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Tour de France 2015: Stage 7

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 Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage seven of the Tour de France from Livarot to Fougeres.  

Tour de France Stage 6 report
The Cyclingnews Tour de France Podcast episode 7
Tour de France 2015 stage 7 forum
Tour de France 2015 preview
Tour de France 2015 start list

Hello again and welcome to our blow by blow coverage of stage seven. 

Today's stage is perfect for a sprint finish, with the 190km of racing on flat country roads. 

 

It will be a last chance for the sprinters to strutt their stuff. Saturday's stage finishes atop the Mur de Bretagne and Sunday's is the team time trial. The riders then transfer to the Pau for the mountain stages in the Pyrenees.

 

The riders have just rolled out of the start area and are in the neutralised section of the stage. 

 

The riders are still in the neutralised sector but we have a first crash: Alberto Contador has gone down. He is quickly up and back in the peloton.   

As expected and as per UCI rules, there is no race leader's yellow jersey in the peloton today. 

 

Robert Gesink also went down in the Contador crash but is back on his bike and seems okay. 

 

#TDF2015 The start signal has been given and immediately there's a crash in the peloton with Contador and Gesink!

@Lotto_Soudal Fri, 10th Jul 2015 11:49:53

Race director Christian Prudhomme has waved the flag and the stage is officially underway.  

 

There is only one category 4 climb early in the stage. We can expect Mtn-Qhubeka to ride to defend Daniel Teklehaimanot's historic polka-dot jersey. 

 

In deed, Daniel Teklehaimanot is in the attack of five riders.

 

They have 50 seconds after 3km of racing. 

 

186 riders started the stage today. There were two non-starters: Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step), who both retired due to injuries sustained in crashes.  

 

The five riders are Kristjian Durasek (Lampre-Merida), Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis), Anthony Delaplace and Brice Feillu (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN).

They already have a lead of 1:50.

 

The climb comes after 12.5km. It will be interesting to see if all the attackers sit up after the climb or keep going in the break. 

 

Stage 7 of #TDF2015 has started, and for the 1st time in this year's race @lampre_merida has a rider in the lead group: Kristijan Durasek.

@MeridaProRoad Fri, 10th Jul 2015 11:59:43

181km remaining from 190km

The peloton seems happy to let the five riders go up the road. 

The gap is now 2:10.

 

The Côte de Canapville climb is 1.9km log at 4.7%. 

 

The five attackers are racing at over 50km/h as they attempt to build a lead on the peloton.

 

Here is Teklehaimanot in the polka-dot jersey. HE is trying to score the only point on offer today to extend his lead. 

 

This is the profile of stage 7. 

 

Teklehaimanot takes the point at the top of the climb.

 

He will again pull on the iconic jersey on the podium if he finishes the stage. 

 

The sun is out for today's stage, with temperatures of 23C and a slight head wind. However the wind is expected to become a tailwind for the final part of the 190km stage.  

 

173km remaining from 190km

From the Cyclingnews blimp we can see that the break is continuing with its attack.

The gap is now 2:40. 

 

Teklehaimanot made history yesterday by taking the polka-dot jersey.

Read what he said and what it means for the MTN-Qhubeka team by clicking here.

 

#TdF2015 @DanielTeklehai1 takes the only point on offer at the top of the climb!

@TeamMTNQhubeka Fri, 10th Jul 2015 12:20:26

Check out our situation panel on the right for constant updates on the time gaps and the names of riders in the break. 

Today we've coloured Daniel Teklehaimanot's jersey with polka-dot but Chris Froome is not in yellow.  

 

As you may be aware, Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) didn't start the stage today after fracturing his collarbone in the late crash on stage six.

Martin got up to finish the stage but flew to Hamburg in Germany for surgery.

He posted a photo of the private jet that took to Hamburg on Twitter and his team has announced the surgery was successful.

“I would like to thank all the people involved in my transportation to the hospital and the medical staff in Hamburg” Martin said in a statement from Etixx-QuickStep.

