While Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) sprinted to his first Tour de France victory on stage 10, the race will likely be remembered as the day a number of GC contenders saw their chances of glory dashed, after crosswinds decimated the peloton on the run-in to Albi.
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) were the highest-profile casualties, with Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) also caught out as Ineos and Deceuninck – Quick-Step went full gas and splintered the peloton with 30km left to race.
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However, one rider with GC ambitions who lost time on the stage at no fault of the crosswinds was Mikel Landa (Movistar), who crashed with 19km to go.
Helicopter television pictures show the front group strung out, trying to gain as much time as possible over the stragglers, when Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) loses balance and swerves into Landa, knocking him off the road.
The Spaniard falls into a group of spectators holding up a sign, which may have softened his fall. However, Landa’s day was over as he needed a full bike chang and didn’t receive it in time to join the second bunch on the road, falling in with Giulio Ciccone’s third peloton that would eventually roll across the line 2-09 down.
Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) immediately took to Twitter after the stage to rubbish rumours that it was him that caused Landa’s crash. “Really sorry for what happened to Landa, but please watch again, I’m not the rider who pushed him.”
Speaking after the stage, race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) claimed it was French champion Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) who caused the fall, although this has not yet been confirmed by either Landa or Barguil.
Barguil then tweeted saying he was sorry about causing the crash, explaining he hit Alaphilippe’s wheel in front and then made contact with Landa who was coming up on his left. He says it was a miracle he wasn’t brought down in the crash.
Ineos’ Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, as well as Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) all finished in the front group, with Thomas now second on GC, 1-12 behind Alaphilippe.
After Tuesday’s first rest day, stage 11 provides another flat day for the sprinters before the race heads uphill and the GC battle will commence.