead of the race's entry into Rochefort. 

-64km

Another crash in the peloton, which was caused, it seems, by a central reservation. A number of riders have gone down, including Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)... He looks to be unhurt but he is seeking mechanical assistance.

Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) was also caught up in that crash and he is chasing back up to the bunch.

Guillaume Martin pauses for a bike change but he is quickly back on his way and he should rejoin the peloton in due course.

Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) looked the worst affected rider in that crash. The Italian was on his feet but receiving medical attention. Bryan Coquard, meanwhile, receives some quick attention from the race doctor's car.

Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) is pacing Guillaume Martin back up to the bunch. Pogacar is also making his way back to the peloton, just ahead of the French duo.

Guillaume Martin has a minute to recoup on the bunch. We don't have a precise time check for Pogacar, but he is between Martin and the peloton.

Guillaume Martin has three Cofidis riders to help out now as he battles to close a 45-second gap on the bunch, where Ineos have taken over in front, though the pace is not very high. Coquard is at 1:13 and chasing on alone.

Tadej Pogacar appears to have rejoined a peloton where the intensity has dropped a little. Martin is gradually recouping his deficit. The Frenchman is at 35 seconds and making his way through the convoy of team cars.

Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) has ridden strongly at the 2020 Tour de France – the fourth of his career – and goes into the race's first rest day in third place overall

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-58km

Ineos, Bahrain-McLaren and EF Pro Cycling are posted at the head of the peloton. Five of the Cofidis team are back with Martin, leaving Simone Consonni to accompany Elia Viviani in the peloton.

-57km

Tadej Pogacar is back in the peloton. An overhead shot of the bunch shows that the Slovenian came down in the crash as his jersey is torn just where his race radio was positioned.

Guillaume Martin, meanwhile, has also rejoined the bunch. Bryan Coquard is about to do the same.

-53km

The bunch is together but nerves are frayed... The roads are narrow, littered with traffic islands, and, exposed to the coast in the final 30km or so.  

All of the GC men and the sprinters are safely aboard this peloton, but there will surely be more splits and incidents between here and the finish.

The bunch spreads across the road on a section of headwind. Delegations from Ineos, Bahrain-McLaren, EF Pro Cycling and UAE Team Emirates occupy the front of row. It's been interesting that Jumbo-Visma have been content to tuck themselves a few rows back from the front for much of the day. The Dutch squad have been well placed thus far without committing too much man power on the front. It remains to be seen if Wout van Aert will be given the liberty to chase a third stage win in the very likely event of a bunch sprint. 

Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 7th stage Cazeres Loudenvielle 141 km 05092020 Wout Van Aert BEL Team Jumbo Visma Tom Dumoulin NED Team Jumbo Visma Adam Yates GBR Mitchelton Scott photo Vincent KalutPNBettiniPhoto2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-50km

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) is in the cars behind the peloton but he doesn't seem unduly hurried. It appears the Australian may have had a mechanical issue, but he should latch back on without too many problems.

-46km

Ewan is safely back in the bunch, where the speed is picking up with 7km to go to the intermediate sprint. Deceuninck-QuickStep will look to take control of affairs for Sam Bennett, though it will be interesting to see how many riders contest the points given the prime's proximity to the finish.

-43km

Tim Declercq takes up a familiar position at the head of the race in the lead-up to this intermediate sprint. Sam Bennett sits tucked on the wheel of Peter Sagan...

-42km

Sam Bennett trails Sagan by 7 points in the green jersey standings, while Wout van Aert lies third, 27 points down on the Slovakian.

Ineos, EF and Bahrain-McLaren aren't giving up their positions at the front ahead of this sprint. While much attention has been placed on the left-turn at 30km to go outside La Rochelle, the period immediately after the sprint also carries the risk of splits. 

-4ok

Andrey Amador takes a bidon from an Ineos soigneur and then proceeds to fumble it onto the road. Mercifully, there are no fallers.

-39km

Matteo Trentin (CCC) beats Peter Sagan to the intermediate sprint, while Sam Bennett looked content to follow across the line in third. The Irishman was happy to limit his losses to Sagan and perhaps save his legs for the finishing sprint.

Those 20 points should lift Trentin ahead of Van Aert and Coquard and into third place in the points classification. Only Trentin, Sagan and Bennett were moved to contest that sprint, and Bennett's effort was a restrained one.