“They were all amazing and they allowed me to undergo surgery in such a short time after the crash. In these situations time is an important factor and we couldn’t have done better."

I wish good luck to my team and to all the riders busy at the Tour. I will follow the race on TV today from the hospital. It will be strange but that’s life and cycling. I have to try to see the glass half full and keep the good memories. I had a great first part of the Tour with a great team around me. I won a stage and wore the yellow jersey for the first time in my career. A dream came true during this Tour and now I’m already looking forward to coming back one day again and living the great emotions of this race.”

Martin is expected to take two weeks off the bike before resuming serious training.  

For more news on Martin's surgery, click here. 

 

 

As you may be aware, Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) didn't start the stage today after fracturing his collarbone in the late crash on stage six.

Martin got up to finish the stage but flew to Hamburg in Germany for surgery.

He posted a photo of the private jet that took to Hamburg on Twitter and his team has announced the surgery was successful.

“I would like to thank all the people involved in my transportation to the hospital and the medical staff in Hamburg” Martin said in a statement from Etixx-QuickStep.

“They were all amazing and they allowed me to undergo surgery in such a short time after the crash. In these situations time is an important factor and we couldn’t have done better."

I wish good luck to my team and to all the riders busy at the Tour. I will follow the race on TV today from the hospital. It will be strange but that’s life and cycling. I have to try to see the glass half full and keep the good memories. I had a great first part of the Tour with a great team around me. I won a stage and wore the yellow jersey for the first time in my career. A dream came true during this Tour and now I’m already looking forward to coming back one day again and living the great emotions of this race.”

Martin is expected to take two weeks off the bike before resuming serious training.  

For more news on Martin's surgery, click here. 

 

 

160km remaining from 190km

The Lotto-Soudal and Etixx-QuickStep teams are leading the peloton, the two teams want to set up Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish for the sprint and so will keep the break under control.

The current gap is 3:50. 

 

A closer look at the breakaway group being closed by the peloton at yesterday's Stage 6 #TDF2015 #TDFdata http://t.co/56mElrqxOI

@letourdata Fri, 10th Jul 2015 12:43:20

Today's finish is the first of three in cycling-mad Brittany. It's not surprising that there are two riders from the Bretagne Seche team today.  

 

Thanks to the work of Michal Golas for Etixx on the front, the gap is stable at 3:50. 

 

For the full story on Tony Martin's crash and injuries, click here. 

 

.@chrisfroome « En tant que 2ème du général, je n'ai pas à le porter / I was second on GC, I didn't want the jersey" http://t.co/zEz61PpULy

@letour Fri, 10th Jul 2015 12:53:06

The breaks lead has fallen back to 3:00 as they ride into a head wind.

 

Lots of discussion happening around the subject of Froome not wearing the yellow jersey. 

 

He's not wearing because of UCI rules, but he insists he wouldn't have worn it even if he had the opportunity to. 

 

“Out of respect for Tony I would never have worn it in any case," he told letour.com. "That's not the way to get the yellow jersey due to someone else's misfortunes but Tony finished yesterday. I was second on the GC so there was no way to wear it."

 

In the first hour of racing the breakaway covered 40.3 kilometres.

 

Successful collarbone surgery for Tony Martin, Henderson withdraws, Pinot calls out tennis doping controls, Coquard not bothered by criticism. It's all in our latest edition of Tour de France news shorts.

 

We've got the intermediate sprint coming up in just over 5 kilometres. The five breakaway men will sweep up most of the points but there'll still be some left for the sprinters in the bunch behind. 

 

André Greipel leads the green jersey standings by three points from Peter Sagan.

 

Luis Angel Maté takes maximum points at the intermediate sprint at Argentan.

John Degenkolb comes out on top amongst the sprinters at the intermediate sprint. The German had a dedicated lead-out and Peter Sagan and André Greipel tried came from behind but couldn't get past. Mark Cavendish was also involved but had to swerve all the way around Degenkolb's lead-out man, leaving him with no chance. 

