Tour de France: Mark Cavendish equals Eddy Merckx record with stage 13 victory

Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) took his fourth victory of the 2021 Tour de France on stage 13 in Carcassonne, securing his 34th career victory at the race and moving onto equal terms with Eddy Merckx's all-time stage win record.

The Manxman surged to victory in the final 100 metres of the stage, following a messy run-in on what was a complicated final dash to the line. He beat lead-out man Michael Mørkøv into second place as Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) rounded out the podium. Iván García Cortina (Movistar) took fourth place after a late burst.

The Deceuninck-QuickStep train looked set to dominate the final two kilometres of the race, but it was a more complicated run-in than usual, as the Team DSM and Bahrain Victorious trains disrupted things at the front 600 metres from the finish.

That led Cavendish's teammate Davide Ballerini to push on alone in the final 300 metres, before García Cortina jumped shortly after. The Spaniard had Mørkøv, Cavendish, and Philipsen on his wheel though, and couldn't make his move last to the line.

Mørkøv led the way through to the line for Cavendish, who surged past to take victory by half a bike-length from his teammate, whose bike throw had beaten Philipsen by the same amount.

Cavendish extended his points classification lead at the end of a long 220-kilometre day in the saddle, adding 50 points to his haul in addition to the eight he had picked up at the intermediate sprint. He now sits on 279 points, leading Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) by 101 points as Philiipsen lies a further seven points back.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) remains secure in the Tour de France race lead having finished the stage safely in the peloton. The Slovenian takes his 5:18 advantage over Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo) into Saturday's stage 14.

How it unfolded

The 13th stage of the 2021 Tour de France took the peloton – still 154 strong – 219.9 kilometres south-west from Nîmes to Carcassonne as the race edged closer to the Pyrenees.

Despite the stage looking primed for another breakaway, and considering several past stages (2018, 2016, 2006) to Carcassonne have ended with a breakaway win, only a small breakaway managed to get away in the early kilometres of the stage, in contrast to stage 12.

After a spirited battle during the first 30 kilometres of the stage, a three-man breakaway established themselves out front, encountering little resistance from a peloton happy with the composition of the move on a day spent largely on rolling roads.
Deceuninck-QuickStep, keen to ensure a sprint victory for their man Mark Cavendish, marked move after move until Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Pierre Latour (Team TotalEnergies), and Sean Bennett (Qhubeka NextHash) were allowed to break free.

Shortly afterwards, Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) jumped away from the peloton too, but with a two-minute gap to make up he didn't manage to get across before being brought back into the peloton after 35 kilometres of racing.

A single climb was the only categorised difficulty along the route, the Côte de Pic St-Loup offering one KOM point as a fourth-category climb. The hill, which was crested after 51 kilometres, saw Latour grab the sole point over the top, with the break at that point almost four minutes up on the peloton.

Deceuninck-QuickStep's workhorse Tim Declercq was back in his familiar spot at the head of the peloton by that point, with the Belgian team controlling the gap to the break ahead of a near-certain sprint finish later on. Alpecin-Fenix also contributed a handful of riders to do the work, signalling their intent to sprint for Philipsen.

The middle section of the stage was a largely quiet affair – unsurprising given the lack of climbs to contest and the length of the day – though the intermediate sprint at Fontès, almost smack-bang at the midpoint of the stage did offer some drama.

The breakaway rolled through, but there was more of a battle in the peloton as the top sprinters came to the fore on the uphill run. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) took fourth behind the break for 13 points, with Matthews taking 11, Philipsen taking nine, and Cavendish taking eight.

After that brief burst of speed, again little of note occurred in the next 40 or so kilometres, at which point Bennett decided to make a move off the front of the break – despite there still being 60 kilometres to go.

He couldn't get away from his breakaway companions, though, and not long after that Goldstein and Latour returned the favour, dropping the American as Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) pushed the pace in the peloton, a minute down the road.

Chaos once again descended on the peloton a few kilometres later as a mass crash hit the middle of the group, taking down several notable names. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) went down along with Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo) and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic).

Declercq, Rafał Majka (UAE Team Emirates), Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal), and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) were also caught up in the carnage, and Søren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM) could be seen scrambling up the grass verge after toppling off the road into a ravine.