-37km

-36km

Bryan Coquard, incidentally, got up for fifth place at the intermediate sprint despite his earlier crash. The Frenchman looked to anticipate the sprint but held on for fifth after Sagan, Bennett, Morkov and Trentin swept past. In the points classification, Sagan now leads Bennett by 9 points.

-34km

The exposed Pont de l’Île de Ré on the approach to the finish will be a key moment in the race, though the peloton will already be at the whim of crosswinds once they pass through La Rochelle with 29km remaining.

-31km

Another crash as the peloton slows to negotiate a tight left-hand bend just ahead of a level crossing. Kevin Ledanois (Arkea-Samsic) goes down, though seemingly without consequence. The incident has triggered a minor split at the rear of the bunch, however, with riders chasing to make sure the gap doesn't open irretrievably.

-30km

At first glance, it doesn't appear as though any GC contenders were caught out by that crash. Ineos, Deceuninck-QuickStep, UAE Team Emirates, EF and Bahrain-McLaren sit in the front row of the peloton.

The wind appears to be stronger now than it was at the beginning of the stage. The situation calls for extreme vigilance as the peloton departs La Rochelle and hurtles towards the Pont de l’Île de Ré.

A delegation from Jumbo-Visma are moving up on behalf of Roglic. Kasper Asgreen sits at the front of the bunch for Deceuninck-QuickStep as they sweep around the succession of roundabouts on the outskirts of La Rochelle.

-27km

The sheer volume of roundabouts in La Rochelle is of a kind normally unseen outside of the Netherlands. Kasper Asgreen pilots a now lined-out bunch through the obstacles, while it's notable that Sunweb have moved up at just the right time on behalf of Cees Bol.

-24km

Warren Barguil also went down in that recent crash with Kevin Ledanois, and the two Arkea-Samsic men have almost caught the peloton.

-23km

Jonathan Castroviejo sets the pace on the front for Ineos. Bernal's teammates triggered the key split on Friday and they may well have something similar planned here ahead of the Pont de l’Île de Ré.

-22km

Ineos, Sunweb and Deceuninck-QuickStep are at the front, with Jumbo-Visma tucked in just behind them.

-21km

A delegation from NTT come to the front. They would certainly be hopeful of engineering a reduced bunch sprint to give Edvald Boasson Hagen a better shot at victory.

-20km

Deceuninck-QuickStep and Ineos vie for first position in the bunch ahead of a pivotal left-hand turn into a section of cross-tailwind...

Dylan van Baarle, Kwiatkowski, Rowe and Bernal lead out of the turn for Ineos... Jumbo-Visma are tucked in just behind them.

-19km

Van Baarle swings off and now Kwiatkowski takes over with Luke Rowe. They are trying to stretch the peloton to breaking point in this exposed section of crosswind...

Jumbo-Visma join with the effort to form a leading echelon, and there is a split forming behind...

-17km

Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck-QuickStep, Ineos and Bora-Hansgrohe are all represented in numbers in this sizeable front group as the split takes shape. It looks as though as the GC men and main sprinters are safely aboard, at least for now...

A crash in the front group - caused by yet another traffic island - sees a number of riders come down, including Richard Carapaz and Julian Alaphilippe. Both men are on their feet, but they have lost contact with the head of the race.

-16km

A reduced group of no more than 50 riders tackles the Pont de l’Île de Ré. Yellow jersey Primoz Roglic and Egan Bernal are both safely aboard, as is Nairo Quintana.

Miguel Angel Lopez and Alejandro Valverde were also held up by that crash and they are chasing back on....

-14.5km

Stefan Kung tries to attack alone from the front group on this seemingly interminable bridge, but the Swiss rider doesn't get far. It looks as though Miguel Angel Lopez and Alejandro Valverde were the most notable men to get caught, but they have managed to latch back on.

-13km

The front group comes off the bridge and onto the Île de Ré, where they are greeted by... another roundabout. Primoz Roglic and a Jumbo-Visma delegation go the wrong way around the obstacle and they lose many places in this front group, though they are still safely aboard.

-11.5km

Movistar take over in front, while green jersey Peter Sagan sits smoothly in fifth or sixth wheel. 

-11km

Tony Martin manages to drag Roglic most of the way back up towards the front, and the Slovenian is back near the business end of affairs. Egan Bernal has been well positioned, too, by Michal Kwiatkowski.

-10km

Movistar continue to set the pace in this reduced front group, which - as far as we can decipher - contains all of the GC contenders and most of the established sprinters. Sonny Colbrelli has lost contact, but Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff, Sam Bennett and Caleb Ewan are all here. 

