Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quickstep) won stage 10 of the Tour de France from a mass sprint, in Valence, France. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) retained the overall race lead.
After a very difficult opening week of the Tour de France, the peloton enjoyed a welcomed rest day yesterday. They were also rather fortunate to be able to ease back into racing today, with a mostly flat 190km stage to Valence.
From the start it was evident that when just 2 riders went up the road, a sprint finish was going to determine the stage victor. What made it interesting though was that nearly none of the top sprinters remain in the race and there was also some concern about crosswind’s in the finale.
Team Qhubeka NextHash were hoping to be in the mix with Max Walscheid and possibly Carlos Barbero today, depending on how the finale panned out.
With 15km to go, the early break was already caught and the team of Cavendish, who has proven to be the leading sprinter in the race, accelerated in the wind. There was a slight split in the peloton but all the contenders that hoped to be in in the front selection were present.
Deceuninck then went on to take charge in the leadout and were unchallenged in dropping Cavendish off in front of the line, as the green jersey wearer sprinted to his 3rd stage win of the race.
Walscheid and Barbero were never able to get into position from where they could challenge for a top result, and would cross the line in 18th and 19th respectively.
It was another very hectic bunch sprint and same as in previous stages where I was able to position myself really well going in to the final kilometre but just missed that final element to be sprinting among the top-10 which is quite annoying.
The focus now is on recovery as we look to the stages to come and to race together as a team.