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tour de france 2021 live updates latest stage 10 mark cavendish - CHRISTOPHE PETIT-TESSON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

tour de france 2021 live updates latest stage 10 mark cavendish – CHRISTOPHE PETIT-TESSON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

01:32 PM

96km to go

The lead of the two riders out in front has decreased to 2min 7sec after the sprint stage. The gap has closed by nearly 90 seconds.

01:29 PM

98km to go

Here are the full results of the intermediate sprint at La Placette (km 82.3)

1. Tosh Van der Sande, 20 pts

2. Houle, 17 pts … At 1’50’’:

3. Colbrelli, 15 pts

4. Matthews, 13 pts

5. Philipsen, 11 pts

6. Sagan, 10 pts

7. Ballerini, 9 pts

8. Asgreen, 8 pts

9. Sweeny, 7 pts

10. Dillier, 6 pts

11. Küng, 5 pts

12. Oss, 4 pts

13. Formolo, 3 pts

14. Herrada, 2 pts

15. Hirschi, 1 pt

01:25 PM

Sonny Colbrelli wins the sprint from the peloton

Colbrelli holds off a challenge from Michael Matthews.

01:21 PM

105km to go

The peloton is now into the intermediate sprint. A group of riders breakaway from the front of it but Cavendish is not among them. He wants the stage win, not the intermediate sprint points!

01:17 PM

109km to go

The first 13 riders from the peloton will pick up points from the intermediate sprint alongside the two leaders.

01:15 PM

111km to go

The leaders are 3km away from the intermediate sprint.

And there is a crash at the back of the peloton! Mads Pederson of Trek-Segafredo and Julien Simon of Team TotalEnergies. Both are now back on their bike and continuing with the stage.

01:08 PM

114km to go

Tosh van der Sande and Hugo Houle are currently three and a half minutes ahead of the peloton.

01:01 PM

We join the race with 122km to go

Belgium’s Tosh van der Sande and Canada’s Hugo Houle lead the stage at the moment having broken away from the peloton earlier in the race.

Mark Cavendish is back in the main group, eyeing up another stage win as he continues his remarkable comeback.

11:08 AM

Good afternoon, can Froome find a return to form like Cavendish?

Mark Cavendish has backed Chris Froome’s bid to return to competitiveness and said his own experience proved nobody should be written off.

Cavendish’s remarkable resurgence continued last week as he collected his first Tour de France stage wins since 2016, moving to 32 in his career, despite being a late call-up to the Deceuninck-QuickStep squad.

After several years in which he was impacted by illness and injury, fearing his career was over in the winter, Cavendish can empathise with the challenges facing Froome, who is still recovering from a devastating crash in 2019.

Like Cavendish, Froome is racing the Tour for the first time in three years, but the four-time winner sits 153rd in the general classification, one hour and 47 minutes down on race leader Tadej Pogacar.

The 36-year-old knew he would not be competitive this year, but the Israel Start-Up Nation rider retains his dream of pursuing a record-equalling fifth Tour title in the future.

“I can talk from personal experience – you don’t write somebody off,” said Cavendish, also 36. “It’s down to the individual, how long they want to do something and what they feel they can come back to.

“Unless you are that person you can never understand. Chris Froome has been a champion for many years. Very, very few people in the world can get to that level so people will not understand the mindset, and understand the fight to get back…

“Froomey is a friend of mine but even if it was somebody I didn’t like, if I saw somebody being able to suffer physically and mentally to try to come back to somewhere they were and they know where they can get to, I applaud it, it’s the strongest thing you can do.”

Cavendish enjoyed a superb opening week of the Tour, winning stages four and six while moving into the points leader’s green jersey, but like many endured a tough weekend in the mountains.

The Manxman looked emotional as he embraced the team-mates who safely got him to the finish of stage nine into Tignes inside the time cut on Sunday, and admitted he was in great need of Monday’s rest day.

“I can’t remember a first rest day of the Tour de France feeling like a second rest day,” he said. “Everybody is completely spent.”

Today’s stage 10 looks much more favourable with 191 relatively flat kilometres between Albertville and Valence on the menu – an opportunity for Cavendish to move to within one stage win of Eddy Merckx’s Tour record of 34, and extend his advantage in green.

“There’s a lot less sprinters (in the race), that’s for sure,” Cavendish said of the impact of a tough opening week.

“We’ve got a strong group with experience who know how to control a race so we just have to hope for the best I guess.”