Tour de France: driven 127 km in front! Smart escape is not rewarded

It almost became his sporty hussar piece, but only almost.

Roger Kluge (35) drove 127 km in the lead on the 6th stage of the Tour de France from Tours to Chateauroux before what happened in cycling: the field roared up and swallowed the runaway.

Mark Cavendish (36) got his second success on this year’s Tour of France. It is the 32nd overall in the Great Loop for the Briton and the Ominum Olympic champion from 2016 is only two victories away from cycling legend Eddy Merckx (76), who holds the record with 34.

Mark Cavendish can hardly believe his luck. He wins ahead of Jasper Philipsen (r.)Photo: Pool Luca Bettini / dpa

“I don’t think about that. And don’t mention this name, ”said Cavendish after his success. It seemed too unreal that someone would break this record. Now “King Cav” is just ahead of it.

With Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet (36) from Belgium, Kluge put his stamp on the stage. The field let both go because they have nothing to order in the overall standings. But as on Tuesday in Fougéres, the outliers were not rewarded.

Roger Kluge (left) and Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet just missed the win

Roger Kluge (left) and Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet just missed the winPhoto: THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

“Our tactic now is to run away. We want the stage win after our sprinter Caleb Ewan was injured. We are still seven strong drivers, at some point we will be lucky. It would have been nice if a few more people had come with us, ”says Kluge.

So it is to be expected that he will seek his salvation in flight several times. “I’ve never come this close to the goal in a breakaway group. I’ve got a taste for it, ”said the Berliner.

Roger Kluge (r.) And Greg van Avermaet on the way to Chateauroux

Roger Kluge (r.) And Greg van Avermaet on the way to ChateaurouxPhoto: THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

On the way, however, he was bored despite the exertion. “The stage didn’t lead through villages that much, so there wasn’t much to see and there weren’t any mountains to enjoy,” said the Berliner. “That didn’t make it that exciting.”

In Cavendish’s first stroke, the runaway Brent van Moer was 100 meters short, this time it was three kilometers. “Cav” won for the third time in the small French town. So in 2008 he got his first stage success here.

“There are a lot of outstanding sprinters here. Today the sprint speed is much faster than it was back in 2008. I’m so happy to be here again, ”said Cavendish.

The yellow jersey stays with Mathieu van der Poel (26) from the Netherlands. On Friday, the longest stage of the tour with 249 km awaits the riders when it comes from Vierzon to Le Creusot.

Cavendish will then probably not get the chance because the profile is very hilly. Ideal for a group. “But I will feel the strain of trying to break away,” says Kluge.


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