The news came through later on that Yates and Kluge had been forced to abandon as a result of the crash, but the other riders involved were back up and running fairly swiftly as the peloton – eventually – eased up to let them back in.

At 53 kilometres to go, Goldstein and Latour were brought back to draw an end to the breakaway. Eight kilometres later, Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) filled the space left by the early break, jumping away on his own in what would be a doomed move.
The Frenchman built up a gap of a minute in short order, though he was no real threat to the sprinter's teams.

At 34 kilometres to go, Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) headed off in pursuit of Pacher, who was at that point 1:30 up the road.

The Belgian's move lasted only six kilometres before he was brought back, though Pacher remained a minute out front as Deceuninck-QuickStep and Israel Start-Up Nation led the charge behind. EF Education-Nippo and Bora-Hansgrohe were also visible at the front as teams prepared for the final run to Carcassonne.

Just after Pacher was brought back at 18 kilometres to go, Ineos Grenadiers took over at the front, upping the pace considerably as the wind hit. However, the gusts weren't strong enough to provoke any big splits in the peloton, despite the British squad's best efforts.

Inside the final 10 kilometres, AG2R Citroën hit the front along with Bahrain Victorious as Deceuninck-QuickStep bided their time close to the front. They moved up at the five-kilometre mark, though Ineos and EF continued to mob the front as the peloton raced through the 'new' three-kilometre mark at 4.5 to go.

Mattia Cattaneo took it up for Deceuninck-QuickStep for the final three kilometres, with Bahrain Victorious also up front for Colbrelli as Bouhanni and Philipsen fought for Cavendish's wheel further back.

The Belgian squad had three men on the front heading into the final 1.5 kilometres, though without Julian Alaphlippe after the world champion's work earlier on after Declercq's involvement in the mid-stage crash.

That proved to be on barrier to yet another success – the team's 36th of the season – as Mørkøv and Cavendish cut through the chaos of the final to speed to a one-two finish ahead of nearest rival Philipsen.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 5:04:29
2Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
3Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
5Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
7Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
8André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
9Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo
10Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
11Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
12Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
13Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
14Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash
15Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
16Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
17Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
18Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
19Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM
20Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
21Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
22Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
23Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
24Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
25Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
26Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
27Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
28Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
29Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
30Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
31Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
32Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
33Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
34David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
35Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Team DSM
36Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team
37Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
38Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix
39Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
40Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo
41Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
42Fabien Doubey (Fra) TotalEnergies
43Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
44Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
45Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
46Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
47Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange
48Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
49Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
50Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
51Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
52Michael Schär (Swi) AG2R Citroën Team
53Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
54Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
55Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
56Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
57Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
58Connor Swift (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:00:18
59Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
60Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo
61Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
62Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
63Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
64Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
65Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
66Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
67Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
68Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka-NextHash
69Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
70Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team
71Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
72Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
73Jelle Wallays (Bel) Cofidis
74Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
75Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
76Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies 0:00:28
77Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:32
78Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:35
79Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:36
80Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:07
81Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:11
82Fred Wright (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:13
83Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious
84Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
85Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:28
86Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
87Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis
88Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:31
89Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
90Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:32
91Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:17
92Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
93Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
94Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:23
95Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
96Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
97Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
98Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
99Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
100Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
101Jeremy Cabot (Fra) TotalEnergies
102Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:04:03
103Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis
104Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
105Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
106Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
107Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) TotalEnergies
108Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
109Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
110Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
111Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
112Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
113Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
114Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
115Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
116Simon Clarke (Aus) Qhubeka-NextHash
117Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
118Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange
119Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:04:49
120Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
121Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
122Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
123Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates
124Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
125Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
126Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
127Luke Durbridge (Aus) Team BikeExchange
128Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:04:53
129Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM 0:05:17
130Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:05:25
131Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:06:15
132Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation
133Mark Donovan (GBr) Team DSM
134Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation
135Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech
136Petr Vakoc (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix
137Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
138Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team BikeExchange
139Sean Bennett (USA) Qhubeka-NextHash
140Carlos Barbero (Spa) Qhubeka-NextHash
141Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:06:19
142Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
143Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
144Victor de la Parte (Spa) TotalEnergies
145Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team
146Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:21
147Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
148Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM 0:06:33
149Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
150Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM 0:16:28
151Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:21:38
DNFRoger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal
DNFLucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNFSimon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
DNSMichael Gogl (Aut) Qhubeka-NextHash
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