Today’s main talking points …
- Nans Peters wins today’s stage for AG2R La Mondiale
- Adam Yates fought bravely to keep the yellow jersey
- Tadej Pogacar has taken back 40 seconds he lost yesterday and is ninth overall
- Romain Bardet has shown signs of life
- Thibaut Pinot has blown any chance he had of winning this year’s Tour
Yates keeps yellow: Pogacar crosses the line, hoping to get his white jersey back from Egan Bernal. Romain Bardet is unsuccessful in his bid to wrest the yellow jersey from Adam Yates, whohas put in an excellent shift today.
The race for yellow: Romain Bardet attacks off the front of the yellow jersey group, hoping to make up a 14-second deficit to make a late bid for the garment currently occupied by Adam Yates.
Peters wins by 47 seconds from Tom Skujins in second and Carlos Verona in fourth. Ilner Zakarin finishes fourth.
Nans Peters wins the stage …
The young Frenchman adds a Tour de France stage win to the Giro equivalent he won last year. After an incredibly aggressive ride from the gun, he wins in a time of 4hr 02min 12sec.
2km to go: His tongue sticking out, Nans Peters is inside the final two kilometres.
3km to go: Primoz Roglic and Nairo Quintana go over the summit of Col de Petresourde, with Adam Yates fighting heroically to stay in touch with them.
4km to go: Nans Peters continues his descent with a stage victory almost guaranteed unless he crashes or suffers a hideously unlucky mechanical.
5.9km to go: Cofidis rider Guillaume Martin attacks and moves into virtual yellow on the road. Adam Yates has no answer for him.
8km to go: Nans Peters is whizzing down the long descent to the finish line, with Ilnur Zakarin in luke warm pursuit.
11km to go: Nans Peters goes over the top of the Col de Peyresourde with just the descent to the finish line between him and the biggest win of his career. Zakarin is next over, while in third place and still on the ascent, the young Slovenian Pogacar has put 30 seconds between him and the yellow jersey group.
12km to go: Peters has one kilomtre to go to the summit, with Zakarin 10 seconds behind him. Barring a crash, the AG2R rider should have this stage in the bag. The yellow jersey group is 7min 56sec behind the leader.
12km to go: Pogacar attacks off the front of the yellow jersey group again. At the front of the race, Nans Peters continues his ascent of the Col de Peyresourde.
13km to go: Adam Yates had been dropped but has rejoined Primoz Roglic, Nairo Quintana and others GC contenders.
14km to go: Tom Dumoulin’s race is run for today and Primoz Roglic rides about 20 metres clear of the yellow jersey group with his Slovenian compatriot Tadej Pogacar and Nairo Quintana.
15km to go: Back in the yellow jersey group, Tom Dumoulin has taken over at the front for Jumbo-Visma. Julian Alaphilippe attacks off the front, but is reeled in. The increase in pace is too much for Jumbo-Visma rider George Bennett, who is dropped. Alaphilippe’s surge of effort looks to have been ill-advised – he’s been dropped too. Richie Porte, whose wife gave birth to their second child yesterday, is also struggling.
16km to go: With five kilometres to go to the top of the Col de Peyresourde, Ilnur Zakarin is gaining on Nans Peters. Given his inability to go downhill at speed, the CCC rider will surely need a big lead at the summit if he is to have any chance of winning today’s stage at the end of a technical descent.
Correction: Diego Rosa is the fourth rider to abandon today. Lilian Calmejane from Total Direct Energie was struggling badly on the first climb and also given up the ghost.
17km to go: Arkea Samsic rider Diego Rosa crashes and becomes the third rider of the day to abandon this year’s Tour.
17km to go: Nans Peters continues his long ascent of the Peyresourde, while the yellow jersey group continue their descent of Port de Bales 9min 24sec behind him.
20km to go: Nans Peters begins the 9.7km ascent of the Category 1 Col de Peyresourde with a lead of about 30 seconds from Ilnur Zakarin.
22km to go: Kasper Asgreen has hit 97.1km per hour on the descent of Port de Bales. That’s 60mph in old money and there are almost certainly other riders going quicker.
