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Tour de France 2019: Stage 7

Good morning. The dust has just about settled on the gravel tracks at the very top of La Planche des Belles Filles, where the overall contenders were drawn out for the first time. On we go, with a long stage that takes us away from the Vosges and towards the Massif Central. But this is a respite in the climbing - just a couple of minor hills today but this has bunch sprint written all over it. 

Here's the parcours. There's some undulation in the first half but the second half is flat. It's 230km long, and it looks like there's a headwind. It could be a long old day...

 

 

This is the scene in Belfort. The riders are signing up and will be lining up to roll out in around 10 minutes. A rather long neutral zone today so the race proper is set to be waved underway at 11.35 local time. 

 

Before we get going, time to catch up on yesterday's action, and there were plenty of developments...

 

Tour de France: Teuns wins atop La Planche des Belles Filles

 

We're still in Thibaut Pinot territory. Whisper it, the Frenchman is looking very good so far. 

 

 

The riders are rolling. In 15 minutes or so they'll be racing. 

Chalon-sur-Saône has only been used a few times by the Tour, but it has a habit of throwing up a solo winner. Sixty years ago, Britain's Brian Robinson finished 20 minutes ahead of the pack there. In 1988, Frenchman Thierry Marie stole away from the peloton with a kilometre remaining. Could we be in for an upset today? 

 

This is how the top of the GC looks as we head towards the start of the stage

 

1 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 23:14:55
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:06
3 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:32
4 George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:47
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos 0:00:49
6 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 0:00:53
7 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:58
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:04
9 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First 0:01:13
10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:01:15

 

Here are the so-called 'maillots distinctifs' today

 

Yellow: Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)

Green: Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Polka-dots: Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)

White: Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) - on loan from Ciccone

 

Trek-Segafredo lead the teams classification, so they're wearing yellow helmets today. Ciccone is the maillot jaune but Richie Porte is still team leader, and here he is. 

 

 

And here's Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep), who is the favourite for the win today after his victory on stage 4. You feel Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and maybe even Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) could match him for pace, but the Italian has the strongest lead-out and if they get it right again today he'll be hard to beat. 

 

 

We're off!

Prudhomme is poking out of the sunroof of the race director's car, we pass KM0, and the race is waved underway.

Cofidis and Wanty immediately fire a representative apiece up the road. Looks like that's it. No one else? No one?

 

It's Stéphane Rossetto for Cofidis and Yoann Offredo for Wanty. Rossetto was away first and waits up to allow Offredo to join him. There is absolutely zero worry about being caught - the peloton are crawling. 

 

Rossetto and Offredo are going to get to know each other pretty well today. 

The duo are riding steadily at the moment - there's no real rush to build a lead. Back in the peloton everyone's just chatting away. I'd be able to keep up.

 

I'm calling it now, this is going to be the worst stage of the whole Tour. 

 

Hang on. Even at this sedate pace, we have a crash, and half of the EF team are involved. Tejay van Garderen is on the deck. 

 

Van Garderen has blood on his cheek and chin - it looks like he hit the tarmac with the left-hand side of his face. There's a cut to the knee as well. He gingerly drags himself up and carries on, but doesn't look comfortable. 

The rest of the EF riders were unscathed, and it doesn't look like Uran was involved at all. 

 

Van Garderen looks really banged up and his jersey is ripped badly. He's a minute and a half behind the peloton, who aren't going quickly at all. 

 

Simon Clarke and Tom Scully drop back to help Van Garderen back to the bunch. Even though there were some whispers following his Dauphine podium, there are no GC ambitions for the American, and even if there were, they were wiped out yesterday as he struggled and lost six minutes. 

 

Rossetto and Offredo move out to 3:40 as Lotto Soudal control the front of the peloton. 

 

Van Garderen has received some medical attention from the doctor's car, and is now rolling along at the back of the bunch. It's going to be a long day for him. 

