Mark Cavendish could not secure a 35th Tour de France stage win to break Eddy Merckx's record as Matej Mohoric prevailed on stage 19 to claim his second victory of this year's race.

Cavendish, 36, was tipped to break the all-time record for stage wins, set by Merckx in 1975, but he will now have to wait for the opportunity on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday.

Under 48 hours after Bahrain Victorious had their team hotel and bus raided, Mohoric's triumph – his second and the team's third win at this year's Tour – resembled a procession as he cruised home with a near one-minute advantage.

A sprint finish in Libourne to conclude the 207km route seemed perfect for Cavendish to create history, yet his team, Deceuninck-QuickStep, did not manage the breakaway effectively this time.

Mohoric was part of the initial group to break clear inside the final 100km before that section of riders halved in size with 30km to go.

Five kilometres later, the Slovenian seized the initiative as he produced another long-range attack to secure the lead, remaining untroubled as he eased to the finish.

With Cavendish back in the peloton, it was Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Casper Pedersen (Team DSM) who claimed second and third respectively in the sprint.

Yellow jersey holder Tadej Pogacar had an easy time of it, as his procession into Paris gets well and truly underway.

Barring any problems in Saturday's time trial, Pogacar is a certainty for the general classification, king of the mountains and young rider triumphs.

STAGE RESULT

1. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) 4:19:17
2. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) +0:58
3. Casper Pedersen (Team DSM) +0:58
4. Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) +:1:02
5. Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:08

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 79:40:09
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +5:45
3. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +5:51

Points Classification

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 304
2. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) 269
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) 216

King of the Mountains

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 107
2. Wouter Poels (Bahrain Victorious) 88
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 82

What's next?

A shorter and flatter route than last year’s ride to La Planche des Belles Filles, the 31km time trial towards Saint Emilion will suit the specialists in this discipline and is unlikely to be as dramatic as the last Tour’s equivalent test, which saw Pogacar snatch victory from Primoz Roglic.

Matej Mohoric triumphed in a gruelling stage seven of the Tour de France on Friday, as Primoz Roglic dropped more time in the battle for the yellow jersey.

The 249-kilometre route from Vierzon to Le Creusot, the longest stage of the race, featured five challenging climbs in the final 100km stretch, and saw the general classification contenders start to separate themselves from the chasing pack.

Mathieu van der Poel stayed in yellow as he increased his overall lead to 30 seconds, with the Alpecin-Fenix rider managing to keep pace with a 30-man breakaway.

Having gone clear alongside Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Jesper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Mohoric – of Bahrain Victorious – stole a march 19km from the finish line when he powered away on the Signal d'Uchon.

While Mohoric raced clear on the final climb to claim a third stage win in a Grand Tour, following successes at the Vuelta a Espana in 2017 and Giro d'Italia in 2019, there was drama in the peloton as Richard Carapaz picked his moment to try and claw back time on Tadej Pogacar, who won Wednesday's time trial but here slipped from second to fifth in the GC standings.

Meanwhile, Roglic, the 2020 runner-up who was involved in a huge crash on stage three this year, lost further ground as he was dropped by the peloton altogether.

Ultimately Carapaz's efforts proved fruitless as he was swallowed up by the peloton just before the line, while, like Roglic, four-time champion Chris Froome also struggled in the heat.

It was Mohoric's day, and the Slovenian was in tears as he celebrated the most prestigious stage win of his career.

"I didn't think I could make it into the last climb. I was just riding for the jersey and said why not? Kilometre by kilometre I was still feeling OK. I couldn't believe it," said Mohoric, who also takes the polka dot jersey.

"I won in the Giro and the Vuelta but this is something else. It's the longest stage and I won the longest stage in the Giro and Vuelta. I am good on the long stages, not such a brutal effort, I can keep pace in these stages."

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish, who won stages four and six, kept hold of the green jersey thanks to winning the intermediate sprint.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) 5:28:20
2. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) +1:20
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) +1:40
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) +1:40
5. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +1:40

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 25:39:17
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +00:30
3. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +1:49

Points Classification
1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 168
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 103
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 102

King of the Mountains
1. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) 11
2. Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5
3. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4

What's next?

After taking on the Tour's longest stage, the riders do not have life any easier on Saturday, as they head into the mountains for a 150km stage from Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand.

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