25km to go: AG2R rider Nans Peters continues his lone descent of Port des Bales, leading the stage after leaving Ilnur Zakarin behind him. More than 30 seconds separate the pair.
27km to go: With two stage wins under his belt, Woet van Aert is now doing a turn on the front of the yellow jersey group, leading it over the summit of Port de Bales. He is an incredible rider. Thibaut Pinot has already lost six minutes today.
30km to go: The big news of the day so far is that French favourite Thibaut Pinot has cracked, is haemorrhaging time and currently looking very fed up with life in the saddle.
32km to go: Ilner Zakarin is struggling badly on the big descent, taking the corners very cautiously. It’s a dry day and the road isn’t slippery, he’s just not very good on the downhill.
34km to go: Having put in an epic shift towing the peloton more than halfway up the Port de Bales, Jumbo Visma rider Robert Gesink has made way for the next pacemaker and is going backwards.
36km to go: Peters leads Zakarin over the summit of Port de Bales, with Messrs Powless, Skujins, Verona and Kragh Andersen 36 seconds behind them and a long descent ahead of them.
38km to go: Zakarin and Peters are less than two kilometres from the summit of the Hors Categorie Port de Bales. Zakarin takes a bidon and a gel from a soigneur standing at the side of the road. He puts the bidon in its cage and then accidentally drops the sachet of energy gel. Ouch!
38km to go: Surrounded by team-mates who are trying to nurse him up the mountain, Thibaut Pinot is really suffering after being shelled out the back of the yellow jersey group
39min: The yellow jersey group is being led by seven Jumbo Visma riders linedup in single file. I’m guessing Tony Martin is the only absentee, having done his shift at the front earlier in the stage.
39km to go: Peters and Zakarin continue to lead the charge up Port de Bales, with a lead of 19 seconds over their nearest rivals. The two leaders are 10 minutes clear of the yellow jersey group.
40km to go: Jumbo Visma rider Robert Gesink is leading the peloton up the climb, while Thibaut Pinot looks to be in all sorts of bother. He’s been dropped by the peloton, sat up briefly on his saddle to clutch his lower back with both hands and almost fell off his bike.
40km to go: In other Groupama-FDJ news, Thibaut Pinot has been dropped from the peloton.
40km to go: Groupama-FDJ rider William Bonnet is out of the race. He abandons.
42km to go: Jerome Cousin has been caught and the current stage leaders are Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) and Ilnur Zakarin (CCC). The gap back to the peloton is just over 11 seconds.
45km to go: With Benoit Cosnefroy suffering in the polka-dot jersey, his AG2R La Mondiale team-mate Nans Peters leaves him behind and pedals up Port de Bales trying to catch Zakarin, Powless and Quentin Pacher. They still have a long way to go to the summit.
46km to go: Jerome Cousin remains out in front, while the original breakaway group behind him has fragmented. Kevin Reza and Michael Morkov have been dropped under pressure from Ilner Zakarin, Neilson Powless and three others. The gap between Cousin and the peloton is just shy of 12 minutes.
48km to go: Back in the peloton, Primoz Roglic’s Jumbo Visma team-mates are at the front of the bunch, putting the hammer down and making a scorching pace. Tony Martin is at the front, his face a mask of concentration.
How things stands: On what’s been been n understandably quiet, cagey and boring day after yesterday’s windy chaos, Jerome Cousin leads the stage, having attacked off the front of a 13-man breakaway group.
He’s put about a minute between he and his former escapees as they begin the long climb to Port de Bales, the second of three big climbs today. All the main GVC contenders are in the peloton, which is nearly 13 minutes behind Cousin.
59km to go: Total Direct Énergie rider Jerome Cousin has had enough with all the bickering that’s going on in the breakaway group and set off on his own, his shirt unzipped and flapping in the breeze, while his long hair sticks out of the back of his helmet.
62km to go: Specifically Benoit Cosnefroy’s share of the workload. He’s attempting to conserve energy without doing his bit on the front of the group with two big climbs to come.