‘You never know how the body will respond after a rest day’ – Yates’ Tour de France stage-by

Adam Yates

Adam Yates’ best Grand Tour finish is fourth at the 2016 Tour de France

This year’s Tour de France, which began in Brussels, is Adam Yates’ fourth.

The British rider’s best finish is fourth in 2016, when he won the white jersey as best young rider in the race.

The 26-year-old is leading the Mitchelton-Scott team at the 106th edition of the three-week race and he’s given BBC Sport his insight into each of the 21 stages.

This page will up updated throughout the Tour with the winner and brief report after each stage has been completed.

Saturday, 6 July – Stage 1: Brussels – Brussels, 194.5km

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Teunissen (bottom) wins his first Tour de France stage and will wear the yellow jersey on stage two

Winner: Michael Teunissen (Ned/Jumbo-Visma)

Report: Thomas ‘fine’ after crash as Teunissen takes surprise win

Defending champion Geraint Thomas says he is “unhurt” after being involved in a crash around 1.6km from the finish line. Pre-stage favourite Dylan Groenewegen goes down hard in the crash and his team-mate and lead-out man Michael Teunissen takes advantage of having a free role to pip three-time world champion Peter Sagan on the finish line.

BeSpoke podcast: Stage one – surprise winners

Sunday, 7 July – Stage 2: Brussels, 27.6km team time trial

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Dutch team Jumbo-Visma finished the team time trial 20 seconds ahead of Ineos

Winner: Jumbo-Visma

Report: Thomas puts time into Tour rivals as Teunissen extends race lead

Geraint Thomas gains time on his rivals for the overall Tour de France victory as Team Ineos finish second on stage two’s team time trial with Team Ineos. Jumbo-Visma win the stage by 20 seconds, so surprise stage one winner Mike Teunissen extends his race lead.

BeSpoke podcast: Stage two – Ineos pipped at the post

Monday, 8 July – Stage 3: Binche – Epernay, 215km

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Julian Alaphilippe is the first Frenchman to lead the race since Tony Gallopin in 2014

Winner: Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick Step)

Report: Thomas loses a handful of seconds as Alaphilippe wins stage three to lead Tour

Defending champion Geraint Thomas loses time on two of his Tour de France rivals with his Ineos co-leader Egan Bernal and France’s Thibaut Pinot both taking five seconds out of him at the finish in Epernay.

France’s Julian Alaphilippe rides clear to win the stage and take the yellow jersey with a superb solo attack on the final climb.

BeSpoke podcast: Stage three – Champagne Supernova

Tuesday, 9 July – Stage 4: Reims – Nancy, 213.5km

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Elia Viviani (left) is overcome with emotion after winning stage four. The Italian has previously won stages at the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana

Winner: Elia Viviani (Ita/Deceuninck-Quick Step)

Report: Viviani takes sprint for first Tour win

BeSpoke podcast: Stage four – quiche and bunch sprints

Elia Viviani claims his first Tour de France stage win as his team-mate Julian Alaphilippe retains the yellow jersey after stage four. Defending champion Geraint Thomas steers clear of trouble to finish in the peloton, remaining seventh in the general classification, 45 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

Wednesday, 10 July – Stage 5: Saint-Die-des-Vosges – Colmar, 175.5km

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Peter Sagan, a three-time world road race champion, celebrated victory on stage five with a muscleman pose

Winner: Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Sagan takes first stage win of 2019 Tour

BeSpoke podcast: Stage five – superstar Sagan shines

Peter Sagan secures his first win of this year’s Tour de France, and 12th in total, as he sprints to victory on stage five. Geraint Thomas stays seventh overall, 45 seconds adrift of race leader Julian Alaphilippe.

Thursday, 11 July – Stage 6: Mulhouse – La Planche des Belles Filles, 160.5km

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Giulio Ciccone (left) was beaten by a powerful finish from Dylan Teuns but his second place saw him gain enough time to take the yellow jersey

Winner: Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida)

Report: Thomas moves up as Teuns wins stage six

BeSpoke podcast: Stage six – Thomas lays down marker

Dylan Teuns won the first mountain stage of the 2019 Tour de France as Geraint Thomas attacked his general classification rivals late on to finish fourth on the day.

