KOM Corner: 2021 Tour de France-
For the second time in under a year, Tadej Pogacar wears 3 jerseys on the podium in Paris, including the one given to the best climber of the Tour de France, the illustrious Polka Dots. The 23 year old Slovenian confirmed that he is the greatest cyclist on the planet: able to win individual stages consistently (5, 17, 18), sprint with the best (8th overall Sprinter), and beat climbers who seem to not be bound by the laws of gravity - all in the world's hardest and most famous bike race.
Here are the final KOM Standings for the 2021 Tour de France:
Thank you for following the Polka Dot chase with us this year in our new KOM Corner: Coverage of the King of the Mountains Classification in the Tour de France. Don't forget to tune in for our KOM Corner coverage of the Vuelta a Espana (starting August 14th) and the chase for the blue polka dot jersey!
In the final day of major climbing in the Pyrenees there is no mistake who is the best overall rider and the best climber of this year's Tour de France GC leader Tadej Pogacar won his second consecutive mountain-top, stage all but cementing his GC win and proving also that he is this year's best climber as well. Pogocar (UAE Team Emirates) surged at the end of the final climb of Luz Ardiden (HC) to outlast Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), his closest competitors in the GC standings as well as today's stage. The 40 points won at the top of the climb also cemented the KOM Polka Dot jersey for the second year in a row. At age 22 get ready to hear the name of Tadej Pogocar for years to come.
The earlier climb of Col du Tourmalet (HC) saw Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies) summit just ahead of David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) to win 20 points on that climb. Then polka dot jersey holder Wouter Poels (Bahrain Victorious) held off Michael Woods (Israel-Start Up-Nation) to hold on to his KOM points lead before the final climb, but neither Woods or Poels could hold the wheels of the yellow jersey group on the final climb and they were both dropped halfway up Luz Ardiden.
After stage 18, here are the current KOM standings:
Tadej Pogacar blew away the existing KOM on Luz Ardiden by over 4 minutes on the final climb of the day! He did the climb in 35:21, besting the UK's Andrew Feather's time of 39:57 set back in 2019. Pogacar averaged a blistering speed of 13.8mph up the HC climb.
It's hard to believe that there are only 4 more stages in the 2021 Tour de France already!
Today the GC leader Tadej Pogacar proved why he is the best rider in the Tour - again. The Yellow Jersey owner was first up the Hors-Category Col du Portet (a climb that's been featured in le Tour a whopping 84 times now), sprinting away from GC rivals Vingegaard and Carapaz to win him the stage on an epic summit finish. The close finish helps Pogacar maintain a comfortable lead in the Yellow over the second place Vingegaard of 5 minutes and 39 seconds.
Anthony Prez for Cofidis was first up the Col de Peyresourde in a solo breakaway, but the Frenchman couldn't hang on to win the stage for the French on Bastille Day.
After stage 17, here are the current KOM standings:
American hero Sepp Kuss was 1 second away from the fastest time up the Col de Peyresourde - Bagneres-de-Luchon, which was set by B&B Hotels rider Quentin Pacher (36th GC)
World Tour rider David Gaudu has the fastest time up the Col de Val Louron-Azet, which he set in the 2018 Tour de France.
Pogačar, Carapaz, and Vingegaard (workout not uploaded) now own the best 3 fastest times on the Col de Portet, a climb with completions from nearly 6,000 other riders. What an excellent race between the three up this climb today!
The second of four consecutive mountain stages ended with a solo win from Patrick Konrad (AUT), who was first up the last 3 climbs (including the Category 1 Col de la Core (Seix)). The 16 points Konrad earned today moved him up to 13th for the polka dots.
Tomorrow riders will finish on top of the Col de Portet, a Hors-Category climb following two Category 1s (Col de Peyresourde - Bagneres-de-Luchon, Col de Val Louron-Azet), meaning some serious KOM points will be on the line. Thus far, this year has been one of the fiercest competitions for the Polka Dots in history, with so far 6 different riders wearing the jersey for at least one stage. Will Poels put some distance between him and the rest, or will Woods, Quintana, or Van Aert take back the jersey for themselves? Comment your prediction below!
