Tour de France: Cavendish makes it three on stage 10

Mark Cavendish added a third victory to his haul from the Tour de France, sprinting to victory once again in Valence on stage 10 after another pristine lead out from Deceuninck-QuickStep.

The Manxman extended his lead in the points classification with another 50 points at the finish, edging out Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) in the dash for the line.

On a stage threatened by crosswinds in the final 30 kilometres but never really torn apart by them, the Belgian squad were fully in control, having managed the battle for the break early on, bossed the peloton as the winds hit later, and then set up their perfect lead out at the finish.

"Old school, run of the mill, like you read in a cycling magazine, textbook lead-out," the grinning Cavendish said after the finish. "We just got the lads on the front and pulled as fast as they can so no one can come up and try to come past in the finish.

"We knew this finish - I didn't make it the last time we came to this finish – it was in 2015, I got dropped and nearly cried and Greipel won. I studied it – we knew if we took the last corner wide you can keep the speed. It split in the wind, but we didn't try to split it. We weren't bothered by it. We were confident we had the team for the sprint.

"Again, I'm just humbled. You got the winner of the Tour of Flanders, the world champion who's also worn the yellow jersey also here. You've got Michael Mørkøv who's gone to the Olympics for the Madison to try and win that. You've got the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner leaving everything on the road for me. I have to finish it off. I didn't really do anything – I did 150 metres – it was the team I have to thank for everything."

Despite the likes of Arkéa-Samsic, Alpecin-Fenix and Bora-Hansgrohe threatening to rival the Belgian team in the final kilometres, it was all about the men in blue as Michael Mørkøv deposited Cavendish at 150 metres to go following the late bend onto the 250-metre finishing straight.

Fast-closing Belgians Van Aert and Philipsen came back on either side of the 36-year-old, but there was simply no way past before the line with the riders sprinting into a headwind, and Cavendish added his 33rd Tour de France stage win to his palmarès by a wheel length from the Belgian champion.

Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) and Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) rounded out the top five on the stage, but there was no doubt at the winner – Deceuninck-QuickStep's dominance on the flat as inevitable as yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar's in the Alps.

The Slovenian continues in the maillot jaune after some attentive riding in the wind during the latter parts of the stage, his lead unaltered at 2:01 ahead of Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroën) and Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo) at 5:18.

Cavendish's green jersey lead, 38 points from Matthews at the start of the day, is now up to 59 as a result of the finishing sprint, despite the Australian and Bahrain Victorious rider Sonny Colbrelli picking up points at the intermediate sprint earlier in the day.

How it unfolded

The tenth stage of the 2021 Tour de France took the peloton 190.7 kilometres from Albertville south-west to Valence as the sprinters returned to the fore on the fourth flat sprint stage of the race.

On the day after the rest day and a brutal weekend in the Alps, the stage featured few obstacles for the remaining sprinters in the race, with just one classified climb – the fourth-category Col de Couz (7.5km at 2.8 per cent) coming after 59.5 kilometres. The hilltop intermediate sprint after 83 kilometres offered more points towards the green jersey, while an unclassified climb at Bearegard-Baret (5.3km at 3.8 per cent) came 37 kilometres from the finish.

With little on the stage to fight over for any potential breakaway, there wasn't much of a battle for the break to start the day. Deceuninck-QuickStep's Tim Declercq was on patrol duty at the front of the peloton in the early kilometres and quickly let two riders jump away in the form of Tosh van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) and Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech).

The duo attacked after three kilometres and were let go without much resistance, and they eased out to a gap of six minutes after 20 kilometres of action. Back in the peloton, Team DSM, and UAE Team Emirates worked on the front to control the situation.

Colbrelli went on the move shortly afterwards, but he was quickly marked by Deceuninck-QuickStep with the Italian champion a threat to Cavendish's points classification lead.

The Belgian team moved to the front after 50 kilometres as Declercq settled into his usual spot at the head of the peloton. Out front, Houle took the solitary KOM point atop the Col de Couz, with the breakaway holding just a 3:30 lead over the top with 130 kilometres to go.

Back in the peloton, there were no sprinters in trouble on the climb as Declercq remained in control tapping out a steady pace. 15 kilometres later, they hit the front for the intermediate sprint.

There, Colbrelli took 15 points for third place ahead of Matthews, Philipsen and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) as Cavendish remained in the peloton, his lead cut to 25 points over Matthews and 32 over Colbrelli.

After the rush to the sprint and a nervous approach back to the flatlands with crosswinds possibly threatening the peloton, the lead of Van der Sande and Houle was cut to just 1:20, though the wind didn't materialise as they continued south towards Valence.

A crash at the 68-kilometre mark saw Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers riders among those hitting the deck at a pinch point in the road, with Sepp Kuss, Mike Teunissen, Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, and Luke Rowe all hitting the deck. All involved were quickly back up and running, however.