 

Kasper Asgreen, the Julien Vermote of the 2019 Tour, comes through to the front of the bunch. He's Deceuninck-QuickStep's go-to workhorse this year, and seems to have recovered from that crash that snapped his bike in two on stage 3. With results like 2nd in Flanders, a stage win and third overall at the Tour of California, and a Danish TT title - all in his first full season as a pro - he won't be a mere workhorse for much longer. 

 

Asgreen is joined up front by Lotto Soudal's Maxime Monfort and Jumbo-Visma's Tony Martin. It's just those three rotating at the moment. So the teams of the three favourites - Viviani, Ewan, Groenewegen - are doing the work here. 

 

Hang about. What's going on here? Attack from the peloton, and it's the AG2R duo of Alexis Gougeard and Oliver Naesen....

 

204km remaining from 230km

Naesen is visibly giggling in the wheel of Gougeard as they ease away from the peloton. Not quite sure what they're hoping to achieve here - maybe they're just bored. Rossetto and Offredo are 4:30 up the road. 

 

Naesen and Gougeard slot back into the bunch. Fun's over. 

Nice to see the AG2R lads having a laugh. It can't be easy, in the circumstances. Their leader Romain Bardet was way off the pace on La Planche des Belles Filles yesterday and suffered a big blow to his hopes of improving on his 2016 and 2017 podiums. Apparently this morning he told his teammates on the bus that he was "ashamed" of himself.

 

Bardet slips on first Tour de France mountain test

 

198km remaining from 230km

We're coming towards the first of the three climbs, the category-4 Col de Ferrière (2.7km at 4.6%).

 

The gap between Rossetto and Offredo hits five minutes but then comes down slightly. It has stabilised now and that's a pretty tight leash to keep two riders on over 230km. 

Ineos ride just behind the Jumbo-QuickStep-Lotto trio, with Bernal behind a couple of teammates. Thomas, though, is about halfway down the peloton. 

 

The two leaders are on the Colde Ferrière. Fair play to the crowds - loads of them. 

 

192km remaining from 230km

Offredo leads them over the top, collecting the single mountains classification point. 

 

187km remaining from 230km

The peloton ease over the climb, now 5:40 in arrears. 

 

We have another Tour de France 'postcard' for you today. It's none other than Christian Prudhomme, who recalls the path that took him to directing the biggest race in the world - from listening to Luc Varenne call the races on Belgian radio, to becoming a journalist himself, and then being plucked from the press room and placed in one of the most important roles at ASO. He touches on what the Tour de France means, and how he's trying to protect it. 

 

Prudhomme: My journey from fan to journalist to Tour de France race director

 

180km remaining from 230km

Following the climb we're on a long false flat section, and the gap to the two leaders has come down again, to 4:30. 

 

Here's a shot of Gougeard and Naesen fooling around a little earlier.

 

 

'A really really fast one'

 

We grabbed a word with Viviani this morning and he pointed out the length of the finishing straight in Chalon-sur-Saône. 

 

"I think it’s going to be a high-speed sprint, because it’s a long straight of 1.6km, so the whole team can line up. I think it’s going to be a really really fast one. I hope we are there with the guys on the last corner with 1.6 to go, then we can do our best, and for sure my job will be easier than normal.

 

"My contenders need to win. We don’t have pressure on our shoulders, but we need to be concentrated because they are really on it and ready to win."

174km remaining from 230km

Rossetto and Offredo continue their doomed adventure. The peloton are now at four minutes. 

 

The peloton are hardly pushing on, and that means the two escapees aren't really doing so either. On a stage this long, they also have to pace out their effort. It's a classic breakaway tactic to keep a lid on things in this phase of the race and leave something in the tank to make a big effort in the final hour or two and maybe - just maybe - catch the peloton off-guard. 

 

Here's a shot of our intrepid duo

 

 

It's noteworthy that Pinot and his FDJ teammates are riding just behind the carthorses. He's had a strong start to the Tour and his team are assuming more responsibility and making their presence felt more than in previous years. They produced a very strong TTT on stage 2 and David Gaudu was exceptional on La Planche des Belles Filles yesterday, at a point where Ineos had no one to support Thomas and Bernal. 

