Politt claims first-ever stage win

09 July 2021 02:42:26 GMTPlus10

Bora Hansgrohe's Nils Politt held off Harrison Sweeny and veteran Imanol Erviti to clinch a maiden Grand Tour stage win, while Tadej Pogacar kept intact his chasmic lead in the General Classification.

Team Emirates' Slovene leader, at 1/1000 to ride to victory down the Champs-Elysees, is out in front by 5:18 as the race enters its second half.

In the context of the yellow jersey, Thursday's 159-kilometre run from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to the Roman city of Nimes brought about little in the way of change.

Pogacar crossed the line as part of the main peloton, in a vast wave that contained his closest challengers - Rigoberto Uran of EF Education and Jumbo -Visma's Jonas Vingegaard - and most of this year's primary contenders.

Also in the midst of the main group was Mark Cavendish, whose bid to equal Eddie Merckx's record stage win tally was put on ice, though the Manx rider did triumph in the sprint finish.

The story of the day came further up the field; Politt's win was the perfect tonic for Bora Hansgrohe following Peter Sagan's withdrawal from the Tour earlier in the day. The Slovakian rider, a green-jersey phenomenon, was unable to begin the stage due to a knee issue sustained on the previous outing.

However, glory came Politt's way with the German rising and punching the air in triumph as he crossed the line at the expense of Australian Sweeney - of Lotto Soudal - and Movistar's Spaniard Erviti.

Neither had ever won a stage of La Grande Boucle before, with Erviti, at 37, unlikely to be presented with a finer opportunity.

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