— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) July 6, 2021
He did it again! Three wins for Mark Cavendish at this Tour de France and we're not even halfway. By our reckoning there are at least two and at most four sprint stages left on this year's route, depending on how they are raced. Cav to beat Merckx's record on the Champs-Élysées, anyone?
Speaking at the finish Cav said: "It was an old school, run-of-the-mill, like you're reading a cycling magazine...lead-out. Textbook lead-out. Get the lads on the front, pull as fast as they can so no one can try and come past you.
"We were confident we had the team for the sprint. I'm just humbled, man. I've got the winner of the Tour of Flanders, the world champion who has had the yellow jersey, Michael Mørkøv who is going to the Olympics, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner [Davide Ballerini] and they're all just giving everything. Leaving everything on the road - I have to finish it off.
"I didn't really do anything, other than 150m. It was the team. I have them to thank for everything."
We've missed these post-race dissections...
— Sporza 🚴 (@sporza_koers) July 6, 2021
Richie Porte looked the worst affected by this crash at the back of the peloton. Jumbo-Visma were also involved but everyone is back safely in the bunch again. Around one hour of racing to go and it looks like we're heading for a sprint, unless the wind has any late tricks for us...
Sonny Colbrelli wins the sprint from the peloton to take third 🟢
— ITV Cycling (@itvcycling) July 6, 2021
As expected, today's intermediate sprint was too tough for Cav. Sonny Colbrelli took the maximum 15 points on offer after the two breakaway riders swept up the top two places. Michael Matthews got 13, while Jasper Philipsen and Peter Sagan got 11 and 10 respectively.
The result means that Cav's lead has been cut to 25 points by Matthews in second and is 32 to Colbrelli in third. There are 50 points available at the finish to the winner of the stage...
Seven-day cycling distance world record holder Jack Thompson is underway with another huge leg-shredding challenge. Over the next 12 days he's chasing down the Tour de France, trying to beat the peloton to Paris while riding the route in full. Jack began yesterday in Landerneau as the pros did last weekend and hit 400km with 6,110m of elevation at a incredible normalised power of 315w one day one.
If he can keep up the current rate then he'll catch the peloton in seven days. "The theme of the day was wind and wet roads," Jack wrote on Instagram. "But fittingly the sun came out to play at the end of the day. To me that always represents the light at the end of the tunnel. The body felt great and the power was good, and as a bonus we got through a full 400km so we’re about 50km ahead of schedule going into tomorrow."
As part of his preparation, Jack has been avoiding watching any of the Tour to avoid overthinking the challenge but completed stage one in just under seven hours, about two hours slower than the bunch. I wonder if we'll see a Lachlan Morton x Jack Thompson collab by the end of next week?
Herne Hill Velodrome has a rich history, from hosting track cycling at the 1948 Olympics through to helping many of the current crop of British talent become the riders they are today. Bahrain Victorious' Fred Wright, currently riding the Tour, and Laura Kenny are just two of the current generation of Herne Hill graduates.
To support the velodrome's continued role in supporting participation in the sport, the Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome are hosting another virtual VeloFete to help raise funds for the venue. The festival will run from Monday 12 July to Friday 16 from 6pm to 8pm every night with speakers from across the cycling world, including Dan Bigham, Jack Thurston and Guardian journalist Justin McCurry.
You can book your place on the Friends of Herne Hill website...
Headwind App has clued us up with these interactive stage maps for the Tour de France showing exactly where the wind will be coming from on each day. Take a look at that final run-in to Valence where the road heads north. That is where most of the echelon speculation is centred.
The map also shows you just how long a day it could be for anyone in a small breakaway riding into a cross-headwind all stage. About 50 minutes to go until the riders roll out of Albertville for the start. Bring it on!
All COVID-19 tests on #TDF2021 test day returned negative
— Julien Prétot (@julienpretotRTR) July 6, 2021
Positive tests at the Tour are never going to go down well...especially in the era of Covid...Luckily, there weren't any on the first rest day. At this rate that might be the only way to stop Tadej Pogačar.
After winning the Giro, Egan Bernal tested positive and had to isolate before getting the all-clear for his big meeting with the Pope.
It's all going on up in Scotland this morning...I hope this guy got a tip. Confronted with a knee-high flood in Gorgie in Edinburgh, he took his shoes and socks off before wading through the waters so someone, somewhere could get their takeaway.
The Daily Record reports the cyclist was spotted by Laura Munro who lives in the flat overlooking the scene and then started filming while shouting encouragement to the man. Munro posted the video on Facebook with the caption: "Poor wee guy earlier. Took off his socks and shoes so they didn't get wet."
She told the newspaper: "I was looking out the window at the rain and saw a poor guy trying to weigh up how he was going to get out of the street. There were a few times he walked out to look to see a way out that wouldn't get him too wet. It was hilarious, a very Scottish thing to do. It was too funny not to watch."
Sunjiv Shah, General Manager for Uber Eats UK confirmed the company is trying to identify the cyclist to reward him for going above and beyond.
No sign of any gridlocked traffic when I cycled along the nearly completed Creek Road cycle lane on Thursday. This will be a great way to arrive in Greenwich once it officially opens! pic.twitter.com/J26oxRU8F8
— Westcomberesident 💙 (@RichardT135) July 3, 2021
Cycleway 4 will offer cyclists in the capital a continuous segregated route from Tower Bridge to Greenwich. A 3.6km stretch between Tower Bridge Road and Rotherhithe was opened along the Jamaica Road last year and the final touches on this stretch at Creek Road are just being finished now.
Good news, the rest day is over! The weather is going to be all important today. Looks a tough day for a breakaway with possible thunderstorms and pretty much the full stage into a headwind.
Also, say it quietly but a few people have been whispering rumours of crosswinds in the final run-in as the road turns north towards Valence. That would be a win for Simon's pre-race stage-by-stage preview where he predicted the wind could be a factor today. Who needs weather forecasts?
One other point worth raising is the intermediate sprint which comes at the top of a climb (4.1km @ 3.7%). Expect to see Bahrain Victorious and BikeExchange putting the hammer down to drop Cav before the green jersey points are decided. The long, steady flatlands afterwards should allow any dropped riders to get back on before the sprint/crosswind carnage in Valence.
Watch this in full screen because of the way Facebook videos come across and get the volume on for some prime Scottish entertainment. These cyclists riding on motorway stories are surprisingly common but are normally just grainy CCTV footage or a snap from a police force, not with this full commentary from a pair of bemused Scots.
"What ya doin! It's a motorway yur on! Ya aff yur f***** heid?!"
"Wrong road? Absolutely!"
And while we can't condone riding down the motorway, slowing down for a chat with said rider is probably to be avoided too...although we were glad to see the phone recording return to the passenger side at the end.
One thing seems likely...that cyclist won't be taking that route again, if only to avoid getting another scolding...
Back in April, a drunk cyclist who was caught riding along the M60 because he "wanted to visit his gran in hospital" was fined £100 for his actions.
Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written about various sports including football and boxing for the Daily Express and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been enjoying life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England.