160km remaining from 230km

We are now 160.5km from the finish, so effectively the point at which yesterday's stage began...and we've already been going for two hours. Offredo and Rossetto lead by 4:15. 

 

'I had a dream...'

 

Offredo is racking up a string of against-the-odds breakaway ventures. In past two Tours he has been awarded the combativity prize on one of the stages. This isn't the first time we've seen him up the road at this Tour, either. Why's he at it again today? Well...

 

"I ride on instinct," the Frenchman told French TV this morning. "I was criticized for breaking away in vain. But why not? Yesterday I was in the gruppetto. I tried to save energy. The sprinters are going to fight for a sprint finish. But I had a dream that I was in a break with a 30-minute lead, and it made it to the finish… I would feel bad if a break went all the way without me."

Want to see what Ciccone looks like in yellow? Here you go

 

 

And what of the man he took it from? Julian Alaphilippe was superb on La Planche des Belles Filles, attacking out of a group containing just the strongest GC riders. Everyone was wondering if he could hang onto it, and he did everything right, but he lost out in a more unexpected way as the break gained enough time with a close enough rider in Ciccone. His team - built largely around Viviani - are not strong in the mountains and arguably allowed the break too much leeway. Alaphilippe was bitterly disappointed but remained philosophical...

 

Julian Alaphilippe on losing Tour de France race lead: 'You can rewrite history with 'ifs''

 

142km remaining from 230km

Still Martin, Monfort, and Asgreen rotating at the head of the peloton, and still the gap remains at just under four minutes. We're coming towards the second of the three climbs, the category-3 Côte de Chassagne-Saint-Denis (4.3km at 4.7%). 

 

Tejay van Garderen, by the way, is still in there near the back of the bunch. 

 

"He has bruises everywhere, also in the face, but the main thing is he's back on his bike and in the bunch with teammates around him," EF director Charly Wegelius tells the Tour's website. "It's never good to crash like he did, he's in pain, but we hope the stage will be alright and we'll see how it goes after the finish."

 

The peloton have picked up the pace on the approach to the climb, and the two leaders hit it with their lead reduced to below the three-minute mark. 

 

Offredo and Rossetto calmly take on what isn't exactly a straight forward climb, and their lead now grows once again. It's up at four minutes. 

 

135km remaining from 230km

At the top, Rossetto passes the KOM line first, but there's no contest for the points. There are only three on offer anyway, two for the first rider, one for the second. 

 

A weird crash for Nicolas Roche, who falls forward onto his front. He's back up and running and looks ok. 

 

Michael Matthews will try and rival the pure sprinters today. We grabbed a word with him at the start this morning, and he's happy with his form but is struggling to adapt mentally to his new role now there's no Tom Dumoulin in the team. He also complains that there's "no real respect in the peloton these days". Full story in the link below.

 

Matthews 'happy and unhappy' with Tour de France start

 

The average speed so far has been 34.7km/h, putting us just behind the slowest predicted time schedule. 

 

121km remaining from 230km

The gap has come down again to 3:10. It's still yo-yoing. It should ease up a little now as it's lunchtime...the peloton is in the feed zone and musette contents are being handed around. 

 

Speaking of musettes, here's the latest in our weekly round-ups of the world’s best cycling gear.

 

The Musette: Rapha, Fizik, Roka eyewear and more

 

116km remaining from 230km

The riders are descending towards the foot of the third and final climb, the category-4 Côte de Nans-sous-Saint-Anne (3.5km at 5.7%).

 

115km remaining from 230km

HALF-WAY

 

We are half-way through today's stage. Half-way. I feel like I've been doing this all week. 

 

113km remaining from 230km

The pace has lifted in the peloton, and the gap comes down to 2:48 as the two leaders begin the climb. 

