Wout van Aert claimed a superb victory after Wednesday's unprecedented double climb of Mont Ventoux as Tadej Pogacar came through a stern examination of his bid for back-to-back Tour de France titles on stage 11.

It was the first time in Tour history that riders climbed the imposing and iconic Giant of Provence twice in the same stage and Belgium's Van Aert showed his superb all-round capabilities after finishing second to Mark Cavendish in the Green Jersey during Tuesday's sprint finish at Valance.

The Jumbo-Visma rider crested Ventoux first the second time around and then showcased his expert descending skills to claim an unforgettable first Tour win in five hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds, ending the day triumphantly for his team after colleague Tony Martin suffered another painful fall and withdrew.

"I'm lost for words," Van Aert said. "It's stupid to say but I wanted to win this stage before the Tour de France.

"Maybe it's my best victory ever. If you believe in it everything is possible. It's emotional."

Pogacar's advantage is now five minutes and 18 seconds, ahead of Rigoberto Uran, with Australia's Ben O'Connor dropped by the Yellow Jersey group inside the final 30 kilometres to fall from second to fifth overall, behind fourth-placed Richard Carapaz and Van Aert's team-mate Jonas Vingegaard.

Vingegaard supplied the most dramatic moment of the day when he dropped Pogacar near the end of the second ascent and opened up a 37-second gap.

Pogacar was able to claw that back in the company of Uran and INEOS Grenadiers' Carapaz to cross the line in fourth – ahead of his Danish rival Vingegaard, who was given the same time of +1:38 having exposed hitherto unseen hints of weakness within the favourite's considerable armour.

World champion Julian Alaphilippe was the first over the summit of Ventoux on the initial climb but faded from contention.

Fans lining the route at least had something to cheer as Frenchman Kenny Elissonde crossed the line in second alongside Bauke Mollema – the Trek-Segafredo duo each clocking in at +1:14 behind Van Aert.

STAGE RESULT

1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 5:17:43
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) +1:14
3. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +1:14 
4. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +1:38
5. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +1:38

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 38:25:17
2. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +5:18
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +5:32

Points Classification

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 218
2. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) 160
3. Jasper Philipsen  (Alpecin-Fenix) 142

King of the Mountains

1. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) 50
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 44
3. Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) 42

What's next?

After a day of hard toil, the sprinters can again be the main attraction on stage 12, with the 159.4km route from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Nimes expected to end in a bunched finish.

Mark Cavendish pocketed a 33rd Tour de France stage win in expert fashion in Valance, closing to within one of Eddie Merckx's all-time record.

The resurgent sprint great claimed his third win of this year's race and was quick to pay tribute to the lead-out work of his Deceuninck-Quick-Step team, who left him in prime position to see off Wout van Aert and Jasper Philipsen with 150 metres to go.

Cavendish has extended his advantage over Michael Matthews in the points classification to 59 and, provided the 36-year-old emerges from the Alps unscathed, he will have the tantalising prospect of pulling level with Merckx in Paris when the Tour concludes on July 18.

"It was an old-school, run-of-the-mill, like you read in the cycling magazines, textbook lead-out," Cavendish said. "Just getting the lads on the front, pull as fast as they can so no one can come past you.

"We knew this finish, I didn't make it the last time we came here in 2015, I got dropped, but we studied it and we knew if we took that last corner wide, we could keep the speed up.

"I'm just humbled. I've got the winner of the Tour of Flanders [Kasper Asgreen], the world champion who’s been in the yellow jersey here [Julian Alaphilippe], Michael Morkov, who's going to the Olympics to try to win the Madison, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner [Davide Ballerini] leaving everything on the road for me.

"I just had to finish it off. I’m grateful to all of them. I didn't have to do anything – just the last 150 metres. I'm thankful to everyone."

A stage that was always one for the sprinters to target meant, as expected, there was no change in the general classification picture, with Tadej Pogacar retaining his two minutes and one second lead over Ben O'Connor.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 4:14:07
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Team Arkea-Samsic) 
5. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 38:25:17
2. Ben O'Connor (AG2R La Mondiale) +2:01
3. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +5:18

Points Classification

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 218
2. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) 159
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) 136

King of the Mountains

1. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) 50
2. Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) 42
3. Wouter Poels (Bahrain Victorious) 39

What's next?

