Tour de France Stage 7: Dylan Groenewegen outsprints Fernando Gaviria

Peter Sagan surges clear to win the stage

Peter Sagan surges clear to win the stage

The 231km stage from Fougeres to Chartres saw multiple breakaway attempts, but on a flat route with occasional crosswinds, none seemed likely to stick - not least because the majority were undertaken by lone riders.

Other riders chatted as they admired the rolling countryside.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) retained the yellow jersey and now holds a lead of six seconds over Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) after picking up a three-second time bonus.

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 4 his best effort until this victory, which he feels will kickstart his race. Today the legs were good and everything was OK, " said Groenewegen, who rides for Team Lotto NL-Jumbo.

'Over the years, ' he said, 'I've come up against one thing or another and it's just something else to deal with out on the road, which is where it matters'. "I had no legs to beat the first two guys".

After crossing the line, Groenewegen placed his finger to his lips in a gesture of silence. "It was good to finish second back then but this time I was coming for victory", Martin said.

France's Romain Bardet Bardet trails the leader's pace by 1:45 after he broke his back wheel during the sixth stage of the Tour de France.


"It was quite long - 230k".

Van Avermaet, a BMC support rider for Porte, kept the yellow jersey for a third straight day.

A breakaway group of five riders - Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Anthony Turgis (Cofidis), Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Damien Gaudin and Fabien Grellier (both Direct Energie) - hit the front from the off and built a gap of nearly seven minutes before it stabalised.

Laurent Pichon, another French rider with Fortuneo-Samsic, then also got away alone for a spell.

This year the stage will be expected to finish in another bunch sprint, but the potential for strong winds to form could further impact the general classification if teams are not switched on.

Stage 8 on Saturday covers a slightly more challenging terrain over 181 kilometers from Dreux to Amiens but again should set up well for sprinters.

For 13 miles of Sunday's stage, the pack of more than 170 cyclists will shake, rumble and chatter their way across the lumpy cobbles of northern France between Arras and Roubaix.

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