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Tour de France stage 7 - Live coverage

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Morning. Early start today, and that's because today is the longest stage of the 2021 Tour de France. 249 kilometres from Vierzon to Le Creusot... it's a test of endurance for riders and live bloggers alike.

Today's stage is a pretty open one. The terrain is rugged late on and, despite there being just a few minor-category climbs, the total elevation for the day is a surprising 3000 metres. Couple that with the distance and you have a very wearing day in the saddle. There should be decent interest in a breakaway, given the demands of controlling a peloton here. However, there are a number of more robust sprinters - Sagan, Matthews, Colbrelli, Van der Poel, Van Aert - who should also be interested in this, so we could see a reduced bunch sprint... or we could even see attacks in the finale and a smaller group or even a solo at the finish. 

You call it.

The riders are signing-on for the stage and the pre-race podium ceremony is well underway. The roll-out is coming up on the hour, at 11am local time. 

It's a hot sunny morning as we prepare to head across central France.

LE CREUSOT FRANCE JULY 02 Luke Durbridge of Australia Christopher JuulJensen of Denmark Luka Mezgec of Slovenia Simon Yates of The United Kingdom Esteban Chaves of Colombia Michael Matthews of Australia Amund Grndahl Jansen of Norway Lucas Hamilton of Australia and Team BikeExchange at start during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 7 a 2491km km stage from Vierzon to Le Creusot 369m Team Presentation LeTour TDF2021 on July 02 2021 in Le Creusot France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before we get going, now's the time to catch up on yesterday's action. Report, results, and photos all in the link below. 

Tour de France: History repeats as Cavendish wins stage 6 in Châteauroux

It's also the time to have a read of our stage preview, with insight from BikeExchange DS Matt White.

Tour de France 2021: Stage 7 preview

Victor Campenaerts has predicted a fierce battle for the breakaway in the early kilometres today. He also says he and every one of his Qhubeka NextHash teammates has the same ambition: to be in there. Here's the full story.

The riders are gathering on the start line and we'll soon be on the move. We've got a 15-minute neutral zone coming up, just to add to the distance. 

Cavendish still doing the celebration this morning.

Cavendish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In case you missed it, Cavendish won yesterday in Chateauroux, the scene of his first ever Tour de France win back in 2008, and scene of another victory in 2011. He has pulled the same hands-on-head celebration all three times. Don't believe me? We did a feature on his Tour de France stage wins, with photos and quotes from all of them. We didn't know it would require such updates so soon...

Mark Cavendish and his Tour de France stage wins – Gallery

Anyway, back in the race we're coming to the end of the neutral zone and.... yep, there's Christian Prudhomme, sticking out of the sunroof, waving his little flag. We're underway!

Campenaerts goes immediately. Obviously.

A moment's hesitation but now we have more riders looking to get involved.

De Gendt (also obviously), Mohoric, Ballerini make their way up to Campenaerts.

That move comes to nothing. Here comes the next one.

Wout Van Aert heads to the front...

That wasn't a proper push for the break. It settles and now Jonas Rutsch heads off alone.

TotalEnergies send a rider across and then there's no response behind. 

I thought Qhubeka said every rider was fighting for the break today... Ah yes, they've pinged someone away now.

Rutsch is caught as things come back together again.

The peloton is fully bunched up and riding steady.

TotalEnergies kick off the next wave... but it's not much of a wave. No one's making any huge moves here. Worried about the distance?

Hold on. Step forward Mads Pedersen.

Michael Schar goes with Pedersen. Movement behind but they're away as a duo at the moment.

That movement brings the peloton back together.

Van Aert is up there again, moving through.

Van Aert now does hit the wind. He does seem interested this morning.

Magnus Cort goes next

Campenaerts goes with him. A Lotto Soudal rider chasing. 

Again, accelerations behind wipe out the gap.

Ballerini tries to make it stick but now they all ease off the pedals.

Campenaerts goes again. Ballerini jumps onto it, but that wasn't a gap-making acceleration.

The peloton bunches up across the road once more. It's a cross-headwind, just to make things even more demanding. Not the right direction or the right strength to threaten to split the race, though. 

Intermarché send a rider off the front now.

No response behind... panic stations for this rider...

It starts up again now. TotalEnergies look interested still.