Pogacar has the chance to definitively stamp his authority all over this year's race during Wednesday's 198.9 kilometre stage from Sorgues to Malaucene, which features a double ascent of the infamously daunting Mont Ventoux.

Primoz Roglic has elected to abandon the Tour de France after a brutal first week.

The 2020 runner up – a pre-race favourite to take the famous yellow jersey – endured an opening eight stages marred by crashes and injuries.

He fell twice during the first three stages, badly bruising and grazing almost the entirety of his left side during an incident on stage three.

In a gruelling first Alpine stage on Saturday, Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic crossed in 175th, third to last, having dropped 35 minutes on the leaders, and on Sunday he decided to call time on his campaign.

"We took the decision altogether with the team. It doesn't make sense to continue the way it was going at the end," Roglic said in a statement from his team.

"Now we'll definitely try to recover and focus on the new goals."

Roglic came across the finish line on Saturday alongside 2018 winner Geraint Thomas, who has also seen his general classification hopes dashed after finishing 33 minutes off the pace.

Tadej Pogacar is now the clear favourite for the yellow jersey, following a remarkable ride from the 22-year-old defending champion on Saturday.

Tadej Pogacar grabbed the yellow jersey with a remarkable ride on stage eight of the Tour de France as pretenders to his crown floundered.

On the 150-kilometre stage from Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand, won by Belgian Dylan Teuns, last year's champion Pogacar finished fourth and roared into first place in the general classification.

The 22-year-old Slovenian had trailed Mathieu van der Poel by three minutes and 43 seconds at the start of stage eight, but he now leads by 1min 48secs from Wout van Aert.

Van der Poel fell out of contention, trailing home 44th, 21:47 behind Teuns, to slide from first to 23rd overall, as the GC standings were given a vigorous shake-up.

The race turned as Van der Poel began to fall off the pace of a chasing group in the closing 35km and Van Aert initially followed, but Pogacar only grew in strength from that point.

Canadian Michael Woods had built a big lead as he reached the summit of the Col de Romme, over a minute clear of a chasing pack of four riders and three minutes and 40 seconds ahead of Pogacar.

Pogacar drew within 30 seconds of the lead with 15km remaining, passing Ion Izaguirre Insausti to leave Woods and Teuns as the only riders ahead of him, and soon only Teuns was denying him first place.

Teuns proved too strong, and Woods and Izaguirre Insausti edged ahead of Pogacar in the closing metres, but the defending champion had inflicted a brutal blow on a host of major rivals.

Pogacar said on Eurosport: "I just decided before the last three climbs and I said to my team-mates, 'Let's try to break the race', and we did it. Once I saw everyone was suffering... I just took off and tried to pace myself to the finish line and I'm pretty happy."

Pogacar was surprised there was little response from those with yellow jersey aspirations, who he claimed had tried and failed to break his challenge on the seventh stage, adding: "I thought they would show more today, but in the end I guess they were affected from yesterday and from today's cold and rain."

Teuns knew where Pogacar was in the closing kilometres and said his stage victory was a tribute to his late grandfather, touching his chest by his heart and point skywards.

He said: "We had the funeral just a few days before I had to go to the Tour so it was emotional for me, this last 10k."

Any hopes that Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Primoz Roglic had of GC success were wiped out as all three finished over 30 minutes off the pace.

STAGE RESULT

1. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) 3:54:41
2. Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Astana-Premier Tech) +0:44
3. Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) +0:47
4. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0:49
5. Wouter Poels (Bahrain Victorious) +2:33

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 29:38:25
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +01:48
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) +4:38

Points Classification

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 168
2. Michael Matthews (Team Bikeexchange) 113
3. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 103

King of the Mountains

1. Wouter Poels (Bahrain Victorious) 23
2. Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) 16
3. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) 12

What's next?

The 144.9-kilometre ride from Cluses to Tignes will be another stiff test for the riders, with a mountain finish ahead of Monday's first rest day. Five major climbs await, including the 'hors categorie' ascent of the Col du Pre at around halfway.

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.

Mark Cavendish outsprinted Jasper Philipsen and Nacer Bouhanni to claim his second stage win of this year's Tour de France.

The Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider followed up his stage four triumph with victory in Thursday's stage six from Tours to Chateauroux.

Cavendish's first stage win was in Chateauroux 13 years ago and he is now within two victories of the all-time record of 34, held by Eddy Merckx.

"It was nice. Wow," Cavendish said in his post-race interview. "It's 10 years since I last won here. It's pretty special and actually in pretty similar fashion today."

Asked if Merckx's record is in his sights, Cavendish said: "I am not thinking about anything.

"If it was my first or my 32nd, I have just won a stage of the Tour de France. That is what people ride their whole lives for."

Thursday's 160.6-kilometre ride was always likely to suit the sprinters and so that proved from the off with a high pace being set.

Greg van Avermaet and Roger Kluge led the breakaway but were caught by the peloton.

Cavendish positioned himself behind Philipsen and Tim Merlier and overhauled the pair in the last 100 metres.

Bouhanni attempted to snatch the win on the line but his late push came too late to stop Cavendish, who extends his lead over Philipsen to 46 points in the green jersey standings.

Philipsen's Alpecin-Fenix team-mate Mathieu van der Poel retained the yellow jersey, meanwhile, with no changes to the general classification after Thursday's leg.

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar is eight seconds back ahead of stage seven, which will take the riders from Vierzon to Le Creusot and contains a number of lumpy climbs.

It was also confirmed that Tour de France organisers have withdrawn their complaint against a spectator who caused a big crash on the opening stage.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 3:17:36
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) same time
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Team Arkea-Samsic) same time
4. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) same time
5. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 20:09:17
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +00:08
3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +00:30

Points Classification
1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 148
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 102
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Team Arkea-Samsic) 99

King of the Mountains
1. Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4
3. Anthony Perez (Cofidis) 3

Defending Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar claimed victory in Wednesday's stage five time trial as Mathieu van der Poel held on to the yellow jersey.

Pogacar prevailed in the final time trial to effectively secure his triumph last year and proved his prowess in the format again to surge up the general classification standings.

The riders had to deal with wet conditions along the 27.2 kilometre route from Change to Laval but Pogacar handled them superbly to top the timesheets.

Pogacar won three stages during last year's race and secured his first success of 2021 with a time of exactly 32 minutes.

It was one nobody could get close to, with Stefan Kung 19 seconds adrift in second and Jonas Vingegaard a further eight back.

But Van der Poel maintained his advantage in the GC as he took fifth place behind Wout van Aert. 

The Alpecin-Fenix rider was 31 seconds off the pace but his overall lead remains eight seconds, as it was after stage four.

However, Pogacar is now the man in second place, replacing home hope Julian Alaphilippe, who finished a minute and 11 seconds behind Pogacar in 14th.

Stage six, a 160.6km ride from Tours to Chateauroux, is likely to be one for the sprinters but Van der Poel, the winner of the only mountain stage so far, should have high hopes of doing more damage on stage seven when things will again favour the climbers.

STAGE RESULT

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 32:00
2. Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) +00:19
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +00:27
4. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
5. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) +00:31

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 16:51:41
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +00:08
3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +00:30

Points Classification
1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 89
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 84
3. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 78

King of the Mountains
1. Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4
3. Anthony Perez (Cofidis) 3

Mark Cavendish claimed an emotional victory to cap a fourth stage in the Tour de France that had begun with a rider protest.

Sprint legend Cavendish claimed his 31st stage win – albeit this was his first since 2016 – as he came through in a battle for the line to round out a 150.4-kilometre journey from Redon to Fougeres.

Clearly overwhelmed at his achievement, the British rider struggled for words during his post-race interview, admitting he feared there would be no further opportunities to add to his impressive career tally at Le Tour.

His place on the Deceuninck–Quick-Step squad only came about after an injury to Sam Bennett, the unexpected chance allowing the 36-year-old to end a drought spanning four years and 348 days thanks to a trademark strong finish.

"I don't know what to say. Just being here is special enough, I didn't think I'd ever get to come back to this race," Cavendish – who now sits three wins short of Eddy Merckx's all-time stage record – told the media.

"So many people didn't believe in me, but these guys do. 

