Tour de France riders fall off road in stage 13 crash; Mark Cavendish ties stage wins record

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A group of riders suddenly fell off the road during stage 13 at the Tour de France on Friday, marking another crash within the peloton after a fan caused a massive one in the opening stages.

The incident didn't prevent Mark Cavendish from making history and tying the record of 34 stage wins at a Tour de France. 

Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish has tied the record for most stage wins in a Tour de France. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tour de France riders fall off road in crash

The crash happened with 58 km to go in the stage when Soren Kragh Andersen fell off the right side of the road and into a deep ditch. The peloton was traveling at 65 km per hour downhill when they suddenly went off the road on a curve. Some went flying through trees and bushes into a ravine. 

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Simon Yates was the most effected in the crash that included Tim Declercq, Stefan Kueng and Nacer Bouhanni. An ambulance came to the scene. 

The crash reportedly occurred because there was a patch of rough asphalt after a smooth stretch and unlike in other races, there was no one with a flag there to alert riders of suddenly rough terrain, per The Guardian

Yates landed on the tarmac and eventually got back on his bike, but abandoned the race shortly later, the Cycling News reported. Teammate Lucas Hamilton did the same. Both are competing for Team Australia at the Olympic games. 

A mini crash happened 30 kilometers later, though it was only bike damage that involved three riders. 

Cavendish makes history with stage 13 victory 

Cavendish came out on top on Friday and with it tied cycling great's Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins at a Tour de France. 

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The 36-year-old British rider was back in the competition for the first time since 2018 and won his fourth stage of the 2021 competition. He was open about his bout with depression and struggles on and off the bike in recent years. Cavendish was not expected to compete in this edition, let alone take so many stage victories. 

He is in the race as a replacement for Sam Bennett, the best sprinter of last year's tour who had to drop out last month. Cavendish has never won the tour de France. 

He was gassed after the stage victory and said he "can't even think about" the record he set. 

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"I'm afraid I'm so dead after 220 kilometers in that heat, that wind and that finale," Cavendish said. "I went deep, I went so deep there. The boys were incredible. I can't believe it. A lot of the day it didn't feel like it, but it had to happen because I had the guys riding like they were. I was so on the limit there."

Stage 13 took riders on a 220-kilometer ride through southern France, ending in the city of Carcassonne. It was a hot day and there were more roundabouts (97) in Friday's stage than any other since 1996, per The Guardian. 

Tadej Pogacar kept the yellow jersey. The competition began on June 26 and will wrap up in nine days, on July 18. 

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