By the time the riders hit 50 kilometres to go, everyone was back in the peloton and the work up front by Bora-Hansgrohe, UAE Team Emirates, and Deceuninck-QuickStep – among others – had cut the gap to under a minute. BikeExchange joined the action soon after, working on the front as the riders hit the climb to Beauregard-Baret at 40 kilometres to go.

Van der Sande's day out front ended on the climb while Houle battled on alone, 30 seconds in the lead. The Canadian himself was caught before the top, though the hot pace set at the front was no trouble for the sprinters behind.

It was at the 30-kilometre mark, following a nervous period in the peloton, where the pace really upped as Deceuninck-QuickStep hit the front with world champion Julian Alaphilippe at the helm. Buffeted by crosswinds from the east, it was go time.

At the same moment, Colbrelli suffered a horribly inopportune puncture, but up front the wind wasn't strong enough up front to create gaps despite the 60kph+ speeds. After a short chase, the Italian champion made it back to the peloton without too much trouble, rejoining the front of the race with 22 kilometres to go.

Bora-Hansgrohe, Jumbo-Visma, and Deceuninck-QuickStep pushed the pace once more 17 kilometres out, briefly creating a split on the front before yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) closed the small gap.

A handful of kilometres later, there was another split, this time more decisive, as Deceuninck-QuickStep pushed on again. Nonetheless, the big sprint names and GC men were all in the front group of around 50 riders, with only sprint also-ran Cees Bol (Team DSM) missing out.

EF Education-Nippo took control of the peloton heading into the final 10 kilometres, though there were no further splits in the wind despite the high pace. At the three-kilometre mark, it was once again Deceuninck-QuickStep up front with Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Davide Ballerini, Michael Mørkøv working for Cavendish for the final sprint.

A mixture of other teams were up front, including Bora-Hansgrohe, though no other lead-out train was as cohesive as that of the Belgian squads'. Inside the final kilometre, Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic jumped to the front.

However, neither team, with their partly constructed lead outs, could hold a candle to the Deceuninck-QuickStep machine. Cavendish finished off his teammates' work with ease to take a third win in 10 days at the Tour de France.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 4:14:07
2Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
5Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
6Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
8Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
10Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM
11Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
12Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
13Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
14Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
15Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
16Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
17Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
18Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash
19Carlos Barbero (Spa) Qhubeka-NextHash
20Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
21Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo
22Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
23Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
24Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
25Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
26David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
27Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
28Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix
29Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
30Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
31Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
32Michael Schär (Swi) AG2R Citroën Team
33Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team
34Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
35Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
36Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
37Daniel McLay (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
38Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
39Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
40Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
41Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
42Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
43Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
44Jelle Wallays (Bel) Cofidis
45Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
46Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange
47Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
48Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
49Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo
50Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo
51Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
52Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
53Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
54Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
55Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
56Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
57Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
58Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
59Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
60Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
61Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
62Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
63Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
64Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
65Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
66Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis
67Fabien Doubey (Fra) TotalEnergies
68Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
69Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
70Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
71Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo
72Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash
73Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
74Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation
75Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
76Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
77Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
78Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:00:29
79Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:32
80Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM
81Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
82Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:47
83Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
84Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
85Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
86Petr Vakoc (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix
87Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious
88Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
89Simon Clarke (Aus) Qhubeka-NextHash
90Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM 0:01:06
91Luke Durbridge (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:01:20
92Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
93Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:28
94Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
95Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:51
96Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:55
97Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:02:15
98Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:46
99Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
100Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
101Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
102Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
103Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
104Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM
105Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
106Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team DSM
107Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
108Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
109Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
110Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
111Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious
112Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
113Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:38
114Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis
115Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
116Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) TotalEnergies
117Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ
118Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
119Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
120Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
121Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
122Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
123Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech
124Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
125Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
126Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
127Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
128Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
129Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
130Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
131Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM
132Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
133Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation
134Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
135Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
136Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
137Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
138Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
139Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
140Victor de la Parte (Spa) TotalEnergies
141Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
142Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
143Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
144Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
145Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
146Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
147Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
148Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM
149Jeremy Cabot (Fra) TotalEnergies
150Michael Gogl (Aut) Qhubeka-NextHash
151Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
152Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange
153Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
154Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange
155Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
156Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team BikeExchange
157Sean Bennett (USA) Qhubeka-NextHash
158Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal
159Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team
160Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:07:59
161Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
162Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
163Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Qhubeka-NextHash
164Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNSJonas Koch (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
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Sprint 1 - D520 A La Placette km. 82.3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal 20
2Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech 17
3Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 15
4Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 13
5Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 11
6Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 10
7Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 9
8Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 8
9Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal 7
10Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix 6
11Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 5
12Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 4
13Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 3
14Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis 2
15Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates 1
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Points
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 50
2Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 30
3Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 20
4Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 18
5Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 16
6Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 14
7André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation 12
8Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 10
9Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies 8
10Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM 7
11Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 6
12Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team 5
13Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 4
14Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis 3
15Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 2
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 4) Col de Couz km. 58.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech 1
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Young riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 4:14:07
2Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
3Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo
4Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
6David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
8Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
9Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
10Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo
11Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
12Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
13Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
14Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo
15Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM 0:00:32
16Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:47
17Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM 0:01:06
18Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:28
19Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:55
20Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:03:46
21Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
22Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team DSM
23Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
24Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:04:38
25Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
26Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM
27Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange
28Sean Bennett (USA) Qhubeka-NextHash
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Combativity
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech
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Teams
Pos.Rider Name (Country) Team