"I thought I was never coming back to this race, honestly. When you come to Deceuninck–Quick-Step, they've got the best riders in the world. The stars aligned somehow."

The drama at the end of proceedings came after the peloton had staged a protest as soon as Tuesday's proceedings started, a collective move made to raise concerns following a crash-filled Stage 3.

CPA Cycling - the association of active pro riders - issued a short statement on Twitter to explain the decision, with competitors hoping for a change to safety measures, including a change to the ruling over late accidents.

"At KM 0 of today's stage of the Tour de France, riders paused in solidarity as part of their calls for UCI to set up discussions to adapt the 3 km rule during stage races," CPA Cycling tweeted.

Primoz Roglic, who had suffered injuries after a heavy fall on Monday, was able to continue with the aid of plenty of strapping. Caleb Ewan was not so fortunate, however, as he was ruled out with a broken collarbone sustained after going down in the sprint, having tangled with Peter Sagan.

With the flat stage ideal for sprinters, Mathieu van der Poel was able to retain the yellow jersey. He remains eight seconds clear of Julian Alaphilippe.

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 3:20:17
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Team Arkea-Samsic)
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix)
4. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange)
5. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 16:19:10
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:08
3. Richard Carparaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:31

Points Classification
1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 89
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 82
3. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) 78

King of the Mountains
1. Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4
3. Anthony Perez (Cofidis) 3

Geraint Thomas, Primoz Roglic and Peter Sagan were among the big names to crash during an incident-packed Stage 3 of the Tour de France, one that saw Tim Merlier take victory.

Aided by the work of his Alpecin–Fenix colleagues, Merlier was able to come out on top in a sprint finish, crossing the line ahead of team-mate Jasper Philipsen at the end of the 182.9-kilometre journey from Lorient to Pontivy.

"I'm living the dream, I think," the Belgian said in his post-stage interview.

"After the Giro d'Italia I wasn't really very happy, but now I've won a stage on the Tour - the biggest race in the world - I can't believe it."

Having won on Sunday, Mathieu van der Poel was seventh this time around as he retained the yellow jersey, making it a double celebration for the Alpecin-Fenix squad.

However, there was little to cheer about for 2018 winner Thomas, who suffered a shoulder injury following a heavy fall in the early going that saw Robert Gesink forced to retire from the race.

That was far from the end of the drama, though. Roglic came a cropper with just under 10km remaining, leading to him losing over a minute in the standings.

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar's progress was then delayed by a mass pile-up not long after the breakaway group was caught, while Sagan's spillage came when he tangled with Caleb Ewan in the closing metres.

Pogacar sits in sixth place in the general classification, now 38 seconds behind Van der Poel. Julian Alaphilippe remains in second, while Richard Carapaz is up to third, sitting on the same time as Wout van Aert.


STAGE RESULT  

1. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 4:01:28
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix)
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Team Arkea-Samsic)
4. Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification 

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 12:58:53
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:08
3. Richard Carparaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +00:31

Points Classification 

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 80
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 62
3. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 50 

King of the Mountains 

1. Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) 5
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4
3. Anthony Perez (Cofidis) 3

Mathieu van der Poel twice saw calculated gambles pay off as he won the second stage of the Tour de France to claim the yellow jersey.

The Alpecin-Fenix rider broke clear in the final kilometre to claim victory at Mur-de-Bretagne, finishing six seconds ahead of reigning champion Tadej Pogacar.

It was the second tactical burst from Van der Poel during the 183.5km journey from Perros-Guirec, having also attacked on the first ascent to claim a time bonus at the summit.

That move, along with his stage triumph, made sure the Dutchman leads the way in the general classification. He paid tribute to his grandfather Raymond Poulidor – an overall runner-up three times in Le Tour during his illustrious career – by pointing towards the sky as he crossed the line.

"I have no words. I really don’t know what to say," Van der Poel said in his post-stage interview.

"I gambled a little bit. I went on the first climb because I knew I needed the bonus seconds if I wanted the jersey. It was my last chance to get it."

Pogacar saw off Primoz Roglic and Wilco Kelderman in a sprint to claim second place, while stage one winner Julian Alaphilippe came home in fifth place – he is the nearest challenger to Van der Poel in the general classification standings.