 

110km remaining from 230km

Offredo leads Rossetto over the top of the climb. Again, no contest for the point. The gap continues to yo-yo and goes back out to 3:30. 

 

And now the gap rises to nearly 5 minutes. 

 

La Planche des Belles Filles was billed as the first big test of this Tour and the first chance to gain an insight into how the overall battle might unfold. Here's Barry Ryan with a look at the lie of the land. 

 

Dust yet to settle after Tour de France scales 'Super Planche'

 

That was quick. Newly clad in yellow, Trek-Segafredo have just announced they've extended with Ciccone through to 2021. More on that soon. 

Go @RuthWinder ! https://t.co/yM7LfvGJc1

85km remaining from 230km

Still Martin, Monfort, Asgreen rotating on the front of the peloton. That hasn't changed all day, and it has effectively been two-on-three between break and bunch. The gap has come back down the other way now, and currently stands at 2:30

82km remaining from 230km

It's just pan-flat from here on in, into a cross-headwind. There's an intermediate sprint coming up with 33.5km to go, where we should see the likes of Sagan and Matthews come to the fore to fight for green jersey points. The pure sprinters may well choose to save their energy for the final sprint for the stage win. 

 

Here's Thomas in the bunch. There were many doubts surrounding his form ahead of the race, not to mention his leadership status at Ineos alongside Egan Bernal. His performance on La Planche des Belles Filles, then, was quite the statement. You can read his thoughts in this story by Stephen Farrand. 

 

 

74km remaining from 230km

The gap continues to fall. Two minutes now. 

 

Are you reading this live blog and wondering how you can watch this sporting drama with your own eyes? No, fine ok, but this will at least come in handy for the other stages. 

 

How to watch the Tour de France - free live streams from anywhere

 

The gap stands at just below two minutes. From here the pace will gradually ramp up. The intermediate sprint with 33.5km to go will also have a decent run-in. 

 

59km remaining from 230km

After a chat with his team car via his earpiece, Monfort knocks off his effort. Martin and Asgreen seem to be in agreement: the gap was coming down a little too quickly and they didn't want to make the catch just yet. That's because the two escapees are perfectly manageable as they are, whereas if they dragged it back or almost back, it would inspire new attacks from fresher riders. 2:15 now. 

56km remaining from 230km

Ok maybe Asgreen isn't so happy with that. He hits the front and markedly raises the pace, causing a small brief split as they come round a corner. The gap plummets to 1:15. 

 

And now it's knocked off again, as Asgreen lets up and Martin comes back to the front. This is a weird stage. 

 

50km remaining from 230km

Into the final 50km and the gap between Rossetto/Offredo and the peloton has risen to 1:50. 

 

Puncture for Wout Van Aert, who should be able to get back in without problem. 

 

"This season Giulio has already made a big step, but we are convinced he still has a great margin of improvement and I am curious to see where his limits are."

 

Trek-Segafredo manager Luca Guercilena there. Here's the full story on Ciccone's new contract

 

43km remaining from 230km

STILL Asgreen, Martin, Monfort pulling the bunch along. I can't emphasise enough how little has happened today. The gap is 1:30. 

We're 10km away from the intermediate sprint, so we'll have a bit of action soon. They're on narrow country roads at the moment. 

 

Here's how things stand in the points classification ahead of the intermediate sprint.

 

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 144 pts
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb 98
3 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 92
4 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 88
5 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott 75
6 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 64
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team 62
8 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 48
9 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 47
10 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 46

 

The image that tells the story of the peloton today, the image that will be burned onto my retinas for the rest of the evening

 

 

37km remaining from 230km

Offredo and Rossetto approach the intermediate sprint with a lead of 1:40

 

Offredo could have done with some Spinacis today. His arms are folded over his handlebars and he's been in that position for much of the day. 

 

33km remaining from 230km

Rossetto leads the duo through the intermediate sprint. Again, no contest.

 

And now for the peloton, and we will have a contest here. 

