TDF Stage 7- win for Wout van Aert

After a crazy stage where GC riders were dropped on a sprint stage due to the cross winds, a lead group of 40 formed with race leader Adam Yates and Wout van Aert who won his second stage of the race

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TDF Stage 7- win for Wout van Aert

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) became the first rider to win two stages in the 107th Tour de France. He outsprinted Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT) and Bryan Coquard (B&B) in Lavaur after a fierce battle on the road to the stage end where many of the top sprinters and GC riders were distanced and only 40 riders were left to fight out the stage win.

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GC hopefuls Tadej Pogacar, Mikel Landa and Richie Porte lost over a minute whilst Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retained the yellow jersey after an awesome ride to stay in the lead group.

There were 172 riders who started stage 7 in Millau. Polka dot jersey holder Benoît Cosnefroy attacked from the gun as the côte de Luzençon was located only 9km after the start. Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) tried to come across but failed.

Michael Schär (CCC) managed to bridge the gap but for a little while only. The Bora-Hansgrohe team put the hammer down as early as km 5 to make the race hard for the sprinters and try and get their man Sagan into the green jersey. Quickly, the likes of Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) were shelled. Later, the same happened to green jersey holder Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step) who found himself in a chasing group whilst Sagan was in the front.

Bora-Hansgrohe caught Cosnefroy just before the summit of the first climb but allowed the Frenchman to take 2 KOM points. Critérium du Dauphiné winner Dani Martinez (EF) who still suffers from his crash in Nice on day 2 was also in the Bennett group but the combined efforts of EF and Deceuninck-Quick Step were not enough to enable the green jersey to come across to the front group.

It was game over for the Irishman when his 57-man group crossed the line of the intermediate sprint of Saint-Sernin-sur-Rance with a deficit of 2’10″ at km 58 where Matteo Trentin (CCC) won the sprint of the 92-man strong peloton ahead of Sagan. Previous stage winners Alexander Kristoff and Caleb Ewan were much further behind along with Italian top sprinters Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo.

Adam Yates on the front of the first group as echelons form behind. Getty Images

Being freed from his usual duty at the service of Ewan, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) rode away from the peloton with 95km to go. Bora-Hansgrohe kept pulling the bunch, sometimes helped by B&B Hotels-Vital Concept that had high ambitions for Bryan Coquard. After he enjoyed a maximum of 50″ lead, De Gendt got brought back by the pack as Ineos-Grenadier took advantage of a three-quarter tail wind to open an echelon with 35km to go.

It affected Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren) among others who got trapped in a third and second group respectively. White jersey holder Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) was another victim of the acceleration. The tempo remained high till the end with Groupama-FDJ, Astana and Jumbo-Visma taking over from Ineos-Grenadier at the head of the peloton. Van Aert won the sprint of 40 riders.

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Adam Yates “We wanted a calm stage before the Pyrenees, but other teams had different ideas, especially Bora. They pulled from kilometre 0 until the very end. I’ve kept yellow, so it went well for me. I stayed out of trouble the whole day, although at the end the race was a bit hectic. I’m looking forward to see what we can do tomorrow.”

“There were only a few critical moments where you had to be in position. The wind wasn’t crazy strong, but it was just kind of enough to create a few splits. But the guys looked after me perfectly, even in the final I ended up on my own just because they put me in position and used a lot of energy to keep me up there.”

“The next two days should be pretty tough, I think today everyone was expecting to have an easier day before the two big mountain stages, but BORA-hansgrohe had other ideas and we rode pretty much full gas from start to finish. It was a hard day for everybody.”

Matt White (Head Sports Director Mitchelton Scott): “Adam was well protected up until the split caused by INEOS, that’s a mistake from our guys. INEOS caught a few GC guys napping through the towns, they ripped through the roundabouts.

“It wasn’t so much the wind, it was just that there was a lot of speed and yeah, it was a mistake from our guys not being there, but Adam handled himself very well to the finish line.

“I think a lot of people are expecting that we’re not going to give the yellow jersey away easily, but there are two definite days that breakaways could go. So, I expect an incredibly active first hour of racing tomorrow until something goes.

“Then the big thing will be, are teams happy with us to have the jersey for the weekend? Or do they want to put us under the pump, or put each other under the pump and see who’s actually climbing well on real, proper epic climbs over the next two days.”

Wout van Aert: “I’m really proud of this one. We rode flat out straight from the gun. It was an impressive ride from Bora-Hansgrohe from the first KOM. They made sure all sprinters got dropped. Everyone could feel the crosswinds during the race. I put all my energy in protecting Primoz [Roglic]. We had a good day at the front while some GC favourites lost time. It was an incredible finish. I actually only focused on Primoz, but it would have been a shame to not try to win the stage as well in a smaller bunch sprint. I found a gap on right hand side and I timed my sprint perfectly. It’s even more special than my win close to here last year because I didn’t expect this morning that I’d be competing for the victory. It’s more of a surprise today. Nobody expected such a hard race!”

