Groenewegen outsprints Gaviria to win Tour de France seventh stage

Rex Christensen
July 14, 2018

The 31-year-old Martin, who was on his own during the final stretch of the 181-kilometer (112-mile) stage, clocked a time of 4:13:43, reports Efe.

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"The race went so hard on the first part of the climb, I saw everyone was on the limit and there were no teammates left, so why not have a try?" The legs were just there all the time, I don't know if it was adrenaline or not.

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Yesterday's Stage - A lung busting ascent of the Mûr-de-Bretagne was preceded by a frantic chase for position towards it, and Dan Martin took the honour on the day, sustained an incredible burst for over a kilometre and just holding off Pierre LaTour to take a huge stage win on many levels given that he was second here in 2015 when coming late.

"I'm fine with the penalty but they have to impose it for everyone if they do the same thing as me", the 2017 Giro d'Italia champion said. He entered the stage seventh overall and finished it 15th and one second behind Froome.

However, Groenewegen - who won the final stage on the Champs Élysées a year ago - seemed fresher and more powerful and beat all of his rivals by a sizeable margin.

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"It's not the first time we have lost a rider on the Tour de France and it won't be the last time either, I guess".

"People had been saying I was not good enough to win a stage on this Tour, so I put my finger to my lips to tell them to shut up", said Groenewegen, explaining his gesture at the finish line.

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. The French rider with the Wanty-Groupe Gobert team established an advantage of more than eight minutes - the biggest breakaway lead in this year's Tour - before being caught by the pack with 90 kilometers to go.

The pace of the peleton quickened ahead of the category three climb to Mur de Bretagne, with the gap to the front shortening to under a minute with 20km to go.

The course route that took riders along the lovely rolling hills of northwestern France included a pass through the town of Carhaix, which boasts four Breton winners of the Tour, including the great Bernard Hinault.

With a nervous day expected on Sunday's cobbled stage nine to Roubaix before the race even moves to the Alps, Thomas said it was too soon for anything to be decisive.

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