 

Bahrain take it up for Colbrelli

 

Colbrelli gets a full-on lead-out and duly takes maximum points. Sagan is on his wheel and is second to the line, ahead of Viviani and Matthews. 

 

Big increase in tempo in the peloton. Van Avermaet helps pile it on, along with Gougeard. 

 

How strong is the wind? It's not splitting but the peloton is stretched out and they're carrying on with it. 

 

31km remaining from 230km

That sprint and the flurry of actioon since have seen the gap to the two leaders plummet. 20 seconds now. 

 

Split in the bunch and Dan Martin is caught out!

 

Wout Van Aert is also caught on the wrong side of this split and he sets off to try and close the gap.

 

Rui Costa is there for UAE and comes to the front to pace Martin back.

 

They're already 30 seconds back

 

Quintana is back there as well!

 

The peloton has bunched up again, and that might allow Martin and Quintana to get back in. 

 

The gap was reported as 38 seconds at one point, but none of their rivals have taken the opportunity to twist the knife. The pace has slowed in the bunch and it will come back together. 

 

The group of around 15 - Quintana had Erviti there with him and S.Yates and Haig were back there for Mitchelton - now regains contact with the main peloton. 

 

Word is Quintana was having a toilet stop. Not the best moment for that.

 

25km remaining from 230km

Things have calmed down somewhat, and the two leaders have gained a little ground. The gap goes out to 30 seconds. 

 

Asgreen, Martin, Monfort, remarkably, still on the front. Now, though, the other teams are starting to get themselves organised. 

Predictions please

 

Go on then, tell me who's going to win - @paddyfletch

 

20km remaining from 230km

Into the final 20km and Offredo and Rossetto have 25 seconds over the peloton. Hats off to them today. 

 

Viviani is predicting a fast one because of the length of the finishing straight

 

"I think it’s going to be a high-speed sprint, because it’s a long straight of 1.6km, so the whole team can line up. I think it’s going to be a really really fast one. I hope we are there with the guys on the last corner with 1.6 to go, then we can do our best, and for sure my job will be easier than normal.

 

"My contenders need to win. We don’t have pressure on our shoulders, but we need to be concentrated because they are really on it and ready to win."

The long home straight will suit Viviani and Deceuninck, who have the strongest lead-out train. If they're well positioned through that last bend, they'll be hard to beat, especially since the road isn't wide at all. Groenewegen has a lot to prove after his opening-day crash and the big mix-up with Teunissen on stage 4. Ewan reckons he has the speed in his legs to win one. Sagan will be there or thereabouts. And what about Kristoff - very strong in finishing runner-up to Viviani on stage 4. 

 

@paddyfletch Viviani FTW

@paddyfletch Ewan for thé win

@paddyfletch pulling for Ewan to get in on the action and snag a victory today! He's due!

@paddyfletch Odd Christian Eiking

16km remaining from 230km

Offredo and Rossetto are hanging in there, as it's not really lighting up in the peloton just yet. 

 

Bora line up on the left-hand side of the road, Astana next to them. FDJ are on the right, Sunweb next to them. Asgreen is in the middle. It's your usual mix of sprint trains and GC teams. 

 

13km remaining from 230km

Just 10 seconds now for Rossetto and Offredo. 

 

Rossetto sits up and accepts his fate. Not so Offredo, who gets those arms over the bars once more and grits his teeth.

 

12km remaining from 230km

Offredo is unable to prevent the inevitable. He's caught but should win the combativity prize. Peloton all together with 12 to go.

 

The pace ramps up now as the nerves increase.

 

Tony Martin, as if he hasn't done enough today, takes it up for Jumbo on the right. Asgreen, too, is still going on the opposite side of the road. 

 

It's split down the middle of the road as we head into the final 10km. Jumbo and Sunweb on the right, Bora and FDJ on the right. 

 

Dimension Data have numbers in the middle now. They have Nizzolo and Boasson Hagen.

 

They come off the wide main road now, turning right onto a road that's actually still pretty wide. It will get narrow soon though. 