-9km

Primoz Roglic is safely posted near the head of the race, with teammate Amund Grøndahl Jansen setting the pace...

-8km

Jumbo-Visma occupy the front of the peloton, with EF Pro Cycling, Astana and UAE Team Emirates all situated just behind them.

-7km

This has been a long, long turn from Amund Grøndahl Jansen on the front, with Wout van Aert, George Bennett and Roglic on his wheel. Egan Bernal is posted not far behind the maillot jaune. 

-6km

Deceuninck-QuickStep's Tim Declercq moves up but he is content to allow Jumbo-Visma to keep setting the tempo for the time being. 

-5km

Wout van Aert has Roglic on his rear wheel for now. The Belgian hasn't been compelled to ride in the wind as yet, so perhaps he'll have the freedom to contest the sprint.

Richard Carapaz has rejoined this front group after getting caught up in that crash with 16km or so remaining.

-4km

Sunweb move up on behalf of Cees Bol, with the ever-impressive Marc Hirschi swapping turns on the front with Tiesj Benoot.

UAE Team Emirates are prominent, both for Pogacar and Kristoff...

-3km

Into the final 3km, though the day isn't done for the GC riders just yet. They will need to be wary lest the bunch split up for reasons other than a crash - very possible on a finale such as this...

-2km

Sunweb continue to pile on the pressure in front. Sagan, Sam Bennett, Trentin, Coquard and Ewan are all visible near the front.

Ewan sits on Bennett's wheel. The Irishman is tucked in behind the Danish duo of Morkov and Asgreen, while Sunweb hold the reins in front.

-1km

Sunweb lead into the final kilometre, which is into a headwind...

Sunweb are still in front with 500m to go...

Michael Morkov leads out from distance...

Sam Bennett opens his sprint but Caleb Ewan is closing...

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 10 of the Tour de France.

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) is second and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is third. 

That's the first Tour stage win of Bennett's career and completes his set of Grand Tour stage victories. It also lifts him back into the green jersey.

Sam Bennett was a clear winner but he was still waiting for confirmation from the commissaires before he allowed himself to celebrate. He has endured far more heartbreak than happiness at the Tour since his debut in 2015 - and especially in his absence since 2016 - but this was a most deserved stage win. Sportingly, Ewan put out a hand to congratulate Bennett as soon as they crossed the line. A far remove from the Kelly-Vanderaerden skirmishes of the 1980s...

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) remains in yellow, 21 seconds up on Egan Bernal (Ineos) and 28 ahead of Guillaume Martin (Cofidis).

Result

1          Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep      03:35:22

2          Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal        

3          Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe   

4          Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis       

5          Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo          

6          André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation  

7          Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept     

8          Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb          

9          Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo

10        Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott

General classification

1          Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma      42:15:23

2          Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers    00:00:21

3          Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis         00:00:28

4          Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale       00:00:30

5          Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic    00:00:32

6          Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling            00:00:32

7          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     00:00:44

8          Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 00:01:02

9          Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team            00:01:15

10        Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 00:01:42

The magnitude of Sam Bennett's achievement seemed to dawn on him about 15 seconds into an emotional post-stage interview. "I don’t think it’s hit me because I forgot to throw the bike at the line in the moment and I thought he might have got me. It hasn’t hit me, I thought I’d be in floods of tears but I’m in shock," Bennett began before his voice waivered.

"I just want to thank everyone that’s been involved, I want to thank the whole team and Patrick for giving me this opportunity, just everybody it took to get to here. I want to thank my wife and everyone around me.

"You dream of it and you never think it will happen. It does and it did. it took it a while for it to hit me… Oh man…

"I was waiting to go and I thought maybe I was waiting too late. I thought I was maybe in too big a gear. I don’t know. Sorry, I don’t mean to be a crybaby."

(Image credit: Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bennett punched the air after crossing the line, accepted Ewan's congratulations but then seemed to doubt it was all real. He waited for official confirmation of the result before allowing himself to celebrate with his teammates past the finish line.

Fifteen years later, Bennett's fellow Carrick-on-Suir man Sean Kelly took stage victory in Poitiers on the 1978 Tour. He would add three more stage wins (Saint-Etienne and Fontenay-sous-Bois in 1980, Pau in 1982) as well as four points classification wins. Stephen Roche won on the Aubisque in 1985, at Futuroscope in 1987 and La Bourboule in 1992 (as well as the overall title in 1987), while Martin Early won in Pau in 1989. In the 21st century, Dan Martin has won at Bagnères-de-Bigorre (2013) and Mûr-de-Bretagne (2018).

