Tour de France stage seven LIVE: Vierzon to Le Creusot

Live action from the longest stage of the Tour de France 2021

Hello and welcome to Cycling Weekly's live coverage from stage seven of the Tour de France 2021.

Stage start time: 11.00 (10.00 UK time)
Stage finish time: 17.05 to 17.42 (16.05 to 16.42 UK time)


TGIF right?

This is today's profile. The bulk of the climbing is backloaded into the second half of the route, with a category two climb (with bonus seconds at the summit) the biggest test, topping out at around 18km to go.

A reminder that's it's an early start today, with the race rolling out of Vierzon at 11am local time, aiming for a usual finish time between 17.05 and 17.42 depending on how fast the peloton ride the stage.

Today is a massive day in the Tour. The longest day on the race in 21 years! Just a smidge under 250km of racing to be done and it's not going to be easy flat terrain. 

Cavendish was saying, on the Bradley Wiggins Show, that the green jersey has now been geared towards the sprinters again whereas before it was over the climbs which Peter Sagan cleaned up.

Today is the day where we join the route that we would've seen had the race started in København, Denmark.

This was a special moment in Châteauroux yesterday though, wasn't it?

We've just set off on our Départ fictif and the neutral zone. We have just over 6km of this before the proper racing on the 249.5km stage.

We are racing! Immediately an attack from Victor Campenaerts. Everyone else looking around for a moment before Thomas De Gendt, Matej Mohorič and a few others to kick on.

I don't think this break is going anywhere as so many riders want to get into the breakaway. 

Its attack after attack so far with riders like Mads Pedersen, Anthony Turgis, Nils Eekhoff, Magnus Cort and the perviously mentioned all trying to get up the road.

Good morning folks, Alex Ballinger here taking over the live blog for the new few kms. 

Here's the flag drop: 

We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a very important message from Wout Poels... 

The rapid start to stage seven continues and still no breakaway sticking. 

The group is caught and another group is already on the move with Vincenzo Nibali amongst them.

Update from Primož Roglič on his injuries.

Mark Cavendish in the break alert!

UAE are now leading the peloton and are looking a little bit nervous.

Okay here we go, the group now has 56 seconds on the peloton with UAE still leading the bunch. 

Our man in the field Jonny Long was at the start of today's stage in Vierzon to speak to the riders.

The breakaway is continuing to extend the gap as the pace is still absolutely rapid out in France.

When a sprinter heads to the mountains... 

Absolutely crazy stat from today's stage is that this is the longest day in the Tour de France since the year 2000. 

Here's how things stand after 110km of racing. 

Intermediate sprint time! 

The breakaway is starting to split up already. Cavendish and three other riders have slipped off the back, they're currently 11 seconds behind the rest of the break. 

Speaking of Cavendish, our tech team have broken out the GCSE physics text book to try and solve one of the great mysteries in the peloton - why does Mark Cavendish's chain come off after he sprints? 

Things have finally chilled out a bit in France.

Right as they hit the first categorised climb of the day, I'm going to hand over to my colleague Tim Bonville-Ginn who will be guiding you through the next few kilometres.

Hello again... I'll be taking you through these first few climbs before handing over to Richard Windsor for the finish.

Some great shots coming from today

Brent Van Moer went for the points on the climb but Matej Mohorič kicked over the top. 

Some of the GC teams have come up and swamped UAE now as they are going over the first climb.

The peloton has now got UAE back on the front after the pace has gone out of it. Other teams came up due to the road tightening briefly.

The break coming up to the top of the next climb. Van Moer and Mohorič have gained 1-13 so they will battle for the one point at the top.

Back in the peloton, Pogačar now has four team-mates left with him but Marc Hirschi and Rafał Majka do look pretty tired. Making all kinds of grimaces. 

Nibali on the attack! The shark is on the move. He's looking to use the descent to bridge across to Van Moer and Mohorič. That won't be too easy either as Mohorič is probably the best descender on the planet. More so than Nibali.

TotalEnergies are back on the front. This is absolutely baffling from the French team. Unless Pierre Latour is on amazing form, this is just a ridiculous tactic.

Campenaerts is the next man to his out with Jasper Stuyven following. Two very powerful Belgian riders. 54km to go with 50 seconds to the leaders.

