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Tour de France 2019: Dylan Groenewegen wins Stage 7 sprint ahead of Ewan and Sagan

The Dutchman makes it three wins for Jumbo-Visma after opening up his sprint first to surge ahead of rivals. Photo: Eurosport

George Smith
12 Jul 2019

Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) won Stage 7 of the 2019 Tour de France thanks to a strong sprint that meant his rivals could not get on terms before the finish line. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) - with a skipping around rear wheel - crossed the line for second with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and his green jersey crossing for third.

After yesterday’s first proper General Classification test in the mountains the Tour returned to flatter ground for Stage 7, with the sprinters looking for a chance to shine. The longest stage of this year’s edition at 230km, today’s ride saw each team make their way from Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saone. 

Belfort was last seen in the Tour back in 2012, again as a departure place, when a young Thibaut Pinot went on to solo to a stage victory.

Returning to now, on the way to Chalon-sur-Saone riders tackled three small categorised climbs in the first half of the race before an even flatter second half where sprint points were on offer a little less than 34km from the finish.

The stage was all set to finish in a bunch sprint, with the teams hunting a podium place looking to spend the slow day keeping their big hitters safe.

Stage 7: headwind until the sprint

In spite of the inevitable sprint finish, Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) immediately, if somewhat reluctantly, went off on a two man break, eventually gaining around two minutes on the peloton.

And in the face of all the predictions of monotony, it was only 7km in to the stage when a touch of wheels around a partition in the middle of the road sent a number of riders to the ground.

Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), the former yellow jersey, escaped relatively unscathed but Education First’s Tejay van Garderen wasn’t so lucky - the American rider had to battle to get back to the peloton with a cut face and ripped jersey.

The two man breakaway eventually built up a lead of four and a half minutes as the peloton, now reformed after the crash, seemed happy to let them establish a significant gap.

Two AG2R La Mondiale riders - Alexis Gougeard and Oliver Naesen - attempted to bridge the gap themselves but shortly abandoned their mission and returned to the bunch.

With 125km to go to the finale, the second crash of the day saw Nicholas Roche (Team Sunweb) go over his handles and hit the tarmac quite hard, but the Irishman was shortly back with the main group.

Things started to move a bit faster when it became clear that the bunch were almost 30 minutes behind schedule, with Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) leading the slightly more enlivened group. Accordingly, the gap to the breakaway fell to just below two minutes, where it continued to float around.

The French pair, having spent the entire day in the break, swallowed up most of the points on offer at the intermediate sprint, with Rossetto taking 20 points and Offredo 17. When the bunch came through shortly after, Bahrain-Merida led out Sonny Colbrelli who took 15 points ahead of Sagan, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb).

As the pace ramped up for the intermediate sprint, the gap to the breakaway was slashed but Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates) inexplicably found themselves in a group off the back of the peloton.

After the Quintana group made their way back into the bunch the peloton slowly swallowed up the two man breakaway with 12.3km remaining. With the 3km to go mark passed the GC riders were knocked out the way with the sprinters teams coming to the fore.