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07.07.2021 Cycling

Mont Ventoux looms on the double for Tour de France survivors

By Michael Fitzpatrick - RFI
©  Xavier Turpain/Pixabay
LISTEN JUL 7, 2021
© Xavier Turpain/Pixabay

Mark Cavendish won his third stage on the 2021 Tour de France on Tuesday to move within one of Eddy Merckx's all-time record of 34 stage victories. Today, the survivors in the race have to climb the legendary Mont Ventoux, the Giant of Provence, twice.

At the end of a flat run from Albertville to Valence, the 36-year-old Briton edged Belgians Wout van Aert and Jasper Philipsen over the line to keep a firm grip on the sprinter's green jersey with hs 33rd stage win. 

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey for the overall lead after keeping a low profile ahead of Wednesday's monster double climb of Mont Ventoux with its barren, lunar upper reaches.

"Yeah, I didn't get too involved today, I need to get ready to go full-gas on Mont Ventoux," said the overall leader.

"There's no point me risking everything going for a stage win," said the UAE rider.

"I crashed the first day on the Tour and I've crashed six times this year, so that's my main stress on these flat stages, keeping out of trouble."

There are currently 165 survivors of the original 184 starters.

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