Groenewegen wins longest stage of Tour de France in sprint

Annette Crawford
July 14, 2018

BMC's Greg Van Avermaet hung on to the yellow jersey, with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas moving up to second place, three seconds down. "My team did a brilliant job all day and I wanted to finish it off", he said.

Froome is 14th, 1:05 behind Van Avermaet.

Dan Martin celebrates as he crosses the line to take yesterday's sixth stage of the Tour De France.

"I'd like to thank Greg (Van Avermaet) because he did me a favour when he went for it, I don't know if he did it on goal but he dropped a lot of people", said Sagan, who has tightened his grip on the points classification's green jersey.

"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 have my own style", he said when asked about his similarity to the veteran Manxman with 39 stage wins under his belt.

Cavendish, who is chasing a 31st stage win to close in on the Tour record of 34 held by Belgian Eddy Merckx, said a late collision hampered his finish but conceded other teams seem in better form.

"It's never good to lose time".

"I had good sensations but nothing outstanding, I was at my maximum".

"Gilbert attacked a bit early, trying to drop everybody".

Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan have won four stages between them so far and both ought to be especially suited by the nature of the finish, with Sagan perhaps having a slight advantage here.

Laurent Pichon, another French rider with Fortuneo-Samsic, then also got away alone for a spell.

The pace of the peleton quickened ahead of the category three climb to Mur de Bretagne, with the gap to the front shortening to under a minute with 20km to go.

The overall favourites should be tested again in the cobblestoned Stage 9 on Sunday to Roubaix, before heading down to the Alps next week. But, in the end, it came down to a bunch sprint as expected.

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.

The pack rides 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.

After a somewhat inauspicious start to the season with his new UAE Emirates team, Martin showed a timely return to form last month when he won a stage and finished fourth overall at the week-long Criterium du Dauphine, the final pre-Tour tune-up for most of the pre-race favourites.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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