The rest day proved to be one of the most stressful days as everyone waited with angst to see if any positive COIVD tests would return. Miraculously – No riders tested positive. 4 staff members, 1 each from Ineos, Mitchelton-Scott, Cofidis, and AG2R) as well as race director Christian Prudhomme.
The race itself was flying, again. Schar (CCC) and Kung (FDJ),who is an excellent TT rider were off the front, but never extended the gap beyond 2 minutes.
There were a number of crashes throughout the day, impacting riders including Robert Gesink (Jumbo Visma), Neilson Powless (EF), Tom Skujins (Trek Segafredo). Later a crash brought down With Davide Formolo, Tadej Poogacar, Guillame Martin.
The fast pace had a number of riders yo-yo’ing off the back, including Sivakov, Van Baarle, Buchmann, Dan Martin, and Pinot. Fortunately for them there was a slowdown that brought everyone back together. No change in the GC, the only change in the GC was Egan Bernals head, shaved the sides bigtime he looks absurd.
Ultimately today was a day for the sprinters. Mateo Trentin took the sprint point ahead of Sagan and Bennett, giving Sagan a 9 point advantage heading into the finale.
Big wind up for the sprinters. Sunweb had a great lead-out, Deceuninck was there as well as Bora. Cees Bol really had the best lead-out. Bol was right on Sagan but he couldn’t find the final gear. It was Morkov leading out Bennett with Ewan on his wheel who was creeping up and when it go to the line it was nearly a photo finish Bennett winning over Ewan with Sagan right behind. Best sprint result for Sagan. But the first win for Bennett in his Tour de France career.
Green Jersey competition heating up
Sam Bennett now leads Sagan 196 to 175. During Sagan’s 7 years of victory he scored 422 points on average. Peter Sagan is currently in his longest drought, hasn’t had a stage win since stage 5 of 2019.
Tomorrow’s stage has an uphill before the sprint point. I’d look for Bora to be out front like on stage 7, Sagan needs to drop Bennett to have a chance and on the flat stage finish. He can’t afford to lose the big sprint points available. Stages 11, 19 and 21 are the flat stages that remain.