Tour de France 2021: Wout van Aert denies Mark Cavendish taking record-breaking stage win

Mark Cavendish was searching for his fifth stage victory of this Tour which might have moved him away from Eddy Merckx because the winner of a document 35

Final Up to date: 18/07/21 11:59pm

It wasn’t to be for Mark Cavendish on Stage 21 of the Tour de France (Picture by Michael Steele/Getty Pictures)

Wout van Aert denied Mark Cavendish one other piece of Tour de France historical past because the Belgian nationwide champion gained stage 21 on the Champs-Elysees on Paris on Sunday.

Cavendish was searching for his fifth stage victory of this Tour which might have moved him away from Eddy Merckx because the winner of a document 35.

Nevertheless it was to not be because the Manxman acquired squeezed out on the run to the road and Merckx’s compatriot took his third stage win of this Tour – finishing the set with a dash after his successes within the mountains and in Saturday’s time trial.

Cavendish needed to examine his dash greater than as soon as as he struggled to discover a hole earlier than coming in third behind Van Aert and Jasper Philipsen.

Tadej Pogacar, 22, crossed the road safely to substantiate his second consecutive general title for UAE Group Emirates.

The fairytale ending to this Tour was to not be, however it will nonetheless go down as a exceptional efficiency from Cavendish.

After a number of seasons disrupted by harm and sickness, the 36-year-old didn’t count on to be competing within the Tour however stepped in after an harm to team-mate Sam Bennett and seemed again to his finest as he took his first stage wins since 2016.

As historical past beckoned, Van Aert had joked he would do his finest to defend Merckx’s document for Belgium, and although he couldn’t cease Cavendish equalling it, the Jumbo-Visma rider was there to ensure it was not damaged on the Champs-Elysees.

The stage win added to the exceptional salvage job Jumbo-Visma have performed on this Tour after shedding chief Primoz Roglic within the opening week – having now gained 4 phases and brought second general by means of Jonas Vingegaard, all regardless of solely ending with 4 riders.

Wout Van Aert of Belgium celebrates winning Stage 21

Wout Van Aert of Belgium celebrates successful Stage 21

“This Tour has been wonderful,” mentioned Van Aert, the primary man since Bernard Hinault in 1979 to win a mountain stage, dash and time trial on the similar Tour.

“It has been such a roller-coaster and to complete off with a win like that is past my expectations.

“I assume I gave myself an issue as a result of I’ve to catch a flight tonight [to the Olympics] and all these interviews will take some time, I must see if I can get there however I am positively not sorry that I went for it at present.

“To win three phases like that is priceless, so because of my small staff.”

This 12 months the well-known end line on the Champs-Elysees had been moved 350 metres additional up the boulevard, nearer to the Arc de Triomphe.

The longer run-in from the ultimate bend ought to have suited the robust lead-out of Cavendish’s Deceuninck-QuickStep squad however they acquired themselves out of place within the ultimate two kilometres, leaving Cavendish to improvise.

There was a quick second when house opened as much as Van Aert’s proper however Philipsen swept in to go away Cavendish banging his handlebars as he rolled in third.

Nevertheless, the Manxman had performed sufficient to safe the factors classification – a decade after he beforehand took the inexperienced jersey in 2011.

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