Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Tour de France: Dylan Groenewegen sprints to stage seven victory

Tour de France: Dylan Groenewegen sprints to stage seven victory

Van Avermaet actually extended his lead in the overall standings over Geraint Thomas to six seconds when he raced ahead of the pack to win a three-second bonus sprint.

"I don't know if he did it on objective or if he wanted to drop everybody but I have to say thanks", Sagan said.

The only exception is the man they call "G", who sits three seconds off Van Avermaet in yellow and, as the victor of the traditional pre-Tour warm-up race the Criterium du Dauphine, has every right to be considered a serious contender himself.

Irish cyclist Dan Martin won the sixth stage of the Tour de France on Thursday, finishing the semi-mountainous 181-kilometer (112 miles) leg from the western port city of Brest to Mur-de-Bretagne in four hours and 13 minutes. "Phil went early and he's still pretty close on GC [general classification] so I couldn't let him go".

It marks Martin's second career stage win in the Tour, the other coming in 2013, and also serves as redemption for him after he finished second on the Mur-de-Bretagne three years ago.

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"I hit the back wheel of Bardet when there was the movement in the peloton and I couldn't avoid it", the Dutch rider said.

"I tried to win the stage but it was pretty complicated", Van Avermaet said.

"It's never good to lose time".

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion and 2017 Giro d'Italia victor, was slowed by a tire puncture at the foot of the final ascent and lost 53 seconds.

Friday's flat 231-kilometer leg from Fougeres to Chartes is the longest stage of this Tour. But, in the end, it came down to a bunch sprint as expected.

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Sunday's key stage over the cobbled roads of the "Hell of the North", used in the spring classic Paris-Roubaix, is now looming on the horizon, and most teams are focusing on the sporting and logistical demands of racing on roads that are sure to create drama.

Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen beat favourites Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan in a sprint to win the longest stage of the Tour de France.

The short climb inside the final kilometre tempted a number of the classics specialists to the fore, including BMC's Greg Van Avermaet in the yellow jersey, but once the road levelled off it was Sagan who still had the most power left in his legs.

While this was very bad news for the rider himself, his team and France's hopes of a first win since 1985, it was a boon to Bardet's rivals, as a Tour de France victor generally relies on the support of a full team.

This was the first summit finish of this Tour.

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