After stage 16, here are the current KOM standings:
Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) set the record for the fastest time up the Col de la Core (Seix), the only Category 1 climb of the day.
The peloton dominated the Col de Portet d'Aspet (Saint-Lary), but not today's peloton - rather, the one on the 16th Stage of the 2018 Tour de France.
Sepp Kuss might not be in the polka dots, but the American was the best climber today, dancing up the Collada de Breixalis and down the other side to win the first stage for an American in 10 years!
This is only his second Tour de France (finishing 15th in the overall GC in 2020). The 26 year old won the Tour of Utah in 2018, and has won a stage in the Vuelta. Sepp was born in Durango, Colorado, getting his start in mountain biking before focusing on road in 2015. He lives and trains in Andorra these days, and will enjoy a nice home cooked dinner tonight!
This last climb of the day was of the steepest climbs of the Tour so far, and one that seemed to crack even the very best riders, including Nairo Quintana, the rider who's worn the polka dots for most of the Tour so far. This is one of the most competitive polka dot competitions in recent years, with the top 4 riders being all within 10 points
After stage 15, here are the current KOM standings:
Pogacar, Carapaz, and Lutsenko dominated the Port D'Envalira averaging 15.4mph, but all fell short of Bahrain Victorious' Damiano Caruso, who won a stage of the Giro earlier this year, but decided not to ride le Tour.
It's no wonder that Sepp Kuss set the all-time fastest time up the Collada de Breixalis - Encamp (0:18:55), his attack on which won him the stage. Closely behind him (0:19:33) followed the GC group of Pogacar, Carapaz, Lutsenko, and Vingegaard, who dished out an epic battle up the climb, each attacking multiple times with the others immediately answering.
Michael Woods finally overtook Quintana for the polka dots, but Bahrain Victorious' Wout Poels is hot on his heels. Bauke Mollema, who's in 5th place in the KOM standings, broke ahead of the breakaway to win the Col de Saint-Louis (a Category 2 with 5 bonus points) and win the stage solo.
Quintana meanwhile hasn't won any KOM points since the alps in Stage 8. Do the veteran's legs have enough left in them to make another push to take back the jersey the next few days in the Pyrenees? Comment what you think below!
After stage 14, here are the current KOM standings:
Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) took the Strava KOM today for Col du Bac, but when you can hold 475 watts for over 6 minutes like he did today on the climb, it's pretty hard to not get the KOM.
Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) tied Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) for the Strava KOM on the Col de Saint-Louis at 13:06. Mattia averaged a staggering 411 watts for 13 minutes - BUT, Patrick (who did not post his power numbers) weighs 11 more pounds than Mattia!
Even though not related to the polka dots, we have to mention Mark Cavendish winning his 34th Stage of his career and tying the great Eddy Mercks. With 4 wins already this Tour, we think it's only a matter of time before he gets another!
When asked after the race how it feels to be equals with the greatest of all time, he just replied with: "It's tiring... 220 kilometers in this heat... I'm dead." We love the honesty!
Frenchman Pierre Latour (Team TotalEnergies) won one point on the Côte du Pic Saint-Loup today, a 3.6 mile climb just outside of the small French town of Saint-Jean-de-Cuculles. Although just 3.6% average grade, broken up in the middle with a short downhill section, the last kilometer of this climb is at a 9% grade!
After stage 13, here are the current KOM standings:
Anthony Turgis had the fastest time up the hill by averaging 17.3mph, but a group ride on June 2nd crushed the climb and owns the fastest 28 times (all time)
The lone climb today welcomed Nils Politt to the top first for 2 points. Nils went on to take the stage, the first TdF win of his career. The win moved Bora-Hansgrohe into second place in the team competition, but still 13 minutes behind Team Lotto Soudal.
After stage 12, here are the current KOM standings:
None of the riders came close to the times set in Stage 3 of the Étoile de Bessèges this year on February 5th, so the Strava KOM remains safe.
