Thursday, 01 July 2021 19:10

Staff Reporter.

Mark Cavendish won his 32nd Tour de France stage victory to move within two stages of the all-time record held by Belgian legend Eddy Merckx.

It is the second stage win of this year's Tour for Cavendish, who feared he would never return to the race after a long illness threatened his career.

He was only called into into the Deceuninck-QuickStep team at the last minute for the injured Sam Bennett.

But on stage six he again out-sprinted the peloton to win in style.

In the long final straight to the line in Chateauroux he was well-positioned by his lead-out train before hopping onto the wheel of the fast-finishing Alpecin-Fenix duo of Tim Merlier and Jasper Philpsen.

He then accelerated to pull clear of Philipsen and Nacer Bouhanni.

It is the third time he has won in Chateauroux, including his first ever Tour win in 2008 and again in 2011.

Stage six results

  1. Mark Cavendish (GB/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 3hrs 17mins 36secs
  2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel/Alpecin-Fenix) Same time
  3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/Arkea Samsic)
  4. Arnaud Demare (Fra/ Groupama - FDJ)
  5. Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe)
  6. Cees Bol (Ned/DSM)
  7. Tim Merlier (Bel/Alpecin-Fenix)
  8. Wout Van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma)
  9. Michael Matthews (Aus/BikeExchange)
  10. Mads Pedersen (Den/Trek-Segafred

General classification after stage six

  1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) 20hrs 09mins 17secs
  2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE Team Emirates) +8secs
  3. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma) +30secs
  4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-QuickStep) +48secs
  5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana) +1min 21secs
  6. Pierre Latour (Fra/Total-Energies) +1mins 28secs
  7. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education Nippo) +1min 29secs
  8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 43secs
  9. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) +1min 44secs
  10. Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 48secs

Selected other

12. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +1min 54secs​.