Friday, 12 July – Stage 7: Belfort – Chalon-sur-Saone, 230km

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Groenewegen won his first stage at this year’s Tour with a powerful lunge for the line

Winner: Dylan Groenewegen (Ned/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Groenewegen wins stage seven of Tour

BeSpoke podcast: Stage seven – The Flying Dutchman

Dylan Groenewegen claimed his first stage win of this year’s Tour de France as Giulio Ciccone retained the leader’s yellow jersey after stage seven.

At 230km, stage seven was the longest of this year’s Tour and the relatively flat route set up a bunch sprint to the finish line in Chalon-sur-Saone, where Groenewegen beat Ewan to the line.

Saturday, 13 July – Stage 8: Macon – Saint-Etienne, 200km

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Geraint Thomas lost time on stage eight after being involved in his second crash on the Tour

Winner: Thomas de Gendt (Bel/Lotto Soudal)

Report: Thomas survives crash as De Gendt solos to superb stage win

BeSpoke podcast:Stage eight – breakaways and broken bikes

Defending champion Geraint Thomas loses time to French duo Julian Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot after crashing 15km from the end of stage eight on the Tour de France. Belgium’s Thomas de Gendt wins after a stage-long breakaway, with France’s Alaphilippe reclaiming the yellow jersey going into Bastille Day.

Sunday, 14 July – Stage 9: Saint-Etienne – Brioude, 170.5km

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Daryl Impey becomes the first South African to win a Tour de France stage since 2007

Winner: Daryl Impey (SA/Mitchelton Scott)

Report: Impey wins stage, Alaphilippe leads

BeSpoke podcast: Victory for Impey

South Africa’s Daryl Impey wins stage nine as Julian Alaphilippe retained his overall lead. Victory is Impey’s first in the race and comes as he forms part of a 15-man breakaway which finishes over 16 minutes clear of the main peloton.

Monday, 15 July – Stage 10: Saint-Flour – Albi, 217.5km

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Wout van Aert’s first stage victory in Albi was the fourth win for Jumbo-Visma and the third for Belgian riders at the 2019 Tour de France

Winner: Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo-Visma)

Report: Thomas moves up to second at Le Tour

BeSpoke podcast: Thomas takes control

Defending champion Geraint Thomas moves up to second in the Tour de France as stage 10 concludes in dramatic fashion. Julian Alaphilippe remains the overall race leader as Belgian Wout van Aert, wins a sprint finish against Italy’s Elia Viviani.

Tuesday, 16 July – Rest day

BeSpoke podcast: Rest day reflections

Wednesday, 17 July – Stage 11: Albi – Toulouse, 167km

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Mark Cavendish sprinted to his second Tour de France stage win in Toulouse in 2008

Adam says: I don’t think there’s many riders in the bunch unhappy to see a stage like this after a rest day. Some manage to get going after a rest day better than others, but truth is you never really know how the body will respond. It would normally be a sprint finish, but the day has sticky, slow roads and the wind can be a factor because it’s open, so you need to remain vigilant as we saw on stage 10.

Rider to watch: Peter Sagan. The Slovakian has had a decent first week and will be looking to build on his lead in the green points jersey classification.

Thursday, 18 July – Stage 12: Toulouse – Bagneres-de-Bigorre, 209.5km

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Ireland’s Dan Martin outsprinted Jakob Fuglsang to win the last time Bagneres-de-Bigorre was used as a stage finish in 2013

Adam says: We ride through the valley for most of the day before we hit the two climbs but there’s not as many climbing metres as say, on stage six. We should see a breakaway go to the line, but there will be two races – one will be to get in the break and that could take a long time. Once that’s formed, it’ll be a race for the win and a race for the GC riders.

Rider to watch: Pello Bilbao. The Spaniard is known as the ‘Puppy of Guernica’ and won two stages at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Friday, 19 July – Stage 13: Pau, 27.2km – time trial

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Bernard Hinault won the only other individual time trial in Pau, en route to this third Tour triumph in 1981

Adam says: There’s no question that the time trial kilometres are limited this year especially with half of them being taken up by the team time trial in week one, and that this suits me just fine. Despite that, it’s a day where some time will be won or lost but the gaps shouldn’t be too big. On the GC front, Geraint Thomas will take time on everyone else. But positioning on the GC going into this stage is irrelevant – it’s full gas.

Rider to watch: Rohan Dennis. The Australian won the world time trial title in 2018 and has won individual time trial stages at all three Grand Tours.