It's Jonas Koch up the road for Intermarché. A new wave of accelerations behind fizzles out.

Brent Van Moer pings across to Koch and more are following

Kasper Asgreen is one of them and he hits it now.

Pedersen, Connor Swift, and Philippe Gilbert are up there following Asgreen.

No gaps though... Back together.

New attacks. Rutsch digs once more and gets a gap.

Asgreen goes again.

222km to go

Nothing doing for the moment.

Tony Martin takes it up now.

Through the town of Saint-Germain-du-Puy and some riders try to use the road furniture to make the difference but nothing going clear for now. Van Aert is up there again.

Van Aert accelerates and Van der Poel responds!

Alaphilippe up there as a small group goes!

Van der Poel is in the yellow jersey and wary of Van Aert, who's third overall at 30 seconds. Alaphlippe is fourth overall and the GC teams can't afford to let this go.

Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates set about bringing it back.

It's shut down, but the bunch is in a long line.

This is maybe the best moment yet to form a break and quickly a new wave of riders goes. But everyone's alive to it and no gaps go.

Petr Vakoc (Alpecin-Fenix) punctured a little earlier and will be praying this break goes soon. He's chasing at a minute.

EF fire another rider up the road. Declercq from QuickStep goes with it and four more riders jump behind.

That move is brought to heel.

Cortina, Postlberger, Van Aert, Nibali... those are some of the names at the front as the peloton stretches out again.

Tony Martin accelerates with Van Aert in the wheel. 

A nice little lead-out that, as Van Aert now hits the front.

Van Aert gives it a nudge but can't drive a proper gap open. AG2R look interested now.

Here we go... Van der Poel up there again as a large group forms and a gap opens.

Cavendish is up there. Van Aert still there from before. Campenaerts and Mohoric too, and plenty of others. This is big and dangerous.

UAE are back on the case, looking to shut this down.

Van der Poel comes through for his turn as this big group quickly gets organised. Brilliant to see the yellow jersey on the attack like this.

The gap has opened up to around 20 seconds. This is a hugely powerful move and not an easy one to bring back.

UAE have their whole team on the front. Panic stations.

We'll bring you a full list of the names in the break but the big ones are Van der Poel and Van Aert. Nibali is there as well, as is Simon Yates. Kragh Andersen, Stuyven, Gilbert, Laporte, Asgreen, Mohoric... it's a quality move. Around 30 in there.

UAE still have all their riders on the front. Question have been asked of Pogacar's support network and this is a big test for them.

There are no major pre-race favourites in the move, but Nibali is less than three minutes down. 

Ineos have Dylan van Baarle in the move. Roglic's Jumbo-Visma have Teunissen up there with Van Aert.

200km to go

Almost 50km on the clock and this group moves out to 35 seconds. UAE are just about holding it but not bringing it back at the moment.

Van Aert, Teunissen, Van Baarle, Nibali, Skujins, Stuyven, Asgreen, Cavendish, Erviti, Cortina, Konrad, Laporte, Meurisse, Van der Poel, Cort, Guerreiro, Godon, Kragh Andersen, Gilbert, Sweeny, Van Moer, Mohoric, Yates, Houle, Campenaerts, Bakelants, Van Poppel, Bonnamour.

That's your break. Still 35 seconds. They're working pretty well for now.

The gap goes up to 55 seconds!

UAE are chasing alone here. They are one of only five of the 23 teams not represented in this break, so they're not going to get much help for now. The others with no one up the road are Israel Start-Up Nation, Groupama-FDJ, TotalEnergies, and Arkéa-Samsic.

Van der Poel is not shirking his turns up front.

TotalEnergies send a rider to help UAE with the chase.

The gap goes out to 1:20 and seems to be stabilising now.

Here's the full composition of the breakaway - teams included

Vincenzo Nibali, Toms Skujins, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)

Philippe Gilbert, Harry Sweeny, Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal)

Mathieu van der Poel, Xandro Muerisse (Alpecin-Fenix)

Wout van Aert, Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma)

Kasper Asgreen, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep)

Imanol Erviti, Ivan Cortina (Movistar)

Magnus Cort, Ruben Guerreiro (EF-Nippo)

Michael Schar, Dorion Godon (AG2R Citroën)

Jan Bakelants, Danny Van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert)

Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange)

Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers)

Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Christophe Laporte (Cofidis)

Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka NextHash)

Soren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM)

Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious)

Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech)

Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels)

185km to go

The gap is in fact still rising. 1:55 now.