 

The sprinters are clearly up for the green jersey fight. Degenkolb, Greipel, Sagan, and Cavendish all full-on going for that sprint.

John Degenkolb comes out on top amongst the sprinters at the intermediate sprint. The German had a dedicated lead-out and Peter Sagan and André Greipel came from behind but couldn't get past. Mark Cavendish was also involved but had to swerve all the way around Degenkolb's lead-out man, leaving him with no chance. 

 

Here's how the points were dished out at that sprint. 

 

John Degenkolb, 10 pts

Peter Sagan, 9 pts

André Greipel, 8 pts

Mark Cavendish, 7 pts
 

 

Cyclingnews' Barry Ryan is on the ground at the Tour de France and has sent in this report on Chris Froome and the yellow jersey

 

113km remaining from 190km

The gap is currently stable at 2:20 minutes.

 

Etixx-QuickStep fight on without Tony Martin

 

Manager Patrick Lefevre, speaking to letour.com, has described how Tony Martin tried to raise the spirits in the team camp and outlined plans for the rest of the race. 

 

"It's very sad. But Tony [Martin] was still smiling. He said OK I spent two days in the yellow jersey, it was a dream when I was a kid. And I got it. I cannot be too sad. He came to the restaurant to tell his team-mates: ‘go on, you are doing very well and good luck'. It was quite an emotional moment.

 

"The guy who will be captaining the team until the mountains now is [Michal] Kwiatkowski. With Tony, we were the big favourites of the TTT. Even without Tony, we'll do our best to take Rigo [Uran] in the best conditions in the mountains. We came to the Tour with our best possible team.In the Giro, Rigoberto was suffering. Nobody speaks about him, he's there in the shadow of the team doing very well. You have the big four. And after the big four you have Rigo, he can be the surprise of the Tour.”

 

We've been racing for just over two hours now and the average speed has been a fairly relaxed 40.5kmh. 

 

Berhane racially abused at Tour of Austria

 

Some stories in cycling, like Daniel Teklehaimanot taking the polka-dot jersey yesterday, are uplifting ones. Others, sadly, are anything but, and we've had one such example that has taken the spotlight somewhat off Teklehaimanot's achievements. 

 

Fellow MTN-Qhubeka rider Natnael Berhane was reportedly racially abused by another rider, Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), at the Tour of Austria. 

 

Cyclingnews' Sadhbh O'Shea has the latest in this report

 

 

The peloton are passing through the feed zone at the moment and as they grab their musettes, the gap to the leaders ducks under two minutes. 

Expect Cavendish's train to go later & faster today. Just three wagons: Trentin, Renshaw, Cav.

@friebos Fri, 10th Jul 2015 14:05:29

Don't forget you can have your say in the Cyclingnews stage 7 forum. Lots of lively debate as always.

91km remaining from 190km

The gap has come down ever so slightly again and now stands at 1:50 as Lotto control things on the front of the bunch.

We've just left Normandy but before we reach Brittany we're passing though the Mayenne department, home region of Jacky Durand and Marc and Yvon Madiot. 

 

André Greipel has won both sprints so far in this year's Tour de France. He'll be right up there again at the sharp end of today's stage. 

 

“It's a tricky finale today and it's not necessarily going to be easy," he told letour.com "It might be a disadvantage for Cavendish to lose Martin. In any case I'll try to go for the hat-trick.”
 

 

.@DanielTeklehai1 was already in our "Hall of Fame" at the UCI @WCC_cycling! #proud #ucihq #wcclive #tdf2015 http://t.co/tB4K9rnvlK

@UCI_cycling Fri, 10th Jul 2015 14:39:30

75km remaining from 190km

The break is just 1:00 ahead of the peloton now but it is perhaps too early to sweep them up. The peloton will probably ease back soon. 

 

The black and white Brittany flags are flying along the route now. We're in one of the homelands of French cycling. 

 

Most teams in the peloton are lined out protecting their team leaders from possible crashes and accidents.