The Gilbert group has been dragged back. Laporte tried a little move but sat up as he was on his own.

Stuyven and Campenaerts make contact with Mohorič and Van Moer with 46km to go. A very powerful group, but how will they do on the climbs? Especially with the penultimate climb hitting 18 per cent gradients.

Meurisse and Teunissen are working hard for Van der Poel and Van Aert as we hit the third climb of the day.

Ineos Grenadiers have come to the front of the peloton now as they battle with TotalEnergies.

There's another move from the second breakaway group with Patick Konrad and Magnus Cort trying to go clear, but getting immediately tracked by Asgreen with just over a kilometre to the top of the climb

Nibali now has another dig to try and bridge to the 1-15 gap to the three leaders

Ivan Cortina drops out of the chasing group as the pace increases thanks to Nibali, it's thinning down with three riders still leading

Mohoric takes the points over the category time with a minute's advantage to the chase group. A remind we still have two categorised climbs today with a category two climb topping out 18.2km from the finish

There's a small crash in the peloton as Pello Bilbao (Bahrain) touches wheels with another rider - there's a Jumbo-Visma rider on the ground but it doesn't look like Primoz Roglic

The peloton has managed to shave off some time to the break with 34km to go, with the gap down to 6-36

The category two climb, the Signal d'Uchon which starts around 24km to go, is pretty savage with an 18 per cent pitch in the before the top. There's bonus seconds at the top, which could interest the yellow jersey Van der Poel and potentially Nibali is they can get across to the three leaders Mohoric, Van Moer, and Stuyven

Confirmation that is was Jumbo-Visma's Jonas Vingegaard that went down in the small crash in the peloton

The three leaders are around 5km from the next climb and still have 1-13 over the chasing group, but that's a gap that could fall away quickly up this next climb

Frenchman Franck Bonnamour (B&B) is currently between the two groups, but isn't making enough ground to close on the front group

There's little urgency in the peloton currently, but there's still a TotalEnergies rider on the front. The French team have been expending energy all day along with UAE and it's unclear why

The gap between the leading trio and the yellow jersey breakaway group has extended heading towards the climb, it's now at 1-36, with Bonnamour at 1-21

The leaders have hit the foot of the category two climb, which 5.7km long at 5.6% average

Bonnamour meanwhile has been caught by the second breakaway group

Xandro Meurisse is putting in a real shift for his team-mate Van der Poel, but at the moment it's giving the other riders a free ride with the gap not coming down

Mohoric is doing the pacing for the leaders on the Signal d'Uchon with 4km to the top, they about 2.5km from the 18% ramps

Wout van Aert's team-mate Mike Teunissen is dropped from the second group

Meurisse is still working hard for the yellow jersey, but the gap is sticking at 1-15. Will we see a Van der Poel attack on this climb?

But it's Patrick Konrad (Bora) who goes on the attack first, gaining a very small gap

Meurisse, Bakelants, Gilbert and Erviti are all dropped on the climb

Almost seven minutes later, the peloton have hit the bottom of the Signal d'Uchon 

Konrad has pulled out a bit more of a gap with Magnus Cort in pursuit.

On to the steep sections of the climb and Mohoric has dropped Van Moer and Stuyven, with 1km to go

The Slovenian champion has 1-25 over the yellow jersey group but Konrad has gained some ground and is at 55 seconds

The climb has really sorted out the breakaway, with Van der Poel only joined by Asgreen, Van Aert, Nibali and Yates at the moment

Yates is struggling on the steep gradients, with the yellow jersey group absorbing the riders who had tried to get away further down the climb

Asgreen has been setting the pace here, but Mohoric is still holding on well at 1-18

Mohoric takes the bonus seconds at the top of the climb and the KoM points, which puts him in the polka dot jersey for tomorrow. The lone leader has 17.7km to go now and a decent advantage - there's one category four climb left to conquer though

Still Asgreen on the front as the yellow jersey group cross the summit, there's just seven riders in there now with Bonnamour, Cort and Toms Skujins joining them

The peloton are just reaching the steeper sections of the climb with the gap to front down to six minutes. Pierre Latour has made a strange attack 1km from the summit as Ineos pace the bunch

Primoz Roglic is in trouble here on the steep section, he's just clinging to the back of the peloton over the steep sections

There's no Jumbo-Visma team-mates to help Roglic and the peloton are just getting away from him. This looks like the effects of his crash earlier in the week catching up with him

Meanwhile Cort and Bonnamour attack the second break group with Asgreen going after them. Can they bridge the 1-04 gap to Mohoric with 14km to go?