This is the sort of move that could potentially turn the Tour on its head. But there's a long way to go and the gap is only rising slowly at the moment. TotalEnergies look to be committing more riders now - they have Pierre Latour looking good in 6th overall - and if it gets really out of hand then Ineos might be pokered into chasing later on. 

Cavendish comes through for a turn. Good to see the green jersey up there. He's expending energy that he might need to get through the mountains but there is the carrot of the intermediate sprint in around 40km time, where he should help himself to maximum points, with none of his sprint rivals in this move. 

176km to go

The gap grows to 2:45.

If nothing else, this will really sap the legs of Pogacar's teammates. They look far less panicked now but they're already using riders like Rui Costa and Davide Formolo, who might be expected to lend a hand in the mountains, which come... tomorrow.

See more

The gap rises to 3:05. It's nudging up slowly but surely. 

Here's the breakaway in its infancy

LE CREUSOT FRANCE JULY 02 Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix yellow leader jersey Harry Sweeny of Australia and Team Lotto Soudal during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 7 a 2491km km stage from Vierzon to Le Creusot 369m LeTour TDF2021 on July 02 2021 in Le Creusot France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

160km to go

The gap hits four minutes now.

150km to go

With almost 100km on the clock, the gap has reached 4:40.

Nibali is a key GC threat in this break and, as you'd have it, we caught up with the 2014 champion yesterday, and, as you'd have it, he spoke about the prospect of going in the break.

"They'll probably want to close me down because I could move up in the GC and in theory even take the jersey. My presence would probably derail any breakaway attempt and I honestly wouldn’t want to upset the true stage win chasers and baroudeurs."

Vincenzo Nibali stuck between rock and hard place with Tour de France break aspirations

We're just over 10km from that intermediate sprint.

This is how things stand in the points classification

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 148

2 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 102

3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 99

4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 96

5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 84

6 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 78

7 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 72

8 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 66

9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 64

10 Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 62

There are a maximum of 20 points available at the intermediate sprint, so Cavendish is set to extend his lead very handsomely indeed. Only 15 riders can score points and there are 29 riders in the break, so none of his direct rivals are going to pick any up.

139km to go

The gap reaches 4:50.

See more

Here we go. Time for the sprint.

Cavendish sets off with Asgreen for a lead-out.

Van Poppel and Mohoric are also interested. No one else.

Cavendish calmly claims maximum points ahead of Van Poppel and Mohoric, who didn't mount a huge challenge. Asgreen trails in fourth, followed by the rest of the break.

New points classification standings

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 168

2 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 102

3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 99

4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 96

5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 84

6 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 84

7 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 72

8 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 66

9 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 64

10 Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 62

UAE Team Emirates bring the peloton across the intermediate sprint 4:18 in arrears. They've started to bring the gap down.

Through the feed zone now. 

The break has fragmented after that feed zone. Cavendish, Van Baarle, Skujins, Guerreiro, and Godon are off the back

It doesn't look like a voluntary move from those five. They're chasing at 16 seconds now.

Guerreiro isn't happy. He's having a go at Van Baarle as Godon and Skujins move clear. Cavendish is following the wheels. 

Van Baarle accelerates and leaves Guerreiro behind. The Portuguese rider is not having a happy time at the moment and he looks round and sees Cavendish planted on his wheel. The green jersey isn't going to pull, but he will attack, and he swings over to the right-hand side of the road and launches a mini sprint to leave his companion behind.

Cavendish makes it to the others, looks around, and sets about wildly remonstrating with Guerreiro, who's still distanced.

Skujins, Godon, Van Baarle, and Cavendish make it back to the break. Guerreiro still behind.

Guerreiro still hasn't made it and he's slipping back. He's at 25 seconds and looks to be fading.

That might turn out to be a killer move from Cavendish. Guerreiro did start waving for his team car when that attack came but I'm not sure what the problem was.

117km to go

Meanwhile the gap between break and bunch has risen to five minutes.

Guerreiro slips to a minute. Day done. Not quite sure what happened with those splits but I'm sure we'll find out later. 

