Groenewegen Wins Tour de France Stage 7 In Ultra-Tight Bunch Sprint

The Dutchman appears to have fully recovered from a crash on Stage 1.


AFP/Bicycling.com |

  • Dylan Groenewegen won Stage 7 of the Tour de France in a bunch sprint.
  • Groenewegen, who crashed on Stage 1, came back to beat Caleb Ewan in a photo finish after the longest day of the 2019 race.
  • Tour rookie Giulio Ciccone defended the yellow jersey he took on Stage 6, while Peter Sagan extended his lead in the green jersey competition.

In a sign that he has fully recovered after a crash on the opening day, Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen won Stage 7 of the 2019 Tour de France in an ultra-tight pack finish on Friday.

Following the longest stage of this year’s race – a 230K ride away from the Vosges, with all categorised climbs appearing in the first half – Groenewegen attached himself to the wheel of Caleb Ewan to fight his way out of the group.

Then he launched his final dash for the line half a moment before Ewan, rocketing to the front at 70 kph and narrowly beating the Australian in a photo finish after more than six hours of racing.

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Peter Sagan came in third behind them after extending his lead yet again the Tour’s Points Competition. The Slovak now sits 49 points ahead of Michael Matthews and looks on track to earn a record-breaking seventh green jersey.

Groenewegen also took Stage 7 in last year’s Tour, his first of two victories in 2018. (He then won the following day’s stage in a bunch sprint.) This year, his Jumbo–Visma team has logged three Tour de France stage wins so far.

Tour rookie Giulio Ciccone, who seized the yellow jersey after a dominant ride up La Planche des Belles Filles on Stage 6, finished with the peloton and defended his overall lead, maintaining six seconds on Julian Alaphilippe and 32 seconds on teammate Dylan Teuns. Ciccone’s Trek–Segafredo team announced this morning that it had extended its contract with the 24-year-old Italian through 2021.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas and his Ineos co-captain Egan Bernal also finished safely in the pack. After a hard summit showdown on La Planche on Thursday, the overall contenders entered the long day in a relaxed mood.

“I’m looking forward to a quiet couple of stages now,” Bernal said ahead of the stage. “We’re all really calm after a good day yesterday.”

But with an escape group zooming five minutes ahead after 80K, sprinter Elia Viviani’s Deceuninck–Quick-Step team cranked up the tempo on the flat plains of Burgundy.

French riders Stéphane Rossetto and Yoann Offredo led the stage for most of the day, maintaining a two-man break until the peloton caught them with 12K to go.

Right before being reeled in, Offredo – who entered the day as lanterne rouge, or last place on the General Classification – attacked to earn the red number for Most Combative Rider on the stage. The peloton then spit him out to the back, and he continues to hold last place overall.

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