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UAE Team Emirates' Pogacar keeps yellow jersey, Cavendish wins 10th stage

Reuters/Valence (France)
Filed on July 6, 2021
UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia celebrates the yellow jersey on the podium at the end of the 10th stage of the Tour de France. (AFP)

Pogacar leads Australian Ben O'Connor by two minutes, one second

Mark Cavendish edged closer to Eddy Merckx’s all-time Tour de France stage wins record on Tuesday when he claimed his third victory in this year’s race.

The Briton won a bunch sprint to take the 10th stage, a 190.7km ride from Albertville, to rack up his 33rd career win on the Tour, one fewer than Belgian great Merckx.

Slovenian Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey as he stayed safe in the leading peloton in a nervy finale in the Rhone valley.

He leads Australian Ben O’Connor by two minutes, one second and Colombian Rigoberto Uran by 5:18.

Meanwhile, Cavendish, perfectly set up by his Deceuninck-Quick Step teammates, beat Belgians Wout van Aert and Jasper Philipsen.

“I didn’t do anything today, my team did everything,” said Cavendish, who still refuses to discuss Merck’s record.

“As always I’m just happy to be racing my bike and wear my Deceuninck-Quick Step jersey on the Tour de France. I’m 36 and with these young guys it’s the first time I race with them.

“In a while I’ll be cheering for them. If I can provide joy and entertainment and be part the story (of the race) then that’s what really matters for me.”

Cavendish’s team produced a brutal acceleration to split the peloton as crosswinds blew on the road, leaving several riders trapped behind, although the main overall contenders were on the right end of the split.

The 36-year-old Cavendish, back on the Tour for the first time since 2018, stayed in teammate Michael Morkov’s wheel until 250 metres from the line and none of his rivals could match his burst of speed.

Cavendish also extended his lead in the points classification, which he won in 2011.

Wednesday’s 11th stage is a 198.9-km mountain trek in Provence, featuring a double ascent of the awe-inspiring Mont Ventoux.

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