 

With 71km to go, the lead of the 5 attackers includding @lampre_merida's Kristijan Durasek has been reduced to 1min - short leash. #TDF2015

@MeridaProRoad Fri, 10th Jul 2015 14:51:31

Riders are dropping back to the team cars for drinks. The Tinkoff-Saxo team is again using a special vest which can carry bottles. 

Ivan Basso has just loaded up and is heading back to the peloton.

 

The five attackers covered 39.9km in the third hour of racing. The average speed so far is 40.3km/h.

 

Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal) wisely decided not to continue in the Tour de France due to his injuries from the stage 3 crash. 

The Kiwi rider spoke to Belgian Sporza TV before heading home to rest up and recover.

"I wanted to try everything to stay in. I tried for three days and the pain got worse and worse. I wasn't doing anyone any favours. I couldn't help Andre in the sprints, and that's what I'm here to do," he explained.

"It's getting progressively worse, and we had to make a call. I'm really said. I love this race, and we aim the whole year for it, but it is out of my control."

"I can ride my bike, when we're just cruising along I feel fine. But as soon as I go 140-150 beats, it's like a defense mechanism. My body won't allow me to take a deep breath, and I start hyperventilating and can't get any oxygen to the muscles."

"The doctor said it would take about three weeks for bones to start healing. By the end of the Tour I should be able to get into intense training again."

 

60km remaining from 190km

Rui Costa and Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) wav to the TV camera, confirming that the pace is steady in the peloton today.

 

Who do you think will win the stage today? join our debate in the Cyclingnews forum by clicking here.

 

52km remaining from 190km

The racing maybe steady today but the temperature is heating up. It's now 27C in the peloton.

 

50km remaining from 190km

Michal Golas (Etixx-QuickStep) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) have done much of the work on the front of the peloton chasing the break of the day. 

The gaps remains around a minute.

 

As we count down the kilometres to the end of today's stage, why not check out the huge photo gallery from Thursday's stage. 

We have all the best images of the crash and the thrilling finish.

Click here for the stage report page and photo gallery.

The TV helicopter can see Mont Saint Michel, the site of the 2016 Grand Depart.

 

 

 

42km remaining from 190km

The peloton can see the five attacks on straight sections on road. The five seem tired after a long day out front.

 

Polka dot cow http://t.co/LKUoN1PX72

@Laura_Weislo Fri, 10th Jul 2015 15:26:11

40km remaining from 190km

#TDF2015: Cat-and-mousing game between the five escapees and the bunch, always seeing each other. -42km, 47" gap. http://t.co/nqOMvY0M8w

@Movistar_Team Fri, 10th Jul 2015 15:29:35

36km remaining from 190km

The GC teams are also riding near the front of the peloton now, to keep their leaders out of danger. 

 

Thanks for all your positive remarks! @tonymartin85 says hi as he is enjoying #TDF2015 on TV. #OurWay http://t.co/nc0Yf4XiFS

@Etixx_QuickStep Fri, 10th Jul 2015 15:34:56

The riders will soon hit an exposed section of road but there is little wind out there today to cause echelons and splits.

 

31km remaining from 190km

As the gaps falls to 20 seconds, Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN - Qhubeka) surprisingly sits up after an attack in the break. 

 

The riders in the break are fighting for the combative prize of the day. 

 

23km remaining from 190km

The sprinters are slowly taking postions and forming their leadout trains at the head of the peloton.

 

Front wheel flat for Geraint Thomas (Team Sky). It won't be easy for him to get back up to the front.

 

The break is fighting hard to stay clear but their lead is down to just 15 seconds. Hold on to your seats. It's going to be a fast finish with a hectic sprint to the line.

 

The finish is not a straight run-in. It includes five roundabouts in the final 5km.

 

The  last one is just after the final kilometre sign, with a split to the left into the finishing straight. 

 

Timing will be vital. The final 700m rise at 4% and so will hurt the sprinter's legs. 