Van Aert added “At the end there was still a lot of chaos and it was very hectic because of the crosswinds. Everyone feared them. The plan was to get Primoz and Tom through the stage without damage and time loss. That worked out well. The team was very strong again. I never expected such a mess and such a battle. Due to the fact that many sprinters were dropped and we were left in front with only a small group, I went for my own chance again. The guys started the sprint quite early and I was able to go along in the slipstream. When Boasson Hagen accelerated, I went along and timed my sprint perfectly. It took a lot of energy, but it was worth it. This is really amazing.”

Peter Sagan: “I’m disappointed. We controlled the race today, with my teammates doing a super job. Everything seemed very good and then I had bad luck in the final. My chain just dropped and I didn’t earn as many points as I wanted… but that’s cycling. I’m proud of all my teammates. They fought very hard from the beginning until the end. I can win the green jersey on stages like today, although with a different finale. Everything was very nice but the end was… f#cking cycling.”

They pulled hard in the front of the peloton from the start, all day. In the end, there were crosswinds, and Emu and I stayed with the first group, everything was looking nice for the finish but, unfortunately, in the finale, my chain dropped off and I couldn’t finish my sprint. I missed a lot of points but what can I do? That’s cycling.”

Emanuel Buchmann: “The team did an amazing job today. Our plan was to make the race hard and drop the sprinters for Peter. On the first climb we went full on, dropped most of the sprinters and then kept going. I think that today we showed the peloton that we have a very strong team here.”

“We did spend energy today to achieve this but I think that this will not be a big problem ahead of the Pyrenees because everybody else spent a lot of energy as well, even if you were at the back, you had to work hard. I think it was the same for everybody today. As for me, I’m ready for the upcoming days and I can ride hard stages back to back.”

Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director Bora hansgrohe: “In the morning we had planned to make the race hard, taking advantage of the crosswinds and cross-tail winds. So, we got off to a strong start, attacked early, and in particular in the second climb, 3km long, we planned to ride as hard as possible and use the cross winds.”

“The first guys were dropped there and we then kept on pushing, the whole team did a fantastic job, all the way to the finish. We were hoping to fight for a stage win, we had Peter with Emu in the select leading group but bad luck struck Peter who had a technical problem in the final stretch.”

“All in all, the guys did a fantastic job, Emu is feels well, we are still in the GC and the fight for the green jersey. I could say it was a good day for us. The team did a great job today, alone, with very little help from other teams, they showed their strength.” –

Daniel Oss: “Today we did a great race. We wanted the green jersey, we wanted Peter on the top, and we portrayed it with our performance. The way we rode will add to our morale. We knew the stage and because of that we pulled to drop the sprinters. We got that right, and the intermediate sprint too, but then we lost a chunk of points in the final sprint due to bad luck. Of course it was disappointing not to win the stage.”

Egan Bernal: “It was exactly the plan we had in the morning. We knew that after the city, there were two roundabouts and then tail-crosswind and when it’s like this when you go out of a roundabout, it’s difficult to take the wheel.

“We knew that we should be in first position there. The Team did a great job – it was just there in the final that Richie had the flat tyre, but we can’t control that. I’m really sorry for him because he has lost some time in the GC but in the end, we should be happy.

“The whole stage was stressful – you need to move to the front all the time. It was more a bit more intense before the split – when the split happened, the whole peloton worked really well, plus it was tailwind which really helped.”

Edvald Boasson Hagen: I’ve watched it back briefly, and it was close on the line there and a real pity that I didn’t go all the way after a nice leadout from Gogl. \But I’m happy with the teamwork at the front and have to appreciate a good result, but of course I would have liked to be further up.

It’s all about winning and of course I would like to be on the top of the podium in such big races as that’s what counts, but I have to be happy to with a second place and it give us something to work on so hopefully a first place will come.

I’ve had quite a few second places over the years but I can’t be too unhappy about it but I will keep on working and hopefully get a better result.

Richie Porte: “We got caught out which is not ideal, but it’s far from a huge disaster knowing what’s coming up in the next two weeks. Of course you don’t want that to happen, but we are more into our terrain the next couple of days. We will just have to get on with it and try to make amends a little bit tomorrow. And now that we are not so close on GC hopefully we will have a little more breathing space in the next stages.”

Bauke Mollema: “It was one short moment. The speed was high and there were two roundabouts and it split five places in front of me.  There’s not much to do anymore when there’s echelons.In the end, Richie (Porte) and me were lucky that other teams also missed it, and Toms (Skujins) helped out a lot, or it could have been worse. I think we just made a mistake being too far in the back with 30 or 35 kilometers to go and, yeah, that’s a pity. I think the legs were going okay and you shouldn’t lose time in a stage like this.”

