Tour de France: Australian Ben O'Connor claims maiden stage victory, Tadej Pogacar keeps yellow jersey

Australian cyclist Ben O'Connor couldn't hide his emotion, after riding home to take his maiden stage win of the Tour de France.

O'Connor climbed up to second in the overall standings, two minutes and one second off the pace, with Colombian Rigoberto Uran in third, 5m 18s behind defending champion Tadej Pogacar.

The AG2R-Citroen rider won the stage from the breakaway, ahead of Italians Matteo Cataneo and Sonny Colbrelli.

"Just to be taking part on the Tour de France in the first place is a dream," O'Connor says. 

"Then to achieve a victory like this one is excellent, a great reward to everyone who has supported me over the years." 

"It's been a wild ride."

Slovenian Pogacar, who claimed the yellow jersey the previous day, was in control and responded to a late attack by Ecuador's Richard Carapaz, his main rival for the general classification, in the final climb to the Alpine resort of Tignes (21km at 5.6 percent gradient) to stay atop the rankings.

After a crash-strewn start to the Tour, 2020 runner-up Primoz Roglic abandoned the race, failing to recover from injuries sustained in a third-stage tumble. An exhausted Mathieu van der Poel, who wore the yellow jersey during the week, also quit to prepare for an Olympic gold bid in mountain biking.

Belgian Wout van Aert, who started the day in second place overall, cracked on the Col du Pre, halfway through the stage, and finished more than half an hour behind O'Connor, as he dropped out of contention.

His Jumbo-Visma team, which had lined up to help two-time Vuelta champion Roglic win the title, will now ride for Norway's Jonas Vingegaard, who is fourth overall, 5m 32s behind Pogacar and one second ahead of Carapaz.

O'Connor, 25, went solo with 17.5km left, but over the last 10km, Ineos Grenadiers upped the pace to set up Carapaz's attack.

Monday is the race's first rest day.

France's Arnaud Demare, who was aiming for wins in the Tour's sprint finishes, ended the day outside the time limit, eliminating him from the race.