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Davide Formolo, a faller in the finale, came across the line over 16 minutes down and struggling to grip his handlebars.

Bennett's relationship with the Tour has been a difficult one. He struggled with injury before his debut in 2015 and then fell ill during the race. He contested only one bunch sprint before abandoning at the start of the third week. "It’s on TV worldwide and you want to perform but you’re one of the guys they show when they switch to the back of the bunch and you’re struggling. I don’t really like that," Bennett told Cyclingnews during that race

A year later, Bennett was a faller on the opening stage and his injuries prevented him from participating in any bunch sprints until the final day in Paris, where he had to settle for 9th. "I didn't want the Tour to win two years in a row," Bennett said on making it to Paris on that occasion. In the three years that followed, Bora-Hansgrohe left him at home in favour of Peter Sagan, but the Irishman clocked up a hat-trick of stage wins at the Giro d'Italia in 2018 and a brace at the Vuelta a Espana in 2019 before departing for Deceuninck-QuickStep last winter.

Bennett stepped into the role vacated by Elia Viviani and previously occupied by Fernando Gaviria, Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish at QuickStep. All had won Tour stages, and the expectation was that Bennett would do the same. "I don't want to be the first sprinter in QuickStep's history who can't win in the Tour. That's the pressure I feel," Bennett said before the Grand Depart.

A long, long time ago, when it was possible to do these things in person rather than via Zoom, we sat down with Deceuninck-QuickStep directeur sportif (and nine-time Tour stage winner) Tom Steels at the pre-season training camp in Calpe to discuss Bennett's adaptation to his new team. Like Juventus in the 1990s, who kept changing their striker and kept on winning, the expectation was that Bennett would deliver results. "Of course, it is up to Sam to find his way, to cope with the pressure and with the need to win," Steels said. "There is only one spot that counts for a sprinter; the second spot is not good enough. But he will manage." Read the full story here.

Egan Bernal finished safely in the front group to stay in second overall. He spoke to France Televisions after receiving another white jersey as best young rider. "We all knew it was going to be a stressful day, we knew there would be wind and there could be splits, so it was fast all day, with a lot of nerves and a lot of stress. It was mostly nerves, because in the end there wasn’t so much wind but everyone wanted to be up front. Fortunately none of our riders crashed."

Tour de France 2020 - 107th Edition - 9th stage Pau - Laruns 153 km - 05/09/2020 - Egan Bernal (COL - Team Ineos) - photo POOL/BettiniPhoto©2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Primoz Roglic, meanwhile, remains in yellow. "It was a different stage but it was quite a nervous and stressful stage from the start all the way to the finish," he said. "As a team, we managed it really well and the guys did a really good job. We can be happy at the end of this stage and look forward to the next ones. I always say that as long as you’re in one piece quite a lot of things are possible. It’s just really important to be there and to watch out.”

Tour de France 2020 - 107th Edition - 9th stage Pau - Laruns 153 km - 05/09/2020 - Primoz Roglic (SLO - Team Jumbo - Visma) - photo POOL/BettiniPhoto©2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Bennett's talent has been matched by a tendency towards self-criticism over the years, and Julian Alaphilippe told France Televisions after the stage that his teammate needed reassuring. "Sam has a lot of talent, he’s very strong, and we tried to help him as much as possible. We’ve always backed Sam. He’s someone who needs reassuring, so we are always behind him. He’s very strong and deserves his success," said Alaphilippe, who suffered a broken wheel in the finale, coming home 11 minutes down. He is now 52 minutes down on GC, so we can surely expect to see him in escapes later in the week.

"My day was all good. It was nervous but I felt good – a lot better than the day before the rest day, so that bodes well for what lies ahead. Another rider broke my wheel before the bridge, so I just did as much as I could for Sam and then finished calmly."

UAE Team Emirates have confirmed that Davide Formolo sustained a suspected fracture to his left clavicle in his crash on the stage. The Italian has been taken to hospital for further assessment.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A full report, results and pictures from today's stage are available here.

Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 10th stage Ile dOleron Ile de Re 1685 km 08092020 Sam Bennett IRL Deceuninck Quick Step photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Alasdair Fotheringham has the full story on Sam Bennett's reaction to stage victory here.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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