It may have been the longest stage of the 2018 Tour de France, and perhaps it's for that reason that stage 7 won't be remembered as one of the most exciting. After the 231km slog to Chartres, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) may have taken the stage honours, but Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) wins the prestigious Zwift Rider of the Day for his one-man breakaway.
Early on in the stage, Offredo's teammate Thomas Degand was the first to make a move, quickly being caught. Soon afterwards, a 10-man group, including Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors), Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Edward Theuns (Team Sunweb), proved to be too strong for the peloton's liking and was soon brought back.
Sensing his chance - or more likely the Wanty DS sensing a chance for some TV airtime - Offredo went away on his own with 200km left to race. He had already been in the break on stage 1, but this wasn't an offensive display to match that combativity award-winning effort - it was more that he was the only man to venture out of the comfort of the peloton.
In any case, it was a futile act on such a stage. We can't know for sure whether the 31-year-old ever thought he had a real chance of victory today, but judging by his jokey offer for the camera moto to work with him, he probably didn't have much faith.
With no obstacles aside from the tricky run-in to deter the sprinters' teams, the day was never going to be anything other than another showdown between the fastmen, even if Offredo's advantage reached more than nine minutes at one point.
His undoing would come with the crosswinds that whipped up about 90km from the line, with the peloton's pace upping from a crawl at the prospect of catching out some GC contenders in the echelons. Nothing solid materialised though, aside from the end of the Frenchman's lonely excursion.
Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic) was clearly enthused by Offredo's 110km outing, going on the attack soon afterwards to take over the moving billboard duties. After Offredo's two-and-a-half hour building materials and public works commercial, it was time to get the bank and recruitment agency some airtime.
However, Pichon himself was caught 45km later, and seeing as 110km is quite a bit more than 45km, Offredo takes the prize today.
Daniel Ostanek: It wasn't a thrilling stage by any stretch of the imagination, and never really figured to be given both its length and featureless nature. Eventually - 15 minutes after the slowest predicted time schedule - the expected sprint finish materialised, with Dylan Groenewegen winning.
But in direct opposition to that 200-metre burst of action at the end, I wanted to reward the man who toiled away for over 100km only to come away with nothing. Not even the combativity award, which went to Laurent Pichon. This one's for you, Yoann.
On stage 6 you overwhelmingly voted for Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) as your Zwift Rider of the Day. The Irishman broke a string of near misses at the Tour de France to win his first stage in five years. While the hilltop finish of the Mûr-de-Bretagne was suited to Martin's abilities, the 31-year-old went long, powering to victory despite Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) leading the charge behind.
You can vote for the stage 7 Zwift Rider of the Day below. We will announce the reader's poll winner after Saturday's stage 8.
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Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.
Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.
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