Sam Bennett: “I am disappointed, as I feel I let the boys down. After being dropped, we kept going and the team pulled hard and tried to get the whole group rolling, as we were focused on making it back, but we just couldn’t do it, despite an amazing effort. I wanted to win today, the legs were good, but then I got caught out again on the second climb and it was game over”, said Sam after being divested of the green jersey for nine points.

Julian Alaphilippe: “The start of the stage was very nervous and we rode à bloc. I just remained attentive at all times and always close to the front of the group, aware that things could change in a second. When the race split, I was there and in the end I tried to go for a good result, but it turned out it wasn’t possible as I unclipped with the line in sight. It’s nice that we could get something out this difficult stage ahead of the climbs that await us in the coming days”, the Frenchman explained at the finish in Lavaur.

Carlos Verona (Movistar): “All in all, a very good day for us. Being up there with the three main names – Alejandro, Enric, Marc – after such a difficult day, with the wind and all setbacks – we can’t really ask for more. We must continue to go one step at a time.”

“Today’s battle went on our favour, but it’s still a long ‘war’ ahead. We must continue together, focused, all with the same goal. Seeing how we did today and the progression we’re going through, it can go better than both we and the public expected, but we must remain day-by-day. This is just one performance; the important thing is what lies ahead.”

“The weather report was the same for everyone – every team knew it was going to be a difficult day with the crosswinds, especially the last 30-40 kilometers, and so it went. Bora set a strong pace from the very start, which helped us for the late part of the stage because many strong rides for the flat were struggling there.”

“It was so stressful for me and the other domestiques in the team, fixing mechanical problems, going back and forth for bidons and musettes – and in the end, the only thing that mattered was having them three at the front when we had to. It was more of a tailwind at the area where we expected the race would split, as we left a town with about 40 kilometers to go, yet the echelons still formed. It was riding through two roundabouts, the peloton strung out and that momentum led to the splits. After that, it was a fight between the two groups, a matter of strength.

“We’re doing better and better, with a better bond between us, happier, more motivated. Let’s carry this momentum on to the next few stages.”

Miguel Angel Lopez: “I am really happy with this day and my teammates, who were very strong today and did a fantastic job. Thanks to them I was able to stay in front and to gain some time on a few of my rivals. Well, we passed this day quite well, but the new hard stages are still to come”

Tadej Pogacar “We knew in the final section that it would be hard so we were trying to move to the front but someone crashed in front of us and I ended up behind the group when it split.I tried to close the gap but the speed was really up. The team gave everything to try and bring me back and did their best to minimise the loss. It’s just a minute or so. It’s not ideal but I’m not worried. We will try another day.”

Stage 7
1. Wout Van Aert Team Jumbo – Visma 03:32:03
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen NTT Pro Cycling Team @ 00
3. Bryan Coquard B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
4. Christophe Laporte Cofidis
5. Jasper Stuyven Trek-Segafredo
6. Clément Venturini AG2R La Mondiale
7. Hugo Hofstetter Israel Start-Up Nation
8. Egan Bernal Youth jersey INEOS Grenadiers
9. Adam Yates Leader jersey Mitchelton-Scott
10. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team

12. Julian Alaphilippe Deceuninck-Quick Step
13. Peter Sagan Point jersey Bora-Hansgrohe
16. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale
18. Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ
19. Emanuel Buchmann Bora-Hansgrohe
22. Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team
25. Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma
28. Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic
43. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates
46. Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren
51. Richard Carapaz INEOS Grenadiers @ 01:21
53. Fabio Aru UAE Team Emirates
59. Bauke Mollema Trek-Segafredo
60. Pierre Rolland B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
62. Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo
64. Hugh Carthy EF Pro Cycling
72. Daniel Martin Israel Start-Up Nation
76. Connor Swift Team Arkea-Samsic
110. Luke Rowe INEOS Grenadiers @ 14:32

1 Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott 30:36:00
2 Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma @ 03
3 Guillaume Martin Cofidis @ 09
4 Egan Bernal INEOS Grenadiers @ 13
5 Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma
6 Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic
7 Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale
8 Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team
9 Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ
10 Rigoberto Uran EF Pro Cycling
11 Julian Alaphilippe Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 15
12 Emanuel Buchmann Bora-Hansgrohe @ 22
13 Enric Mas Movistar Team
14 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team @ 34
15 Sergio Higuita EF Pro Cycling @ 41
16 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @ 01:28
17 Esteban Chaves Mitchelton-Scott @ 01:34
18 Bauke Mollema Trek-Segafredo @ 01:34
19 Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren @ 01:34
20 Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo @ 01:34

21 Richard Carapaz INEOS Grenadiers @ 02:02
28 Fabio Aru UAE Team Emirates @ 05:06
29 Hugh Carthy EF Pro Cycling @ 05:25
Full Result Here

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