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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Dylan Groenewegen claims Stage 7 of Tour de France

Greg Van Avermaet extends yellow jersey lead after winning bonus sprint 

Dylan Groenewegen leads home the sprint to win Stage 7 of the Tour de France. AFP
Dylan Groenewegen leads home the sprint to win Stage 7 of the Tour de France. AFP

Dylan Groenewegen won Stage 7 of the Tour de France in Chartres on Friday.

The Dutchman beat Fernando Gaviria and world champion Peter Sagan in an uphill sprint at the end of the 231km stage from Fougeres.

It was a first stage win of this Tour for the LottoNL-Jumbo rider and the second of his career after victory on the final stage in Paris last year.

Mark Cavendish looked in good position in the final few hundred metres but appeared to sit up after almost tangling with Sagan, crossing the line in 10th place.

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The stage, the longest of this year's Tour, was ridden at such a serene pace at times it might have been mistaken for the first rest day.

But things came to life in the final 10 kilometres as the Notre-Dame Cathedral slid into view, with teams fighting for position at the front.

Cavendish's Dimension Data team were still well placed after a double right-hander with two kilometres to go strung out the peloton, but after he rounded Alexander Kristoff, Cavendish drifted towards Sagan and then pulled out of the sprint.

Groenewegen stayed clear of trouble and powered away from Gaviria and Sagan, who have each won two stages of this Tour so far.

Alexander Kristoff was 13th home for UAE Team Emirates.

The general classification contenders all crossed the line safely in the main group, but BMC's Greg Van Avermaet doubled his slender advantage in yellow to six seconds by winning the bonus sprint 31km from home.

Team Sky's Geraint Thomas remains in second place, with Van Avermaet's team-mate Tejay Van Garderen in third, now eight seconds back.

Mitchelton-Scott's Adam Yates and Sky's Chris Froome remain 13th and 14th, with their deficit to yellow growing to 65 seconds.