Mark Cavendish took his fourth stage win in the 108th Tour de France to total 34 since 2008, just like stage victories record holder Eddy Merckx. His team-mate Michael Morkov and Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen rounded the podium at the end of bunch gallop. Tadej Pogacar retained the yellow jersey in Carcassonne.
First Israeli breakaway rider
154 riders started stage 13 in Nîmes at 12.18. One non-starter: Michael Gogl (Qhubeka-Nexthash). Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-Nexthash), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) managed to go clear at km 15 with no luck. Sean Bennett (Qhubeka-Nexthash), Omer Goldstein (Israel-Start Up-Nation) and Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) attacked at km 27. Latour passed first atop the only categorized climb of the day, the côte de Pic Saint-Loup at km 51.5. A maximum advantage of 4’45’’ was recorded at km 55. Goldstein, the second cyclist from Israel to take part in the Tour de France after Guy Niv, became the first from his country to break away and win an intermediate sprint (at km 104.3).
Regrouping with 53km to go
Deceuninck-Quick Step seized the reins of the peloton with the intention to deliver another bunch sprint for Mark Cavendish. Petr Vakoc (Alpein-Fenix) gave them a hand. They brought the deficit down to 1’30’’ when attacks begun at the front 65km before the end of the race. A major crash involving 30 riders happened in the peloton while Bennett attacked at the front and lost contact when Goldstein countered. Goldstein and Latour forged on but the time gap was quickly reduced as a lot of action started in the pack after the crash. Bennett was reeled in, so were Goldstein and Latour with 53km to go as they attacked each other rather than riding together. It was bunched up 50km before the end at the exception of some injured riders. Roger Kluge, Simon Yates and Lucas Hamilton were forced to pull out.
The tightest win of Cavendish
45km before Carcassonne, Quentin Pacher (B&B-KTM) rode away solo. He got an advantage of 1’30’’ that forced Julian Alaphilippe to pull as Tim Declercq was off the back after the crash. The advance of the Frenchman was down to 20’’ with 20km to go. It was bunched up one kilometre further. GC teams like Ineos-Grenadiers seized the reins of the peloton in the final kilometres but it was another bunch gallop in Carcassonne. Ivan Garcia Cortina disturbed the plans of Deceuninck-Quick Step as he took the lead 300 metres before the line. Philipsen seemed to go for the win on the right hand side but Cavendish came out of the wheel of Morkov at the eleventh hour to power to the tightest of his four Tour de France victories up to date this year.