Today’s stage: no stage
After nine Dantesque first stages, it’s time for the first day of rest for the riders of the Tour de France. It takes place in Tignes this year and will be devoted to care to heal wounds, but will also be the occasion for a bike trip (for a change!) To cleanse heavy thighs at the start of the Tour. It is also a media event since the runners finally have time to rest a little longer in the mixed zone. Despite everything, like last year, any press conferences or interviews will be done by videoconference, Covid-19 requires.
The tenth stage should smile to the sprinters on Tuesday, between Alberville and Valence (190.7 kilometers). On the program, only one difficulty, of the fourth category, 121 kilometers from the finish. A speed bump for runners, after spending two days in the Alps.
Julian Alaphilippe stops to change and take dry clothes: the world champion is very cold. The… https://t.co/ndKCRVNsXw
With its five passes between Cluses and Tignes, including two in the first category and one classified out of category, Sunday’s stage already promised hell to the protagonists of the Tour de France. And the capricious weather didn’t help, with rain and cold all day. Chilled, several riders tried to change their belongings on the bike, sometimes with difficulty when it was necessary to try to fit frozen fingers into gloves.
Some, like Julian Alaphilippe, even preferred to dismount to change gloves and cuffs. “Anyway, my hands were frozen, I couldn’t have done it alone”, Alaphilippe explained at the arrival at the microphone of France 2. During the attack yesterday, the world champion was caught by the peloton about sixty kilometers from the finish. He then decided to finish at his own pace.
“It was one of my worst days on a bike”
Behind Ben O’Connor, superb winner in Tignes, the day was complicated for most of the riders, like Nacer Bouhanni. The sprinter of the Arkéa-Samsic team was left behind from the first kilometers of the stage and then had to make a real “Against the clock to get back on time”, as he confided, at the end of his strength, to France 2, a few minutes after crossing the finish line. “Horrible day, an ordeal from the start. “
The French finally finished in a small group, which also included the green jersey Mark Cavendish, who arrived 35 minutes from O’Connor, barely two minutes less than the limit so as not to finish out of time. The French Arnaud Démare and Bryan Coquard did not have this chance. They are therefore out of the race, just like five other runners. Only 165 units remain in the platoon.
Image: McNulty loses listening
First day in yellow on this Tour de France 2021 for Tadej Pogacar, and therefore first day to be responsible for the race for his team, UAE Emirates. A mission that Brandon McNulty tried to complete by taking the lead of the pack, but the American had a little mishap.
Turning around on a descent to gauge the gap with the other colors, he lost his line and ended up in the ditch, under the helpless gaze of his teammates. Fortunately, more fear than harm, McNulty was able to resume the race after finding his bike!
Our selection of articles on the 2021 Tour de France