It's all smiles in the break as Cavendish and Yates have a little chat. Still 109km to go on this mammoth stage and things have largely settled down into a pattern but it's still fascinatingly poised.

105km to go

The gap continues to rise. 5:45 now. 

98km to go

Inside 100km to go now and the gap rises above six minutes. It's been delicately poised for a while now but if it continues to rise in the next hour things could get very interesting.

Guerreiro is now back in the peloton.

90km to go

The break are on the first of our four categorised climbs. It's the cat-3 Côte de Château-Chinon. It's 3.2km long with an average gradient of 5.3 per cent. 

This is where the terrain really starts to get lumpy. It's going to be a hard final couple of hours in both groups.

Van der Poel continues to roll through on the climb. 

Towards the top now and Van Moer attacks. Mohoric goes with him. 

Mohoric accelerates and Van Moer can't respond.

Mohoric takes the maximum two points. Van Moer gets the sole remaining point.

We've spoken to Sepp Kuss about his Jumbo-Visma leader Roglic and the complexion of the race as a whole. Link below if you're interested.

Kuss: Pogacar has the Tour de France advantage but Roglic never gives up

Mohoric and Van moer combine to continue their effort on the subsequent downhill, just putting a little pressure on their breakaway companions.

It's a short descent then a longer climb, only part of which is categorised. 

UAE are still chasing. I say chasing... they're controlling really. After that frantic response early on, they have settled into an approach of simply trying to manage the gap and prevent it getting too far out of hand.

We have news on the sign-holding spectator who caused the stage 1 mass crash. She has been released from police custody but is facing charges. The local prosecutor has also described the woman as "ashamed" and "fearful".

Click here for the full story.

Mohoric and Van Moer find themselves some 45 seconds ahead of the break.

Meanwhile the peloton comes to the top of that climb 6:45 in arrears.

Jumbo-Visma start to ride!

Ineos also come to the fore. Big shift in the peloton.

Movistar are also up there. We're heading into the hilly portion of the stage and this might not be so much a question of chasing, as positioning ahead of the next climb.

UAE take it back up as things calm down following that brief spurt.

The next climb is the cat-4 Côte de Glux-en-Glenne. It's 2.6km at 4.2% but it's uphill for a few kilometres before it starts. 

Mohoric and Van Moer start the climb proper now. They're a minute up on the rest of the break. 

To the top now and Mohoric keeps the pace high to ensure he's first once again. Just the one point on offer there. 

This move has begun the inevitable downfall of collaboration in the break, which had worked really well all day considering its size. With Van Moer up the road, Gilbert and Sweeny can afford to take more of a back seat. 

Asgreen raises the pace as they crest the climb 1:10 in arrears.

It looks like Marc Hirschi's work is done. He's been riding with Rui Costa most of the day for UAE but they've both slipped back on the climb. Formolo is now doing the work.

62km to go

Froome is distanced

It looks like a mechanical for Froome, who gets a bike change.

A largely downhill stretch now before those last three climbs come back-to-back. Nibali launches a brief acceleration.

58km to go

Mohoric and Van Moer are a minute up on the rest of the break. The peloton are a further 6:30 in arrears.

TotalEnergies are chasing again. They've put three riders on the front now.

The French team are working for Latour, who's sixth overall and has looked lively so far, but you have to question what they really have to defend here. 

Campenaerts attacks from the main break group. 

Stuyven goes with him in a two-up Belgian move.

The pair quickly find 15 seconds as Van der Poel and Van Aert both roll through for turns behind.

Gilbert attacks now!

It all kicks off now

Cavendish is dropped. Breakaway done for him. Tongue out for the cameras and he'll save energy from here on in

Asgreen was the first to sprint after Gilbert, followed by Meurisse and Cort.

The group comes back together and Laporte goes next. 

The organisation has welly and truly evaporated from this breakaway and it's constant attacks.

Houle is the next to go. Konrad, Laporte, and Cortina respond.

Van der Poel has to plug a gap but the group comes back together.

Another lull now and that's causing them to lose time. Stuyven and Campenaerts are 35 seconds up the road now and only 15 seconds down on the two leaders.

46km to go

Campenaerts and Stuyven make it over to Mohoric and Van Moer. Four out front now.

We're 5km from the third of the five climbs. It's the cat-3 Côte de la Croix de la Libération - 4.6km at 5.3%.