Saturday, 20 July – Stage 14: Tarbes – Tourmalet, 117.5km

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First ascended in 1910, the legendary Tourmalet has been visited 82 times by the race, more than any other pass

Adam says: And so we reach the famous Tourmalet. It’s a long climb at 19km, but it’s a short day, which encourages aggressive racing. However, that limits the opportunity for the breakaway to get any sizeable gap and should mean the winner is a GC rider. But, the hardest kilometres come at the final – you don’t want to be empty before you reach them.

Rider to watch: Egan Bernal. The Colombian came into the race as joint Team Ineos leader with Geraint Thomas and is an excellent climber.

Sunday, 21 July – Stage 15: Limoux – Foix Prat d’Albis

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Limoux has hosted the Tour twice before in 2011 and 2012

Adam says: By this time of the race the GC is really starting to sort itself out and this can increase the opportunities for a breakaway to succeed, but regardless the battle continues behind. Again, it’ll be a battle for the break and a battle for GC. Teams classification and those chasing King of the Mountains points can start to play a part of the stage tactics too.

Rider to watch: Vincenzo Nibali. The Italian has won each Grand Tour and loves attacking in the mountains. He was second at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Monday, 22 July – Rest day

Adam says: A copy and paste of the previous rest day! Lie in, easy spin in the morning, talk to directors, relax and massage in the afternoon. Normally, there’s not too much reason to change the process between the two rest days, by now we know what works best for us. But, we do need to be conscious of predicted winds for the next day and that could change our plans…

Tuesday, 23 July – Stage 16: Nimes – Nimes, 177km

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The Vuelta a Espana started in Nimes in 2017

Adam says: It’s another pretty flat stage after a rest day. Lately, we’re used to seeing some ugly days or time trials straight after the rest days, but today could be all about the wind. It’s not the time to switch off, flat stages are always stressful at some point and if there’s wind, it will cause havoc.

Rider to watch: Elia Viviani. The Italian won his first Tour stage in the opening week. It will be interesting to see how he fares after a few mountain stages have sapped some energy.

Wednesday, 24 July – Stage 17: Pont du Gard – Gap, 200km

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The last three stages in to Gap ended with solo wins for Thor Hushovd (2011), Rui Costa (2013) and Ruben Plaza (2015)

Adam says: The precursor for three big stages to come. There’ll be a fight for the breakaway, a lot of teams and riders will want to be in it. Once the right move goes, the bunch will be happy to let it go, but it won’t come easy. These can be some of the hardest days of the race because of the motivation to make the break and it is the last chance for a lot of teams to get a result at the Tour.

Rider to watch: Matteo Trentin. My Mitchelton-Scott team-mate enjoys a breakaway and this stage could suit him.

Thursday, 25 July – Stage 18: Embrun – Valloire, 208km

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Chris Froome won the climbing time trial stage that started in Embrun in the 2013 Tour

Adam says: It’s hard to say if this will be the toughest stage of the Tour, how it is raced will determine that. But, what is for sure is that these next three days are huge. I’ve recced these stages and there’ll be fireworks. What back-to-back stages like this do is often make riders think about what’s to come. If you’re feeling good, it’s perfect. If you’re feeling tired, you can start to think about conserving energy – but generally you can’t win the Tour like this. So anyone looking to make up time, this is your first opportunity and there’s only two more to come. There’ll be someone in a GC position who requires a bold move.

Rider to watch: Geraint Thomas. The defending champion will be under a lot of pressure as we take on three mountains over 2,000m in altitude.

Friday, 26 July – Stage 19: Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne – Tignes, 126.5km

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Michael Rasmussen won in Tignes in 2007 before being withdrawn by the Rabobank team while leading the race

Adam says: We go high again today, it’s a bit of a theme this Tour compared to previous editions. But the biggest difference between today and yesterday is the kilometres – it’s 80km less racing today and that equates to maybe two hours or so less time on the bike. Generally we see more aggressive racing on shorter days, so today and tomorrow are prime. Most of the stage is at altitude and this has more of an effect than a stage that just finishes at the top of a mountain. It will be a high intensity day and that means there will be nowhere to hide.

Rider to watch: Nairo Quintana. The Colombian has won the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana and loves the high mountains.

Saturday, 27 July – Stage 20: Albertville – Val Thorens, 130km

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Colombian Nelson Rodriguez climbed to victory in the only other finish on Val Thorens in 1994

Adam says: Another short stage but with two long climbs. For the fans’ sake, you’re hoping that it’s today that decides the 2019 champion. A good team helps today, because numbers over the first climb and onto the final climb will be invaluable. You can absolutely lose the Tour on a day like today – although you can, of course, lose it on any of these mountain stages. If it’s not the yellow jersey to shift, something on the podium or top 10 will. The Tour is one of those races where there’s a genuine fight for the top 10 and that can make it interesting for the games of the riders sitting a little higher too.