Wout Van Aert took the Stage win on the most exciting day for the climbers so far - with a double passing of Mont Ventoux - Bedoin and the category Col de la Liguière before it. Quintana remains in the polka dots, but his lead is cut down to 6 points after taking it easy today and earning none. Wout jumped immediately into second place, earning all 44 of his points today. Can the Belgian all-rounder catch one of the best climbers in history and wear the Polka Dots for a stage? We think he can - comment below!
Pogacar nearly lost some time on the Yellow after a brilliant attack from Jonas Vingegaard dropped the Tour leader up the second climb of Ventoux. He caught back up to him on the descent, but the peloton learned something today: Pogacar is still human. The race for Yellow heats up!
After stage 11, here are the current KOM standings:
None other than Chris Froome, who's name will forever be associated with the mountain after the 2016 Tour, has the fastest time up Mont Ventoux - Bedoin (HC), today's final climb. Nearly 84,000 different cyclists have recorded a Ventoux climb on Strava, and Froome is the only one to do it in under an hour. However, Alexey Lutsenko rode it in a scorching 1:00:16 - the fastest time of Stage 11 and tied for the second fastest of all time - but the Kazakh rider only earned 4 points for his efforts.
It was a rather uneventful day leaving the alps on flat ground. Canadian Hugo Houle (Astana Premier-Tech) entered the KOM competition by earning his first point on the Col de Couz, the only climb of the day. Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish continues to prove that after a decade and a half, he is still one of the best in the world.
After stage 10, here are the current KOM standings:
Nairo Quintana will wear polka dots tomorrow after winning 20 points on the first Hors-Categorie climb of the tour, Col du Pré (Beaufort), and scoring points on all of the other climbs the day had to offer
Wouter Poels stayed in the hunt, winning the Col des Saisies, but fell behind Canadian Michael Woods with slower finishes on the other climbs.
After a well deserved rest day, Stage 10 will take the riders through the valleys of the Alps, exiting the mountain range to the south without hitting any major climbs (only the Col de Couz, a category 4). With an 8 point lead, Quintana will stay in the polka dots for Stage 11 as well.
After stage 9, here are the current KOM standings:
Sepp Kuss truly dominates the Côte de Domancy. He set the fastest time up the climb during last year's Tour on August 16, 2020 (6:39), and had the fastest time again today (7:11). A 2.5km climb at 8.7% gradient, this type of climb suits 'The Durango Kid' well.
Alexey Lutsenko had the fastest time up the final climb of the day, Montee de Tignes, but wasn't far enough up the pack to score points for it. His time today (33:51) up the Category 1 climb fell short of Giovanni Aleotti's 2019 KOM time by exactly 2 minutes.
It was a cold, wet, and miserable first day in the Alps for the riders. Bahrain Victorious' Wout Poels wanted the polka dots badly, and in the end took it off the back of his teammate Matej Mohoric. Wout won the first three climbs of the day, including the first Category 1 climb of the tour, earning 23 total points to launch him into first place
Pogacar is once again in yellow. Will he lose it this Tour, or wear it till Paris? Comment below!
After stage 8, here are the current KOM standings:
Nobody came close to the best time for the Col de la Colombière, with Steven Kruijswijk holding on to his crown he earned 3 years ago during Stage 10 of the 2018 Tour.
Today was the first true stage for the climbers, with a total of 19 points over 6 climbs for the taking. Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) held on to an impressive breakaway and won the longest stage in 21 years, pulling away on the final climbs and winning Most Combative rider in the process.
The Slovenian climber shot straight through the rankings and now wears the polka dots, winning every climb of the stage and earning all of his 11 points for his efforts. He now leads Ide Schelling by 6 points.
After stage 7, here are the current KOM standings:
4 out of the 5 climbs now have new Strava KOM leaders! Needless to say, it's going to be a challenge to take the crown back from one of these Grand Tour riders:
July has arrived, and so has the last flat stage for a few days. Greg Van Avermaet was in the breakaway and first up the Côte De Saint-Aignan, and took the lone KOM point available in this stage.