After that, it's a descent before the mouth-watering Signal d'Uchon climb with its ramps of 18 per cent. Then another short descent before the final cat-4 climb and a largely downhill run-in to the line. 

The attacks have stopped in the main breakaway group but the collaboration is still low. Things have become very cagey and that was always perhaps the trump card that UAE had. The tactical complexion meant the main move as a whole would always lose time late on.

The gap reaches 1:45 and now Meurisse hits the front to take it up for Van der Poel.

Gilbert, Sweeny, Skujins, and Nibali will not work in the main break, given they have riders up the road. The other teams with multiple riders are Jumbo with Teunissen and Van Aert, AG2R with Schar and Godon, Intermarché with Van Poppel and Bakelants, and Movistar with Erviti and Godon.

The leading four hit the Côte de la Croix de la Libération.

Things have indeed changed and Meurisse is the one riding, sacrificing himself in a sustained push.

Change in the peloton. Ineos hit the front through town ahead of the climb.

TotalEnergies are up there alongside the British team. UAE still have three riders around Pogacar - Majka, Costa, and McNulty. Hirschi and Formolo are still in the bunch but further back.

Campenaerts loses contact on the climb.

Teunissen hits the front now in the main break. Van Aert's and Van der Poel's teammates combining to drag the front four back.

But here comes an attack. It's Konrad, and he's stalked by Cort. Asgreen responds.

Nibali follows too.

That move is splitting the main break. Van der Poel and Van Aert are right up there.

Nibali accelerates! Great to see

10 riders have made this split: Konrad, Cort, Van der Poel, Van Aert, Nibali, Yates, Asgreen, Skujins, Kragh Andersen, Bonnamour.

That means AG2R, Movistar, and Intermarce have all lost both their riders. Van Baarle can't follow for Ineos.

35km to go

The leaders reach the top of the Croix de la Libèration. Mohoric once again grabs maximum points - two in this case. Stuyven bags the final one as Van Moer sits on the back. Campenaerts is still dropped.

That 10-man chase group is now just under a minute down.

The chasers catch Campenaerts and the peloton catch Cavendish.

Small crash in the bunch on the climb. A Jumbo rider hits the deck.

A few kilometres downhill before we hit the Signal d'Uchon. It's only short but it's a cat-2 climb and that's because of its gradient. The average of 5.7 per cent doesn't sound so intimidating but the last 2km are in the double digits.

Vingegaard was the Jumbo rider on the deck.

The impetus wanes in the chase group and Bonnamour attacks from it.

There are now only five minutes separating the Van der Poel/Van Aert/Nibali group from the peloton. 

Astana have appeared at the head of the bunch with Fraile. Not sure why. 

Bonnamour has found 20 seconds on the rest of the chase, who are now 1:30 behind the three leaders. 

The chase group has expanded, with Van Baarle, Houle, and Cortina getting back in.

Meurisse is back chasing for Van der Poel, who is poised in second wheel. 

They're 1:40 down on the leaders now but this isn't out of reach. The next climb is really tough - the toughest we've had at the Tour so far - and can tip the situation on its head. 

Nairo Quintana appears to have been dropped from the peloton and chasing in a group further down the road.

Bonnamour is brought back as Meurisse continues his effort.

The peloton has indeed been reduced and should thin down a bit further on the next climb.

We're on the climb now. It's 5.7km at 5.7% and it's starts steady, before a brief respite, and then those super-steep ramps later on. 

Teunissen is dropped from the chase group. He has no more to offer Van Aert.

Meurisse carries on for Van der Poel. This is a really impressive ride from the Belgian.

Konrad attacks again. It's déjà-vu.

A bit of looking around and the Austrian champion is away.

Meurisse pulls aside and falls away now. It's mano a mano now and more tactical

Gilbert has been dropped now. As have Erviti and Bakelants. 

TotalEnergies are still working in this thinning peloton.

Cort sets off in pursuit of Konrad.

Houle goes next.

The three leaders hit the downhill section in the middle of this climb.

Godon is the next to go. Van Aert takes it up with Van der Poel in the wheel. But the pace isn't high and Skujins kicks.

Andersen goes with Skujins. The rest looks at each other.

Nibali attacks! But Asgreen goes at the same time and Nibali is almost rideen onto the grass verge. Apologies and both crack on.

