Groenewegen beats Gaviria in sprint on seventh stage at Tour de France

Mae Harvey
July 16, 2018

On the move: Richie Porte is into the top ten.

The pack leaves Fougeres, rear, during the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 231 kilometers (143.5 miles) with start in Fougeres and finish in Chartres, France, France, Friday, July 13, 2018.

Martin's timing was perfectly judged and he was able to hold on to the lead until he crossed the line. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +00:06 3.

The first 179 km of the stage were boring with none of the favorites daring to make a move, even when the peloton went up the final hill a first time with 16 km to go.

His third flat tyre came at the end of the last cobbled sector just six kilometres from home when the pace - led by Froome - was fully on.

"I talked to everyone", Sagan said when asked how he passed the time after finishing third in the mass sprint which, with its uphill finish, suited him.

Dumoulin failed to reach the back of the peloton, and with the assistance of Soren Kragh Andersen, rolled in 53 seconds behind the winning group. Of the now active cyclists, only three (Cavendish, Kittel and Greipel) beat him, and André Greipel has a mere one victory more than the Slovak cyclist.

"I was a bit nervous because of the headwind, I didn't think it was going to happen", Martin, 31, said.

But in 2016 the 29-year-old German came close to losing a finger amid a litany of injuries suffered when a auto driving down the wrong side of the road wiped out him and several team-mates during a training ride in Calpe, Spain.

"It was an early break but it was my only opportunity for the stage win as I'd never have got it in a sprint", explained Martin.

Groenewegen stayed clear of trouble and powered away from Gaviria and Sagan, who have each won two stages of this Tour so far. "I thought the corner was closer to the finish than it really was".

Degenkolb took the win by holding off Van Avermaet and Quick-Step Floors' Yves Lampaert in a sprint to the line after they had broken off the front of the peloton with 20km to go.

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.

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