Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won stage 7 of the Tour de France by outsprinting a reduced peloton after a dramatic day in the crosswinds from Millau to Lavaur. The Belgian beat Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT) and Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) to the line, while Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retained the yellow jersey.
After an opening week of relatively restrained racing, at least among the GC contenders, this was a breathless day of action, as Bora-Hansgrohe split the peloton into shards with a relentless shown of force on the early climb of Côte de Luzençon, with fast men Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) among those irretrievably distanced.
That was enough to lift Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) back into the green jersey, though he endured disappointment in the finale when a chain issue in the sprint limited him to 13th place.
There was even greater disappointment for general classification contenders Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren), who were caught out when Ineos split the peloton into echelons on the race’s passage through Castres with 40km remaining. They came home 1:21 down on the front group, where Jumbo-Visma, Ineo Grenadiers and Groupama-FDJ found common cause to distance some dangerous rivals.
Ineos triggered the split thanks to Michal Kwiatkowski’s forcing but the British team suffered a setback of their own on the run-in when Richard Carapaz suffered an untimely puncture. The Giro d’Italia champion tried to chase back on, but he eventually came home alongside Pogačar and Landa.
The Tour enters the Pyrenees on Saturday, and the fierce efforts of stage 7 will surely weight heavily in the legs of the peloton.
Watch the Tour de France stage 7 highlights video above.
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