Onto the steep ramps for the leading trio! Mohoric goes clear!

Stuyven is fighting to stay in contention but Van Moer is more definitively dropped.

Konrad is looking strong as he hits the steep section. He's 55 seconds behind Mohoric.

Van der Poel, Van Aert, Asgreen, Nibali, Yates. That's an elite five-man group chasing behind the chasers.

Mohoric looks super strong here. He attacked ages ago but is in with a real shot here.

That elite five-man group is making up ground and coming back towards Houle, Andersen, Bonnamour, and Skujins. They make contact. Cort is a little further up the road.

Andersen, Houle and Yates lose contact now. This is horribly steep.

Asgreen is powering this on and they catch Cort.

Mohoric comes to the top of the climb. He's first to the top again and adds to his points tally. He'll be in the polka-dots tomorrow.

There are also bonus seconds here. Mohoric takes the maximum 8. Konrad will take the next 5 and there are two remaining for the third rider.

17.5km to go

Mohoric has taken a lead of a minute over Konrad at the top. What a ride.

Asgreen, Van der Poel, Van Aert, Nibali, Cort, Bonnamour, Skujins follow at 16 seconds.

The peloton are just over six minutes behind the front of the race.

Attack from the peloton! TotalEnergies have been riding all day and now they send a rider up the road.

Roglic being dropped!

Wow. Huge moment in the Tour de France. He's not gone but he's been distanced and doesn't appear to have any teammates left.

Even if he does make it back, this does not look good at all for Roglic's Tour de France challenge. We hit the Alps tomorrow.

Roglic is losing more ground now!

Carapaz attacks! Here we go!!!

He flies past the Total rider, and past Campenaerts.

Carapaz quickly gets a gap and goes solo over the top of the Signal d'Uchon. Ineos are playing their numbers game and, to be fair, doing some exciting racing.

Into the final 12km for Mohoric. He has 1:10 in hand still and this looks like his to lose.

Roglic is still alone. Van Aert is in the break, as was Teunissen (albeit further back). Vingegaard and Kuss don't seem to be waiting.

Konrad is still alone chasing Mohoric, 1:15 down and 30 seconds up on the Van der Poel-Van Aert group.

Carapaz continues his effort, burning past dropped breakaway riders. 

We're still waiting for time gaps on Carapaz and Roglic. 

A well-timed move from Carapaz. UAE have been working all day for Pogacar and don't really have many resources left to chase. 

Konrad has company. He's caught by Cort, Asgreen, and Bonammour. Further back are Van der Poel, Van Aert, Nibali, Skujins, Yates, Houle.

8.5km to go

Mohoric hits the final climb. It's cat-4 - 2.4km at 5.3%. 

Mohoric springs out of the saddle. He still has energy left and has extended his lead to 1:30.

Van Aert attacks! He's followed by Van der Poel. Obviously

The old rivals are away but have huge ground to make up. Mohoric is 2:10 ahead of them.

Nibali is chasing them alone. The rest are distanced further.

Van Aert is doing the work there, Van der Poel just following.

Back in the bunch, which is heavily reduced, EF and Movistar are chasing. Carapaz is up the road but we don't have a time check.

40 seconds! There it is... Carapaz is taking 40 seconds over his rivals at the moment.

5km to go

Into the final 5km for Mohoric and he surely has this in the bag. He has 1:40 over the first chase group and another 20 seconds on Van Aert and Van der Poel

Movistar have decent numbers in the reduced bunch - better than any other team - and they're putting them to good use. They're worried about Carapaz and are chasing. The gap drops to 30 seconds.

Carapaz crests the top of the final climb and he sees Van Baarle now, who has dropped back from the break. 

Van Baarle will now help Carapaz for the run-in, which is perhaps why he was in the break all along. 

Movistar also find horsepower from the break in Erviti. They've brought Carapaz back to 23 seconds.

2km to go for Mohoric. This is in the bag and he's going to win his first Tour stage. He already has wins from the Giro and Vuelta so this completes the set.

Into the final kilometre for the Slovenian. What a ride this has been. He attacked the break almost 90km ago!

Mohoric looks emotional here. He's pretty much in tears.

