Dylan Groenewegen of Team LottoNL-Jumbo won stage seven of the 2018 Tour de France ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan after a bunch sprint finish in Chartres.
The Dutch rider, 25, was fastest in a competitive final finish, in which the tour’s biggest sprinters were all involved.
Greg Van Avermaet retains the yellow jersey.
The seventh stage of the 2018 Tour de France, a 231 km flat course heading east from Fougeres to Chartres, didn’t feature a breakaway group unlike previous days.
Instead, it was Yoann Offredo of Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert who led on his on his own for around 80km. The French rider built up a gap of more than eight minutes between himself and the peleton — the biggest lead at any stage so far this year.
Offredo picked up a point when he led at the top of the only categorised climb of the day but was eventually caught by the peleton with 90 km to go.
Once the peleton was together again, Laurent Pichon of Team Fortuneo-Samsic broke from the pack and built up a lead of two minutes.
Pichon’s lead narrowed to one minute approaching the intermediate sprint at Berd’huis but the Frenchman still took maximum points. Behind him Ferdando Gaviria finished second while Peter Sagan finished third and retained the green jersey.
Pichon was reeled in as the peleton quickened ahead of the bonus point at Nonvilliers-Grandhoux. Yellow jersey leader Greg Van Avermaet extended his lead in the overall rankings to six seconds by winning the bonus point with 30km to go. It means Avermaet restores his six-second advantage over Geraint Thomas after the Team Sky rider won the bonus point on Thursday during stage six.
The peleton was all together as the stage approached Chartres, with teams jostling to get their sprinters into position.
More to follow.