Pierre Latour is brought back by Ineos, but Roglic is slipping further back. Is this his Tour de France campaign ending already?

Richard Carapaz attacks!

Carapaz has gone solo over the summit, he's 1-44 down on GC so will be looking to make up some time he lost in the time trial.

Mohoric is showing off his descending skills here as he maintains his gap to the chasers

Mohoric has hit the final categorised climb with 1-20 in hand. This is a 2.5km climb but fairly low gradient so he should hold his gap

With 1-22 and 9.4km to go, the Slovenian champion looks like he could be riding to stage victory

Neilson Powless takes a spill in the peloton on a descent, falling into some roadside bushes. The American is back on his bike

Patrick Konrad is caught by the Corts, Asgreen, Bonnamour group, but they are losing time to Mohoric on this climb. It's 2-11 back to the Van der Poel group

Meanwhile, Carapaz is still out solo, with 38 seconds over the peloton

Wout van Aert has attacked from the third group on the road with Van der Poel.

The peloton is at 5-24 from the solo leader, with Carapaz around 40 seconds ahead of them

We haven't been given a glimpse of Roglic since the climb, but it doesn't look like he's made it back into the peloton

Mohoric has just passed 5km to go and still has 1-38 over the second group - this should be a big victory for Mohoric along with taking the polka-dot jersey

Van Aert and Van der Poel have had a brief chat - it doesn't look like the pair will be able to close for the stage win with just 3km to go, but Van der Poel will extend his lead in the yellow jersey today and Van Aert will move up to second

Carapaz is losing time now and has just 25 seconds on the bunch, who look like they might catch him before the line

Mohoric is into the final 2km with victory assured with group two at 1-41

It's a brilliant ride by Mohoric, who looked so strong on the climbs today

Matej Mohoric wins stage seven of the Tour de France 2021

It's an emotional victory for Mohoric who crosses the line in tears, showing off his national champion's jersey

Jasper Stuyven (who was in the escape with Mohoric) has held on by himself between the groups to take second place.

Van der Poel and Van Aert catch the Asgreen group in the final 500m, but Magnus Cort takes third place and the final bonus seconds

Here's the top five

Vincenzo Nibali has just crossed the line at 2-57 down on Mohoric, which will give him a big boost in the GC

Van der Poel has extended his lead in yellow but has Van Aert at 30 seconds behind him in second

On the road Richard Carapaz is still pushing on, and should take some time back here

Van der Poel looks absolutely exhausted at the finish - the 249km stage in this heat has been a brutal one for those in the breakaway

Carapaz's efforts are completely in vain as the peloton catch him just before the line. That was a big effort from the Ecuadorian who took no extra time over Tadej Pogacar

Primoz Roglic was not in the peloton though, and it looks like his yellow jersey hopes could be coming to an end here

Roglic crosses the line - it looks like he's lost around 3-30 today.

Here's the stage top-10:

1. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious, in 5-28-20
2. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-20
3. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo, at 1-40
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quick-Step
6. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
9. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, all at same time
10. Dorian Godon (Fra) Ag2r Citroën Team, at 1-44

Here's the top-10 on GC:

Ineos' leaders still remain outside the top-10. Richard Carapaz is 12th at 5-19 and Geraint Thomas is 13th at 5-29

Primoz Roglic has been cut adrift at 9-11, so it will take a huge effort to get back towards Pogacar at this point

What a hectic day at the Tour it's been, there's so many individual stories out there on the road.

The full report on today's stage is up:

A remarkable achievement for Mohoric today, becoming the second Slovenian to take stages in all three Grand Tours

That was a savage day

Here's some early reaction from Britain's Geraint Thomas after the stage:

Mathieu van der Poel described the start of the stage as 'a bit boring':

More Tour tears as Matej Mohorič out-thinks rivals so Slovenia still wins on turbulent stage seven.

Wout van Aert reacts after moving into second overall at Tour de France 

Jumbo-Visma pretty sure Primož Roglič's Tour de France GC battle is over 

Right guys,

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