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Gallery: Wout van Aert enters folklore with Mont Ventoux victory

Joe Robinson
8 Jul 2021

Two ascents of Ventoux prove better than one as Van Aert enters cycling history

Second on a sprint stage behind Mark Cavendish one day, winning a mountain stage with two ascents of Mont Ventoux the next. Wout van Aert is a very special rider.

Any disappointment faced by the Jumbo-Visma man after his failed mission to wear the yellow jersey in the first week will have quickly evaporated after he crossed the finish line on Stage 10 of the Tour de France. He can now call himself a mountain stage winner at the Tour. That's a special achievement for any rider let alone one that already has a sprint victory at the Tour. 

His performance was as dramatic as the lunarscape backdrop, dispatching proper climbers like Bauke Mollema, Julian Alaphilippe and Pierre Rolland with sheer, unadulterated power. On Ventoux, Van Aert displayed versatility in ways we haven't seen since the 1980s when the likes of Sean Kelly were riding. It was old school racing. 

Behind Van Aert, the battle for yellow showed signs of life. Tadej Pogacar showed the first sign of weakness as he was dropped by Jonas Vingegaard on the upper slopes of Ventoux. Luckily for Pogacar, a fast descent allowed him to chase back but the embers of a GC battle did begin to flicker.

And even further back, a battle to make the time cut. Cavendish made it, Soren Kragh Andersen did too, albeit by just one second. But unfortunately for the Ineos Grenadiers, Luke Rowe's Tour was cut short as the double ascent of Ventoux proved a climb too far.

Below, the best images from Chris Auld:

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