Tour de France 2021 – Mark Cavendish won stage 6 from TOURS to CHÂTEAUROUX
Mark Cavendish won the bunch sprint in Châteauroux for the third time in his career. He had previously done so in 2008 and 2011. This time he beat Jasper Philipsen and Nacer Bouhanni at the finish line just as he did in Fougères on stage 4. It is his 32nd stage win in the Tour de France. Mathieu van der Poel retained the leader’s yellow shirt (Maillot Jaune).
A very dynamic and aggressive start to stage 6
At 14:04 177 riders lined up at the start of stage 6 of the Tour de France. Olivier Naesen (AG2R-Citroën) was the first attacker, but the second offensive by the Belgian group of the French team worked better, as by kilometre 3 an eight-man front group had formed, including current Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën), Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Soren Kragh Andersen (DSM), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert).
Van Avermaet and Kluge in breakaway
With 41km remaining Greg Van Avermaet was caught up by Roger Kluge of the Lotto-Soudal team. At this point, their lead was 2 minutes and 15 seconds and then it only decreased. Having covered almost 50km in the first hour of the race, the leading duo were kept on the leash throughout by the Alpecin-Fenix team and then Deceuninck-Quick Step. Greg Van Avermaet won the only KOM of the day in St-Aignan (72km) and the intermediate sprint in Luçay-le-Mâle (104km), where the peloton was only 30 seconds behind.
Mark Cavendish close to Eddy Merckx’s record
Van Avermaet and Kluge were caught up with 2.5km to go. Julian Alaphilippe took control of the peloton and led Cavendish at the end. Manxman lined up behind Philipsen and Merlier and overtook them in the last 100 metres. With 32 stage wins in the Tour de France, he is just two successes short of Eddy Merckx’s record.