Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Chalon-sur-Saône - Dutch speed king Dylan Groenewegen edged an ultra-tight bunch sprint on stage seven of the Tour de France on Friday as Italy's Giulio Ciccone retained the overall race lead.

"The first day wasn't what I expected but now I'm back on top," said the Jumbo-Visma man on the finish line on the banks of the Soane river on a baking afternoon.

Slovakia's Peter Sagan retained the sprinters' points green jersey after finishing third.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas, who beat all his key rivals the day before, and his Ineos co-captain Egan Bernal finished safely in the pack.

On the longest stage of the Tour at 230km, the riders involved in the summit showdown the day before were mainly in relaxed mood.

Romain Bardet said Friday he felt ashamed of his performance on the staggeringly steep La Planche des Belles Filles climb Thursday where he lost over a minute in only 800 metres.

Stephane Rossetto of Cofidis and Yoann Offredo of Wanty-Gobert led from the start to 5km from home, before the peloton caught them to set up a sprint finish.

1. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/JUM) 6hrs 02mins 44sec, 2. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LOT) same time, 3. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) s.t., 4. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAH) s.t.5. Jasper Philipsen (BEL/UAE) s.t., 6. Elia Viviani (ITA/DEC) s.t., 7. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/DDT) s.t., 8. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TRE) s.t., 9. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) s.t., 10. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/UAE) s.t., 11. Jasper De Buyst (BEL/LOT) s.t., 12. Andre Greipel (GER/ARK) s.t., 13. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA/WGG) s.t., 14. Mads Schmidt (DEN/KAT) s.t., 15. Maximiliano Richeze (ARG/DEC) s.t., 16. Rick Zabel (GER/KAT) s.t., 17. Ivan Garcia (ESP/BAH) s.t., 18. Niccolo Bonifazio (ITA/TDE) s.t., 19. Jan Tratnik (SLO/BAH) s.t., 20. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) s.t.

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