‘Some of my best power, still in the last group’ - Why the level is so high in the 2021 Tour de France

Thomas De Gendt and Greg Van Avermaet both put out some of their best ever power numbers on stage nine, but still couldn’t keep up

Thomas De Gendt at the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

The 2021 Tour de France has been a brutal race and we’re not yet halfway through. 

While all the riders have battled the hectic crash-ridded stages and some brutal weather conditions, some of the best riders in the world have found themselves struggling under the pace.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.