If someone goes too early, they will fade as the gradient shortens their effort. The best tactic is to come off a wheel with about 150m to go. 

 

 

It will be fascinating to see which sprinters have the power and form to fight for victory on the rising finish.

 

15km remaining from 190km

We are down to two riders in the break: Feillu and Mate. But they are about to be caught.  

 

Feillu and Mate are fighting for the most combative prize. Whoever stays out front the longest will probably get it.

 

10km remaining from 190km

Gruppo compatto. Mate and Feillu have been swept up by the peloton. 

 

Mark Cavendish is under pressure to win a sprint and the Etixx team is hoping to land a win to make up for losing Tony Martin and the yellow jersey.  

 

Team Sky is leading the peloton towards the finish, with Nico Roche doing a big turn on the front. 

 

The riders have a rail wind pushing them to the finish.

 

Lotto and BMC are also up front, protecting Greipel for the sprint and Tejay van Garderen for the GC. 

 

Vermote of Etixx flats and gets a wheel quickly but that leaves Cavendish without another rider. 

 

5km remaining from 190km

Giant-Alpecin is gathering near the front to lead out John Degenkolb.

 

Here comes Etixx with Kwiatkowski bringing them up. 

 

A narrow left turn lines out the peloton and shuffles the riders.

 

Giant has four riders on the front for Degenkolb. But it's a long way to go at high speed.

 

187km remaining from 190km

Here comes Katusha for Kristoff.

 

The GC riders have eased up now the race is inside the last 3km. 

 

FDJ on the front for Demare now.

 

1km remaining from 190km

Lotto drag Griepel up to the front. Last Kilometre!

 

Here we go!

 

Lotto lead it out!

 

Cavendish gets it!

 

He waited on the wheels but then found a late way through to take his 26th win at the Tour de France.

 

Cavendish beat Greipel, Sagan and Degenkolb.

 

Cavendish waved his arms in a victory salute. He used is track skills to bide his time in the sprint and the kick to go clear and win.

 

Provisional results confirm that Chris Froome is the new race leader and will finally pull on the yellow jersey.

 

Froome leads Sagan by 5 seconds, with van Garderen third at 13 seconds.

 

Since 2008 it never took untlil stage 7 for Cavendish to win a TDF stage (excluding crash 2014). #TDF

@TourDeJose Fri, 10th Jul 2015 16:27:12

Cavendish had to walk to the podium area after TV camera crews fought to talk to him after his win. 

 

The replays of the sprint show exactly how Cavendish found his way past his rivals. He rode it perfectly, coming off the wheel of Kristoff late and then cutting his way under Greipel, without letting Sagan close him down.  

 

Cavendish was emotional after winning the stage but seemed very, very happy.  

 

"I wanted it. I had a feeling when I was lying in my room with my wife and daughter. I was relaxed but knew today that I would be okay,” Cavendish said.

 

Cavendish added: "The team was motivate, I could see that with the way Golas was pulling all day. We had some near misses but they kept the faith. This is incredible after Stybi’s win and Tony’s loss. To come out to do it like we did and to win is amazing. This is for Tony too.”

 

Cavendish talked about the details of the sprint.

“I actually had to back off. I was waiting but everyone had tired legs. I told Mark (Renshaw) I wanted to wait. I manoeuvred onto Kristoff’s wheel but Then Andre came up alongside me. We past Kristoff and I just got through. It was shoulder to shoulder with Sagan. But I wanted it so bad. I’m so happy.”

 

Cavendish had not won a stage since on the Tour since the stage to Saint-Amand-Montrond in 2013. He crashed out of the race in the sprint on stage one in 2014. 

 

The Etixx team celebrated another win on the Tour de France 24 hours after Zdenek Sybar's victory in Le Havre. 

Even Tony Martin joined in the celebrations from his hospital bed in Hamburg after his surgery on his fractured collarbone. 

 

We have the first photos of Cavendish's sprint win at the Tour de France. He looks happy.

