International Sport > Cycling > GROENEWEGEN BEATS GAVIRIA TO OPEN TOUR ACCOUNT

GROENEWEGEN BEATS GAVIRIA TO OPEN TOUR ACCOUNT

Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to victory in stage seven of the Tour de France, holding off the challenge of in-form duo Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan.

The Dutchman, who rides for LottoNL–Jumbo, moved before his rivals as the 231-kilometre stage from Fougeres to Chartres ended in a bunch sprint.

Gaviria and green jersey holder Sagan, who have won two stages each in this year's race, ended up following Groenewegen home in a line without ever looking likely to challenge him, with Arnaud Demare in fourth.

It was a well-timed move from Groenewegen – winner on the Champs-Elysees at last year's Tour – as he peeled off the wheel of Alexander Kristoff and surged past Gaviria before the Colombian had a chance to respond in a finish that included a slight ascent.

In a quiet stage, separate solo breaks from Yoann Offredo and Laurent Pichon – as well as a brief split in the peloton amid high winds – had all come to nothing by the time 37km remained, when the latter was caught by the bunch.

Greg Van Avermaet remained in the yellow jersey, extending his lead over Geraint Thomas to six seconds by claiming the three-second in-stage time bonus. All the GC contenders finished in the main pack.

PATIENT GROENEWEGEN ARRIVES AT THIS YEAR'S TOUR

After winning such a prestigious stage to conclude last year's Tour, Groenewegen struggled to make an impact in the early days of this race, a fourth-place finish in stage four his best effort until this victory, which he feels will kickstart his race.

"I've been going better every day," he said in his post-stage interview. "I said I needed some time, and I didn't feel good in the first stages.

"We did it and it's amazing. I'm really grateful. I was behind Kristoff and he was going, I stayed in is wheel and thought now is the moment. I went with 200m and it was good enough.

"I hope there's more. I have the legs to win now, so we celebrate tonight and maybe the same tomorrow."

STAGE 7 RESULTS

1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto-NL-Jumbo) 5:43:42
2. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) +0:00
3. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
4. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)
5. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 28:19:25
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +00:06
3. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) +00:08

Points

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 234
2. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 203
3. Alexander Kristoff (Team Emirates) 105

UP NEXT...

The sprinters will need to capitalise on another flat, 181km course from on Saturday. The stage from Dreux to Amiens Metropole is the penultimate one before the race reaches the Alps, with high winds likely to be prominent.

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SAGAN WINS STAGE FIVE
Monday, July 16, 2018
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