Tour de France stage 13 LIVE: Nîmes to Carcassonne

Updates as the Tour de France 2021 continues with a chance for the sprinters


Hello out there! 

Our intrepid Tour de France reporter Jonny Long spent a wild night sleeping under the stars on the slopes of Mont Ventoux earlier this week. 

This is how Daryl Impey sees stage 13 playing out.

Interesting little development for today's stage.

Right then here are the start times for today's stage: 

Cycling Weekly went for a two hour spin with Lachlan Morton this morning, the Australian who is riding the entire Tour stage plus the transfers. He said he predicted all of Mark Cavendish's three stage wins so far having ridden the routes and he's backing the Brit again today.

Although the problem for Cavendish is that there aren't many sprint teams left, and therefore there aren't as many who want to control the day's break before bringing it back. Thomas De Gendt, Lotto-Soudal's Mr Breakaway, believes it's a day for the escapees because of this.

Yesterday morning saw the abandonment of Peter Sagan, the fourth big-name sprinter after Caleb Ewan, Arnaud Démare and Tim Merlier to leave the race.

We're underway in Nîmes. 

Mark Cavendish is NOT wearing a skinsuit today again. Could this be revealing? Deceuninck - Quick-Step potentially happy to let the breakaway win again. 

Breakaway are riding into a headwind which is making it tough.

More attacks from the bunch but it's been rapidly chased down and there were no gaps.

It's been a rapid start. 

Just three riders have made it clear from the peloton, Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up nation), Sean Bennett (Qhubeka-NextHash) and Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies).

Three-rider break always has 2-41 with 187km to race, but the situation is good news for Mark Cavendish, as they should be comfortably able to control this. 

Jasper Stuyven has tried a solo attack from the bunch, but Deceuninck don't like it and Tim Declerq has shut down his compatriot. 

The race has hit the only categorised climb of the day, the Côte du Pic Sait-Loup, 5.5km at 3.7 per cent cent. 

Breakaway is into the final few hundred metres of the climb and Sean Bennett has hit out for the summit.

Half-hearted sprint at the top and it's Latour who takes maximum points, Bennett second, with Goldstein cruising along behind in third.  

The bunch is just cresting the climb now. 

It's all very calm in the race as things stand.

Can Mark Cavendish win today? 

Breakaway is at the intermediate sprint, 116km from the finish.

The peloton hit the sprint line, Sonny Colbrelli taking fourth behind the breakaway, followed by Michael Matthews and Philipsen. 

Here's how the green jersey stands after the sprint:

We're inside the final 100km of the stage, three riders still in the break.


Another attack! A bit of chaos her in the peloton.

Big crash in the bunch. 

Søren Kragh Andersen has just had to clamber back up to the road after falling a long way down the verge. It's a big moment on today's stage. 

Action at the front of the bunch now, with Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) pulling on the front of the bunch, but he's been overtaken as we've got an attack from Oliver Naesen (Ag2r-Citroën). 

Simon Yates is getting back on the bike, but he looks like he's in a lot of discomfort. 

Geraint Thomas was held up by that crash and is now part of a group trying to chase back on.

The breakaway is caught and the bunch have slowed right down, 50km left to race

Bike change for Mark Cavendish. Not the perfect moment as there's 35km to the finish, but fortunately the pace isn't on in the bunch.

Bike change for Philipsen as well, but he's already back in the convoy and is almost back on at the back of the peloton.

Quentin Pacher is still pushing on 1-28 of the peloton with Jan Bakelants behind him.

The sad news in the last 10 minutes is that Simon Yates has been forced to abandon following that crash. It's unclear how injured the British rider is after he got back on his bike, but he'll hope to be recovered in time for the Olympic road race in a couple of weeks.