8km remaining from 230km

Over the bridge and into town. Ineos have secured a strong position and are currently leading, just to protect Thomas and Bernal. 

 

And now they come through a big roundabout. The route loops around now and back into the centre for a finish along the river.

 

6km remaining from 230km

The narrowing of the roads stretches the peloton out. You need to be in a decent position already. 

 

6km remaining from 230km

The narrowing of the roads stretches the peloton out. You need to be in a decent position already. 

 

Van Baarle takes it up for Ineos, who are still on the front.

 

QuickStep move up now on the right. 

 

Argy bargy as Sagan loses the wheel of Oss. 

 

Jumbo and Sunweb have riders on the front now, as Ineos slip back. 

 

Warren Barguil is helping drag Greipel up. 

 

4km remaining from 230km

Van Aert takes it up now, mouth hanging open. 

 

Van Aert has raised the pace. Jumbo have Jansen there plus Teunissen for Groenewegen. 

 

3km remaining from 230km

We reach the 3km to go banner and that means GC riders are safe in the event of crashes. 

Van Aert still holds pole position as they take big bend. It's narrow and stretched out. 

 

Monster turn from Van Aert

 

2km remaining from 230km

Finally Van Aert peels off. Jansen takes it up for Jumbo

 

Alaphilippe helps QuickStep move up towards the front.

1km remaining from 230km

They come through the final bend and it's straight from here on in. Still Jansen on the front, giving it everything.

 

Jansen is done and Bora take it up with Oss.

 

Groenewegen fighting for position now.

 

750km remaining from 230km

QuickStep come through now with their train. Just in time

 

Lampaert moves over for Morkov.

 

And now RIcheze leads out Viviani.

 

Viviani sprints but Groenewegen hits out...

 

And takes it!!

 

It's tight! Ewan goes right and produces a fine sprint but Groenewegen takes it by a couple of centimetres. Sagan finishes third as Viviani fades badly. 

 

Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) wins stage 7 of the Tour de France

 

It was a messy final couple of kilometres but in the end QuickStep came through to take control with that familiar lead-out train. Lampaert, Morkov, Richeze...as they peeled off it looked like Viviani would finish the job again. But the Italian had no turn of speed and was soon out of the running. A fraction before Richeze was done, Groenewegen hit out and went left. A moment later, and seeing it in his periphery, Ewan went right. They both eased past Viviani and it was really tight between the pair, but Groenewegen edged it by a hair.

 

Sagan finished a more distant third, Colbrelli fourth, and Jasper Philipsen, who surged away to try and track Groenewegen from a distance (leaving Kristoff in the process) fifth.

 

Top 10

 

1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 6:02:44
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
6 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
8 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
10 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates

 

No change on GC

 

1 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 29:17:39
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:06
3 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:32
4 George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:47
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos 0:00:49
6 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 0:00:53
7 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:58
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:04
9 Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First 0:01:13
10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First 0:01:15 

 

That's Groenewegen's third Tour stage, after two last year. It's Jumbo's third win of this Tour, and Groenewegen's disappointment from the opening-day crash has well and truly been banished. 

 

Let's hear from Groenewegen

 

"Every time I sprint against Caleb [Ewan], it's always very close. He's a very good sprinter but today I could beat him and I'm very happy with this result.

"The first day I crashed really hard and the next days I was really fucked but yesterday I felt good again. Today, my team worked so hard for me and we took the win so I'm very happy with this win.

"We took the lead very early but that was good. It was a tight final with some hectic corners then we closed in and got boxed in with 500 metres and I thought I was boxed out but went with 250 metres to go and saw that Caleb Ewan was coming but it was enough."

Hearing Viviani had a slow puncture on his front tyre.

 

 

Here's our stage 7 page, where you'll find report, results, photos.

 

Tour de France: Groenewegen wins stage 7

 

Over in Italy, Elizabeth Banks won stage 7 of the Giro Rosa. Catch up on that here

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