July 28, 2021

Tour de France 2021, the gazette: respite, flowers and sprinter-climber

  • Today’s stage: Albertville-Valence, 190 kilometers

After a Monday devoted to the recovery and care of bodies bruised by the Alps, the riders get back in the saddle, Tuesday July 6, for a stage – a priori – quite calm, between Albertville (Savoie) and Valence (Drôme). On the menu, the main course, a few short ribs and only one difficulty listed: an ascent of 4e category with the Col de Couz (7.4 kilometers at 2.8%). In other words, a simple formality for the runners, after a more than trying weekend.

Read also Tour de France 2021: Ben O’Connor wins in Tignes after a daunting ninth stage

Exit the climbers, it is therefore the sprinters who should shine during this 10e step. The intermediate sprint of the Placette (at kilometer 82) as well as the arrival in Valence could allow the specialists to collect points. In 2018, the city of Drôme also saw the winner of the green jersey, the Slovakian Peter Sagan.

This relatively flat course will above all allow climbers to save themselves for the next stage. Because the respite will be short-lived: the double ascent of Mont Ventoux awaits the runners on Wednesday, just after their arrival in the Rhône valley.

Route of the tenth stage of the Tour de France 2021.
  • The rider to watch: Sonny Colbrelli

Italian Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) during the 9th stage between Cluses and Tignes, Sunday July 4th.

He surprised everyone, perhaps the first, by finishing third in Tignes (Savoie), to close the alpine sequence on Sunday July 4th. Because Sonny Colbrelli is above all a sprinter. Even a puncher, able to pass bumps correctly, but not the one expected on the podium of a stage normally promised to pure climbers.

With this performance, the runner of the Bahrain Victorious formation signed a great operation in the race for the green jersey during the 9e step. Third in the points classification, 47 units behind Mark Cavendish, the Italian can still dream of wearing the so-called “best sprinter” tunic in Paris. “I will still have opportunities, and I will try to win this jersey”, he also confided.

The 31-year-old rider had started his Tour in a somewhat chaotic manner. Accused of having caused the fall of the Slovenian Primoz Roglic during the 3e stage, Colbrelli then defended himself of any responsibility.

At Arkéa-Samsic, a day of rest rhymes with gifts. For this first day of break of the Tour 2021, the French team has decided to honor its cook by offering her flowers. It was Nairo Quintana in person, and in French please, who presented him with the bouquet.

The day before, the Colombian had also distinguished himself, on his bike this time, by winning the polka-dot jersey after a hard fight after the dantesque stage between Cluses and Tignes. The current best climber seems ready to fight to keep his tunic all the way to Paris. “It is a great emotion to have worn this jersey, he declared at the microphone of France Televisions. I will defend it to the end. “

“In one day, some can still lose everything”

While many consider that the Tour has already been won for Tadej Pogacar, Frenchman David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) believes that the rest of the race may still hold some surprises. In an interview given on Monday at The team, he recognizes that the young Slovenian “Bluffed everyone [samedi], here [dimanche] also to a lesser extent “.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Tour de France 2021: Tadej Pogacar, “a pro who rides with cadets”

But in view of the first week marked by repeated falls and the abandonment of some top names, the leader of Groupama-FDJ wants to believe that everything is not over in advance. “There is still the Ventoux, the Pyrenees… Paris is still far away. “ The arrival on the Champs-Elysées is indeed scheduled for July 18. “We are not immune to a lot of runners cracking” before this date, adds the Frenchman, 10e from the general to more than seven minutes from the leader.

The nine stages of this demanding 108e edition of the Grande Boucle will have spared neither the body nor the spirits. The first day of rest, in Tignes, was therefore more than expected. As in 2020, Covid requires, a health bubble is in place around the runners. This prevents them from seeing their loved ones, but leaves them more time for physical recovery. On this “off” day, the athletes therefore went through the care box, like the Frenchman Dorian Godon (AG2R-Citroën). Enough to recharge the batteries before leaving the Alps for the Drôme.

Our selection of articles on the 2021 Tour de France