Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) gambled on a breakaway in the longest stage at the Tour de France in 21 years, and it paid off with his first career victory in Stage 7: Vierzon > Le Creusot.

Matej Mohoric Stage 7 Tour de France Le Creusot
Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) rode to a victory in the longest stage in two decades with a win in Stage 7 at Le Creusot. (Image: Reuters)

Mohoric held off attackers and reached the finish line at Le Creusot at least 80 seconds faster than Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) in second place. Mohoric laddered up the overall general classification standings; he’s in fourth overall and trailing Martin van der Poel by three minutes.

2021 Tour de France – Stage 7 Results
  1. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) 5:28:20
  2. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) +01:20
  3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) +01:40

Mathieu van der Poel retained the yellow jersey once again, but there was a serious shakeup in the GC standings. Defending champion Tadej Pogacar finished more than five minutes behind Mohoric, slipping to fifth place overall. He’s 3:43 off the lead.

A heavily-bandaged Primoz Roglic, who injured his back and ribs in a gnarly crash in Brittany, was dropped from the peloton after he cracked on the ascent of Signal d’Uchon. Roglic, who came into Le Tour as one of the betting favorites, saw his hopes of winning the Tour de France end in Stage 7 after he fell behind by more than nine minutes.

Stage 7:  Vierzon > Le Creusot

Clocking in at 249.1 km, Stage 7 of the 2021 Tour de France was the longest in 21 years. The ride began in Vierzon and ended in Le Creusot during a blistering hot day. The first two-thirds of Stage 7 was flat before a Category 4 ascent of Cote de Glux-en-Glenne and a Category 2B climb to the top of Signal d’Uchon.

A hefty breakaway pack of 29 riders separated from the peloton, including Van der Poel in the yellow jersey, which was a bit surprising. Pogacar joined the breakaway to keep pace with Van der Poel.

Mohoric and Brent Van Moer attacked with 80 km to go in Stage 7. The chase pack caught Van Moer, but Mohoric held off Wout Van Aert and Van der Poel.

“I didn’t think I could make it into the last climb,” said Mohoric. “I was just riding for the jersey and said why not? Kilometer by kilometer I was still feeling okay. I couldn’t believe it.”

The young Slovenian prefers longer stages, where Mohoric thrives. “It’s the longest stage and I won the longest stage in the Giro and Vuelta,” added Mohoric. “I am good one the long stages, not such a brutal effort, I can keep pace in these stages. I won in the Giro and the Vuelta but this is something else.”

On Deck: The Alps for Stages 8-9

This weekend marks the first of two mountain stages as the peloton reaches the Alps with Stage 8: Oyonnax > Le Grand-Bornand and Stage 9: Cluses > Tignes. After these two grueling stages, there’s the first rest day on Monday. The top climbers, like Pogacar and Julian Alaphilippe, should make up lost time this weekend.

2021 Tour de France – Overall GC Standings
  1. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 25:39:17
  2. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +00:30
  3. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +01:49
  4. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) +03:01
  5. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +03:43

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) stuck with Van der Poel in the Stage 7 breakaway and moved into second overall. Van der Poel leads by only 30 seconds. Everyone expected Van der Poel to cough up the yellow jersey in Stage 7, and it would be surprising if he’s still wearing it by the end of the weekend in the Alps.

Alaphilippe had a rough day, slipping to seventh overall. He’s 4:23 behind the leader. Keep an eye out for him in Stage 8, however, where he dominated Grand Colombier in the past.

Kasper Asgreen, Alaphilippe’s teammate at Deceuninck-QuickStep, is only 01:49 off the lead and in third place. Roglic started Stage 7 in 10th place and trailing by 1:48, but after his awful day, he now has to make up a gap of 9:11 after tumbling to 33rd overall in the GC.

Check out OG’s coverage of the 2021 Tour de France.