After the carnage of the opening day, Sunday's action thankfully saw most of the drama focused on the racing.

The start of the 2021 event had seen two major crashes, the first of which came about after Tony Martin collided with a spectator's placard. With so many competitors caught up in the incident, the race was neutralised to allow the peloton to make up ground on the breakaway group.

Race organisers attempted to keep the course clear on day two, though there were moments when riders could be seen asking fans to allow more room.

STAGE RESULT  

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 04:18:30 
2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +00:06
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 
4. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe)
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +00:08

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS 

General Classification 

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 08:57:25
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +00:08
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +00:13

Points Classification 

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 66
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 50
3. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) 45 

King of the Mountains 

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4
2. Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4
3. Anthony Perez (Cofidis) 3

Chris Froome will try and "survive" stage two of the Tour de France after crashing at high speed in the "carnage" of a crash on the first day of the race.

The four-time Tour champion was involved in the second major crash late in the opening stage from Brest to Landerneau on Saturday.

Froome appeared be struggling to stand after hitting the deck along with a whole host of other riders, but the Brit was able to finish the stage.

The Israel Start-Up Nation rider was in hospital until the early hours of Sunday morning, but will be on the starting line-up for a 183.5km second stage from Perros-Guirec to Mur-de-Bretagne Guerledan.

Froome said in an interview posted on his team's Twitter account: "That was definitely a bit of a crazy stage. One moment everything was fine heading towards the finish and the last 10ks and then 60-70km an hour, I think there was just a touch of wheels somewhere in the peloton and it was just carnage.

"Probably 50-60 riders on the floor, unfortunately there was just nowhere for me to go. I braked as hard as I could but still just went into the back of the guys who crashed in front of me.

"I hit my left side pretty hard, my left leg, and also the chest but went for scans last night and spent the whole evening in the hospital, got back at like 1am but all good.

"No fractures, just a lot of swelling, a lot of bruising. I'm pretty sore this morning but I'm going to try and get through today, survive the stage and hope over the next coming days it starts to feel better."

World champion Julian Alaphilippe delighted the home crowd by claiming the yellow jersey on day one.

Chris Froome's Tour de France hopes were left in tatters on the four-time champion's return to the race as he was caught up in the second of two major crashes on stage one, which saw Julian Alaphilippe lay down an early marker with victory.

The 197.8 kilometre ride from Brest to Landerneau had already been disrupted by a massive crash in the peloton at the 152km mark.

A collision between Tony Martin and a spectator's placard sent riders careering to the tarmac and saw the front of the race neutralised to allow the peloton to catch up.

Breakaway rider Ide Schelling, whose efforts on the climbs ensured he took the polka dot jersey at the end of the stage, was eventually reeled in, but there was more drama to come with 7.5km left.

Froome, making his first appearance at the Tour since 2018 for Israel Start-Up Nation, was left on the ground after another crash that came about in less controversial circumstances, with Greg Van Avermaet and Richie Porte also involved.

Those fortunate to avoid the carnage were left with the opportunity to pick up huge amounts of time on other general classification contenders and world champion Alaphilippe grasped that chance with both hands, the Deceuninck–Quick-Step rider attacking with 2.2km to go and making the move stick.

The Frenchman crossed the line to delight the home fans, ensuring he will swap the rainbow jersey for the yellow jersey with his sixth stage win at the Tour.

Froome, who was seemingly finding it difficult to stand following his crash, succeeded in getting back on bike and riding to the finish at a pedestrian pace.

Even if he can recover, Froome's chances of claiming a fifth title this year are surely already gone.

 

A collision between Tony Martin and a spectator's placard led to a huge crash in the peloton on the first stage of the Tour de France.

Shortly after Ide Schelling had topped the final climb of the 197.8 kilometre ride from Brest to Landerneau to ensure he will finish the stage in the polka dot jersey, Martin was sent careering to the tarmac, his crash sending scores of riders to the ground.

The incident led the front of the race to be neutralised to allow those caught up in the crash to catch up, but Jasha Sutterlin of DSM was not able to do so.

Sutterlin was forced to abandon the race in an extremely unfortunate turn of events for a rider competing in only his second Tour.

Schelling was eventually caught by the peloton once the race was allowed to restart at normal speed.

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