The Tour de France resumed with a bump for many after the first rest day. Wind once again played a role, but stage ten was a straight-to-video production compared to the dramatic events of last week.
TOUR REPORT STAGE 10
Le Château-d’Oléron > Saint-Martin-de-Ré
The big news before the start was that race director Christian Prudhomme was one of the mercifully few positive covid-19 tests conducted on the rest day, so he was a notable non-starter. Four teams had one positive among their staff, but all the riders were able to continue.
Stefan Küng and Michael Schär rode away almost as soon as the flag dropped on the île d’Oléron, but the peloton kept them on a very short leash. No one was taking any chances with the crosswind-stricken stage seven still fresh in the memory.
The frantic fight for dominance on the flat and windy roads of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region meant that the strong Swiss duo was caught with 100km still to race. A breathless episode followed, with splits in the peloton and the first of many crashes, but with so far still to ride things soon settled.
The peloton successfully navigated the day’s obstacles, and it all came down to the expected sprint finish. Caleb Ewan finished fast, but not fast enough to beat Sam Bennett who took an emotional first Tour de France stage win, regaining the green jersey in the process. Peter Sagan took third, his best finish yet at this Tour.
Bahrain McLaren’s sprinter Sonny Colbrelli sacrificed his own chances today in service of leader, Mikel Landa. It was a finish where the Italian one-day specialist might have got a result as an outside chance, but sometimes being part of a team takes precedence over one's individual ambitions.
Thanks to Russ Ellis and Chris Auld for capturing the race. See more of their work on Instagram @cyclingimages & @cauldphoto.