Rider to watch: Adam Yates. Regardless of the GC race, it would be nice to go out on a good note.

Sunday, 28 July – Stage 21: Rambouillet – Paris Champs-Elysees, 128km

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Mark Cavendish won the sprint finish in Paris for four consecutive years between 2009-2012

Adam says: It’s always nice to arrive in Paris. Of course, the roll towards the Champs-Elysees is a lot nicer after a good performance, but regardless you’re happy to enjoy it with your team-mates and also some friends within the bunch. The atmosphere when you arrive on the circuit around the city centre is pretty special. It’s one of the most iconic moments in sport but then it’s time to switch on and suffer it out for one final day. It’s one of the most prestigious stages for a sprinter to try to win here – the hardest step is to make it there in the first place!

Rider to watch: Elia Viviani. Will the Italian cap a race where he won his first Tour stage with a victory on the most famous finishing strip in cycling?

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48851221

Tour de France: Geraint Thomas up to second as Julian Alaphilippe splits peloton

Wout van Aert

Stage 10 winner Wout van Aert is making his debut in the Tour de France

Britain’s defending champion Geraint Thomas moved up to second in the Tour de France after a dramatic conclusion to stage 10.

Along with overall race leader Julian Alaphilippe, Thomas benefited from a late split in the peloton that caught many race rivals by surprise.

The 33-year-old had started out from Saint-Flour to Albi – the final stage before the first rest day – in fifth.

Belgian Wout van Aert edged out Elia Viviani in a thrilling sprint finish.

Speaking to ITV 4, Thomas, who is hoping to be the first rider since Miguel Indurain in 1992 to successfully defend his title as a first-time Tour winner, said: “I had a really good day in the end.

“We had a little go earlier but it was not the right conditions. We were always attentive and ready for anything.

“From our point of view we had everyone bar two guys [in the front group] so we were fully committed. There were plenty of guys turning and you could tell behind that they had gone full out [to catch up].

“They ran out of gas and the elastic snapped. You would never expect it today. But a positional error from them and they lose a minute and a half.”

The stage had passed without incident until around 40km from the end when Rigoberto Uran’s EF Education First team attempted to take advantage of the crosswinds.

However, they and a clutch of general classification (GC) contenders, including Groupama-FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot and Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang, were caught out as Alaphilippe initiated a devastating counter.

Setting an unrelenting pace, Alaphilippe again lit up the race before Ineos took over to press home Thomas and his co-leader Egan Bernal’s advantage.

Britain’s Adam Yates, who moved up to eighth in the GC, and Movistar’s Colombian leader Nairo Quintana also finished in the leading group, one minute and 40 seconds in front of a chasing pack that also included Trek-Segafredo’s Richie Porte.

Bernal’s performance saw him earn the white jersey for the best young rider in the race, the pervious wearer, Italy’s Giulio Ciccone, being another to drop back overall.

The riders have a rest day on Tuesday before the race recommences on Wednesday when the Tour travels 167km from Albi to Toulouse.

Stage 10 result

1. Wout van Aert (Bel/Team Jumbo-Visma) 4hrs 49mins 39secs

2. Elia Viviani (Ita/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) same time

3. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Lotto-Soudal) same time

4. Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Sunweb) same time

5. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA-Hansgrohe) same time

6. Jasper Philipsen (Bel/UAE Team Emirates) same time

7. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) same time

8. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott) same time

9. Oliver Naesen (Bel/AG2R La Mondiale) same time

10. Greg van Avermaet (Bel/CCC Team) same time

General classification after stage 10

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 43hrs 27mins 15secs

2. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Ineos) +1min 12secs

3. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos) +1min 16secs

4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1min 27secs

5. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/BORA-Hansgrohe) +1min 45secs

6. Enric Mas (Spa/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +1min 46secs

7. Adam Yates (GB/ Mitchelton-Scott) +1min 47secs

8. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar Team) +2mins 04secs

9. Daniel Martin (Ire/Team Emirates) +2mins 09secs

10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +2mins 33secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48995665

Van Vleuten wins Giro Rosa for second year in a row

Annemiek van Vleuten at the Giro Rosa

Van Vleuten (left) continued the Dutch dominance, with six of the last eight winners from the Netherlands

Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands successfully defended her Giro Rosa title with a comfortable win after the race’s final stage in Udine, Italy.