 

Cav calls Greipel a gentleman: "Could have boxed me in but didn't. Sagan probably would have, but Greipel wanted a fair sprint." #tdf2015

@jacob_haislund Fri, 10th Jul 2015 16:55:51

For our first report, photos and full results from stage seven, click here to see the race report page.

 

Chris Froome (Team Sky) warmed down on the rollers before climbing onto the podium to pull on the yellow jersey. 

He now leads Sagan by 11 seconds, with van Garderen (BMC) third overall at 13 seconds.

 

Froome played down his hopes of defending the yellow jersey on Saturday's uphill finish to Mur de Bretagne and then after Sunday's team time trial. 

"We are not looking at it as if we have to hold yellow, I’m gauging myself against the other GC contenders and not losing precious time over them," he said on television.

"It’s about staying at the front, out of trouble. I have the team to do it, they guys have been fantastic all week and got me into the position I am in today."

 

 

Froome also talked his big GC rivals.

"Tejay is looking good, sitting only a few second after me. Quintana has lost time but he’s looking strong and I have no doubt he he’ll be good in the mountains."

"Alberto hasn’t had a great start but I think everyone one looking to see what the Giro took out of him."  

 

Come on @MarkCavendish just two wins to overtake Hinault and... eight for Merckx. The French champ first, a chocolate at a time...

@evicennati Fri, 10th Jul 2015 16:55:18

Thanks to his stage victory, Cavendish pulled back some points in the green jersey points competition. 

 

Andre Greipel still leads with 199 points. Sagan is second with 187 and Cavendish is third with 151 points.

 

Sagan continues to lead the best young rider competition and so will again wear the white jersey during stage eight on Saturday. He leads Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) by 56 seconds, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) third at 1:45.

 

Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN - Qhubeka) defended his lead in the polka-dot jersey mountains competition by going in the break. He has four points, two more than Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).

 

BMC continues to lead the team standings and so will again race in yellow helmets on Saturday. 

 

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) suffered a late flat today but got back to the front to help Froome finish in the same tine as is rivals and so take the yellow jersey. 

"It was alright. We just left it to the sprinters' teams. We knew it was the last sprinter's stage for a long time and knew they'd be keen, so we just left it to them. We didn't have to do a thing, we just had to try and hide, really, and look after the legs for tomorrow and the team time trial," he told Eurosport in his usual laid-back style.

(Tomorrow) it's up and down, left and right, hard, heavy roads like in the UK. We'll have to keep riding like we have been, at the front. Having the jersey gives you that little extra motivation and respect."

 

This series of images shows how Cavendish emerged with perfection in the final metres of the sprint.

 

 

He hits our here.

 

He is already celebrating victory as he crosses the line. 

 

Cavendish celebrated with his teammates after the sprint.

 

 

He then celebrated on the podium. 

 

We're about to wrap up today's live coverage. Check out our full stage report, photo gallery and results by clicking here. 

 

Etixx-QuickStep team manager Patrick Lefevere was naturally happy to see his riders and especially Mark Cavendish win again at the Tour de France.


"Last night (after the loss of Tony Martin) it was a mixture of happiness and sorrow. Today, it was just happiness. This is certainly not revenge. Only the press spoke of revenge. Mark never needs revenge, he was always up there. And we always knew that we would be there to support him until Paris,” he told Letour.com


“For him (Cavendish), if it's a relief, because he had felt bad after what happened in Zeeland (after stage two when Martin missed out on yellow after Cavendish finished fourth in the sprint).”

 

My 33th #Tourdefrance but with this fantastic first week plenty of emotions I can do some more @Etixx_QuickStep #OurWay

@PatLefevere Fri, 10th Jul 2015 17:25:49

Join us for more live coverage of every attack, every crash and every moment from the Tour de France.  

Our unique daily coverage brings you information from before the start of each stage, all the racing action out on the road and then the reaction and first photo post stage. 

Join on Saturday for coverage of stage 8 from Rennes to the uphill finish on the Mur de Bretagne climb after 181km of racing.  

 

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