Tomorrow is a hilly stage, with 5 climbs in the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan, and at nearly 150 miles, is one of the longest stages we can remember. And there will be no time to rest: Saturday brings the first true mountain stage, including three Category 1 climbs (Côte de Mont-Saxonnex, Col de Romme, Col de la Colombière).
After stage 16, here are the current KOM standings:
The peloton shattered all hopes and dreams of previous KOMs on Côte De Saint-Aignan - with 52 riders finishing at least 20 seconds before the previous owner of the climb. But in our opinion, it's a little bit of a stretch to call 2.2 km at 2.8% average grade a climb...
No climbs on today's stage, but it was exciting to watch the sprinters do their thing and good to see Mark Cavendish atop the podium once again.
After stage 5, here are the current KOM standings:
(no climbs today)
Today's stage was rather boring for us climbers, featuring only two Category 4 climbs. Ide Schelling again stands alone at the top of the KOM after being first up the Côte de Cadoudal, and will wear the Polka Dots at least until Friday, since there are no points available for Stages 4 (flat) and 5 (individual time-trial). Here's a quote from Schelling after the race:
"Out of the days I took the break, this was by far the easiest. The rest of the breakaway guys were gentle enough to let me get a KOM point. Afterwards, I dropped to help my teammates. It was not nice to see so many crashes. Especially, seeing my teammate Peter Sagan crashing with 200m to go on a big screen. It is unbelievable, unexpected for me to be on this jersey. Tomorrow I will take it easy. Rest day for me!"
These will be the full standings for the next few days:
Murderous repeat efforts on the Mûr-de-Bretagne earned Matthieu Van Der Poel the stage win and a meaningful Yellow Jersey - won in honor of his grandfather Raymond Poulidor, a 14-time Tour de France rider who stood on the podium 8 times but never rode in yellow. After leading us to question his form after a disappointing performance yesterday, Van Der Poel proved that he certainly has the legs to ride this tour and maybe compete for a jersey.
The 4 points awarded during these last two two climbs tied him with fellow countryman Ide Schelling for the overall KOM standings, but we'd bet that Matthieu will choose to wear yellow for tomorrow's stage. In the 12 climbs completed so far, only 9 riders have earned KOM points. Here's the full list:
On Côte de Sainte-Barbe, Anthony Perez (Cofidis) was fast, but he couldn't beat local rider Anthony Pirault's time set just two days ago.
Lucky for the KOM holder of the Mucirc;r-de-Bretagne, Matthew van der Poel didn't upload his stage 2 ride to Strava, so their crown is safe for now! Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) is credited with the fastest time up the hill today (10 seconds slower than the KOM), and did it with a nauseating 529 watts held for 4 minutes.
It was a fast, chippy race today with the 6 small climbs right out of the shoot. While there were only 10 KOM points on the table for the taking, there were a lot of non-GC contenders who had their eyes on wearing the Maillot Jaune. Unfortunately for them, Julian Alaphilippe had the last laugh, taking the final climb in Landerneau and the stage win.
Ide Schelling, the 23 year old all-rounder, currently leads the KOM standings. Although the Dutchman is a strong climber (having won the Swiss Grand Prix of Aargau Canton three weeks ago), this was in part due to circumstance, as Schelling led the race for 160 of the almost 200km. Needless to say, quite a memorable Tour de France debut for him! Here are the rest of the leaders:
Last year we saw the Yellow Jersey winner (Tadej Pogacar, 82 points) take home the Polka Dots, both wins due to superhuman performances on the later mountain stages.
Only one of the 5 previously known KOMs were lost today - with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) destroying the previous time on Cote de la Fosse Aux Loups by nearly 90 seconds, with Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) hot on his heels.
Anthony Perez (Cofidis) had the fastest time overall up Côte de Rosnoën, but was 6 seconds shy of the KOM. Perez is currently second in the Polka Dot Jersey standings.