Read more: Simon Yates abandons Tour de France 2021

Tim Declercq, Soren Kragh Andersen, and Lucas Hamilton are all still struggling to get back to the pack following that crash

Another BikeExchange rider has had to abandon as well. Yates' Australian team-mate Lucas Hamilton has been forced to retire from the race following that crash earlier in the day

Just 27km remaining now and this looks destined to be a sprint finish, with Pacer just dangling out front on his own now with Bakelants back in the peloton

It's still Deceuninck-Quick-Step controlling the bunch, and with their team strength compared to the others it's hard to look past Mark Cavendish making it four stages in this year's Tour

Quentin Pacher is on a hiding to nothing here as his gap drops to 30 seconds with 23km to go

There's two Qhubeka riders including Sergio Henao on the ground at the back of the peloton. They seem to be the only two affected and not injured

Wout van Aert looks very interested in the sprint today, he narrowly missed out to Cavendish on Tuesday before winning on Ventoux on Wednesday

Quentin Pacher has been caught as Bora and Ineos come to the front with 18.8km to go

A reminder that the GC times will be taken at 4.5km today

There's some wind coming from the right side of the road and Ineos are trying to put  their rivals in trouble. There's no significant splits yet but it's high paced with the bunch strung out

Mark Cavendish is still towards the front along with Sonny Colbrelli. The yellow jersey Pogacar is tucked in just behind Ineos

It's not quite echelons here with the cross.-headwind, but the speed of 60kmh is shelling riders out the back after a long and hot day today

With 15.8km to go the impetus has wained slightly, although the pace is still high heading towards the finish

Late puncture for Stefan Kung, he won't be able to get back to the peloton at this point

The threat of crosswinds has diminished somewhat and it looks like we're building towards a sprint finish. It's Ineos though that are really hammering it at the front

Davide Ballerini has guided Cavendish up to the front of the bunch as they cross the 10km to go banner

Pogacar rolls through to the front as the pace drops slightly heading through a town

We're 8.5km from the finish in Caracassonne and the pace is jumping up and down as teams take to the front and then fall away. It's Movistar and Ag2r pushing things on at the moment

The GC teams are riding hard to get their leaders passed 4.5km to go. Any incidents or crashes after that will see them given the same time as the group they were in

The run into Caracassonne is littered with street furniture and turns, which will explain why the pace isn't super high, currently around 50kmh with 5.3km to go

We've just crossed 4.5km to go so the GC teams won't fight for the front anymore and will allow the sprint teams some space

Ineos still leading Carapaz at the front however, after all the front is the safest place to be

Deceuninck-Quick-Step still look the most organised of the sprint teams, keeping Cav sage in the front of the bunch

2.5km to go and Ballerini is setting the pace again

There's a lot of fight for Cavendish's wheel here by the other sprinters

Into the final kilometre!

DQS are leading this one out

Jasper Stuyven has Cavendish's wheel

Mark Cavendish wins stage 13 of the 2021 Tour de France

That was a very impressive win from Cavendish to equal the record stage wins. It was complicated finish with a late left turn and Cavendish was able to get through the crowds of other sprinters to pip Philipsen and Ivan Cortina to the line

It was actually Cavendish's lead out man Michael Morkov who took second, with Philipsen and Cortina fading before the line

That's a huge victory for Cavendish, his fourth at the Tour and his 34th stage win overall, equalling Eddy Merckx's record of stage wins at the Tour

Here's the top-10 on the stage

1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Deceuninck-Quick-Step, in 5-04-29
2. Michel Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quick-Step
3. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Iván García Cortina (Esp) Movistar Team
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
6. Alex Aranburu (Esp) Astana-Premier Tech
7. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
8. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
9. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo, all at same time

There's no change on GC after today:

Cavendish looks absolutely exhausted in his post-race interview, saying he went deep after the 220km stage in the heat and the wind. 

Michael Morkov did a super impressive job there guiding Cavendish up late to take that win. He looked super strong and could have potentially taken that win himself!

Mark Cavendish's team-mate Tim Declerq, who crashed with around 60km to go, has just finished in front of the broomwagon. He had a out 2-45 until the time cut, so will be able to continue tomorrow if he is fit.

Here's today's full report:

Five talking points from stage 13 of the Tour de France 2021

‘You can clearly say Mark is the best sprinter there ever was,’ says Michael Mørkøv as Cavendish equals Tour de France record 

Here's what the man himself had to say:  

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