He rises from the saddle, points to his national champion's jersey, makes a heart sign with his hands, and raises his arms to the sky. He crosses the line, he has won stage 7 of the Tour de France, and what a win.

Here comes Stuyven, who has been completely ignored by the cameras for the last 15km. He hangs on for second place, 1:20 down.

Van Aert and Van der Poel are closing in on the chase group as they near the line.

Cort sprints for third from that group. Van der Poel makes a huge burst to take fourth. 

Asgreen, fifth, then Bonnamour, Konrad, Van Aert, Van Moer.

Skujins sprints from the next group but is pipped by Godon. They finish at 2:45.

Nibali now finishes at 2:56 with Yates and Houle.

Now Carapaz enters the barriers. He's still away.

More breakaway remnants reach the line but we wait to see Carapaz and how much time he has gained exactly.

Here he comes. Mouth agape, Carapaz has made a big move at this Tour but he's not going to gain any time!!

He's swarmed by the GC group as they surge for the line. All that for no gain for Carapaz.

That group finishes 5:14 down. Roglic isn't there so we'll count back to him but it looks like yellow jersey hopes over.

Roglic is only just coming into the barriers now. He's going to lose more than three minutes here.

What's the damage? Here he comes. He hits the line with Barguil and Geschke. He has lost 3:48 by my maths. 

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 5:28:20
2Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:20
3Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:40
4Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
5Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
6Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
8Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
9Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:44
10Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:02:45

General classification after stage 7
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 25:39:17
2Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:30
3Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:49
4Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:03:01
5Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:03:43
6Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:12
7Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:04:23
8Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech 0:04:56
9Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:05:03
10Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo 0:05:04

So, what to make of that. Van der Poel retains his overall lead, with Van Aert still at 30 seconds and Asgreen still at 1:49. Mohoric was also in the break and moves up to fourth oveall. 

As for the pre-race favourites, Pogacar is now some 3:43 behind Van der Poel, although he should find that in the mountains this weekend. Nibali has taken a big leap, finding 2:15 from that break, and he is now best of the rest and possibly thinking about GC. 

It's as you were for most of the other GC contenders, although Roglic plummets down the standings in a huge development in the Tour. He looked to have bounced back from his crash with a strong time trial but has suffered a major blow today. Jumbo-Visma appear to have already switched leadership to Vingegaard. 

Carapaz and Thomas finished together but the former made a big and ultimately futile effort to gain time. They need to be aggressive but that one didn't pay off, and will it affect him in the mountains this weekend?

Let's hear from the stage winner

"Yesterday I knew that today was a good stage for me, and then I checked through the road book at the other stages so I know how much to focus on one day only. I saw that there is practically just one more stage to my characteristics so I said maybe it's a good idea to try and win a stage. I somehow got into the breakaway and then I saw it was super strong riders. I didn't think I could make it with them on the last climb if I waited so I decided to try and go early. I didn't think that I would go after the first KOM because I was just sprinting for the jersey. But then when there was a gap, I said why not. "Kilometre by kilometre, they were ticking off and I was still feeling OK and I pushed all the way to the line. I couldn't believe it until the last kilometre.

"I won in the Giro and the Vuelta but this is completely something else - this is the biggest race in the world. I think it will take some time to settle in.It was also the longest stage (of the Tour) - I think the stage I won in the Vuelta was the longest stage, same goes for the Giro. I'm good in these super-long, not so brutal efforts, but I can keep up a good pace for a very long time. That's also a part of the reason why I tried to anticipate today."

Tour de France 2021 - 108th Edition - 7th stage Vierzon - Le Creusot 249,1 km - 02/07/2021 - Matej Mohoric (SLO - Bahrain Victorious) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Report, results, photos at the link below

Tour de France: Mohoric hammers to victory in Le Creusot

Here's our story on Roglic

Primoz Roglic’s Tour de France hopes fade on stage 7

One to watch... there was a bit of a heated exchange between Movistar riders and Michal Kwiatkowski at the finish.

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 7th stage Vierzon Le Creusot 2491 km 02072021 Michal Kwiatkowski POL Ineos Grenadiers Alejandro Valverde ESP Movistar Team photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 7th stage Vierzon Le Creusot 2491 km 02072021 Wout Van Aert BEL Jumbo Visma photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Here's our story on Thomas

Tour de France: Geraint Thomas dropped but digs deep to survive stage 7

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