Going into Sunday’s finale with a lead of almost four minutes, the 36-year-old could afford to finish 17 seconds back in 21st place in the 120km climb.

Marianne Vos, the last rider to retain the title – in 2012, won the final stage, her fourth win of the week.

Vos, who has won the race three times, finished 20th overall.

In addition to the overall race win, Van Vleuten will also take home the purple and green jerseys as winner of the points and mountain classifications.

Stage 10 result

1. Marianne Vos (Ned/CCC-Liv) 2hrs 51mins 45secs

2. Lucinda Brand (Ned/Sunweb) +1sec

3. Lotte Kopecky (Bel/Lotto Soudal Ladies) same time

4. Soraya Paladin (Ita/Ale-Cipollini) +4secs

5. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SRAM) same time

6. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SA/CCC Liv) +6secs

7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +7secs

8. Demi Vollering (Ned/Parkhotel Valkenburg) +9secs

9. Rasa Leleivyte (Lit/Aromitalia Vaiano) same time

10. Arianna Fidanza (Ita/Eurotarget Bianchi Vittoria) +10secs

Final general classification

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned/Mitchelton-Scott) 25hrs 01mins 41secs

2. Anna van der Breggen (Ned/Boels-Dolmans) +3mins 45secs

3. Amanda Spratt (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) +6mins 55secs

4. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SA/CCC Liv) +7mins 54secs

5. Katharine Hall (USA/Boels-Dolmans) +7mins 57secs

6. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SRAM) +8mins 03secs

7. Lucinda Brand (Ned/Sunweb) +8mins 16secs

8. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +8mins 20secs

9. Soraya Paladin (Ita/Ale-Cipollini) +9mins 13secs

10. Erica Magnaldi (Ita/WNT-Rotor) +9mins 31secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48982402

Thomas survives crash to finish in pack as De Gendt solos to superb stage win

Thomas de Gendt

Thomas de Gendt’s epic win was his second stage victory in the Tour

Defending champion Geraint Thomas lost time to Frenchmen Julian Alaphilippe and Thibaut Pinot after crashing 15km from the end of stage eight of the Tour de France.

Belgium’s Thomas de Gendt won after a stage-long breakaway, as France’s Alaphilippe reclaimed the yellow jersey with a late attack on the 230km route from Macon to Saint-Etienne.

He escaped alongside Pinot, who came second to climb to third overall. Briton Thomas, 33, is fifth overall, one minute 12 seconds behind.

Sunday’s stage is a 170.5km hilly ride from Saint-Etienne to Brioude.

‘It was a key moment in the race’

The Welshman had looked strong, occupying a spot near the front of the peloton for most of the day, but was unable to avoid trouble when Canada’s Michael Woods and Thomas’ Ineos team-mate Gianni Moscon collided in front of him.

Thomas, who was unhurt, became tangled up with Moscon’s bike, which snapped in two.

With the help of Wout Poels, Thomas was able to chase back to a much-reduced peloton, but he was unable to respond to Alaphilippe’s near-simultaneous attack.

“I’m fine but it was just frustrating,” Thomas told ITV4. “It was a key moment in the race. Woods crashed and took out Gianni and me and I just got tangled in Gianni’s bike.

“By the time I got up to the group I was gassed for a bit and obviously that’s when they started to sprint away. It’s annoying and frustrating but to come back like I did [is pleasing].

“If I hadn’t crashed I could have followed [Pinot and Alaplilippe] and it’s a totally different story then.

“Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphillipe have a good kick and punch – they are the guys to watch and beat.”

Thomas’ position in the general classification was unaffected, but he lost 39 seconds to Alaphillipe and 28 to Pinot, both of whom collected time bonuses on the final climb on the Cote de la Jaillere as well as at the finishing line.

Britain’s Adam Yates finished in the same group as Thomas, alongside all the other main contenders to move up to 12th overall, 1:47 behind Alaphillipe.

De Gendt’s solo ride to victory

De Gendt’s superb solo capped a day that began with him among a four-man breakaway on the longest stage of this year’s race.

The 32-year-old, whose only previous stage victory at the Tour came on Mont Ventoux in 2016, won all the classified climbs to move into second in the king of the mountains competition behind Lotto-Soudal team-mate Tim Wellens.

With the chase intensifying behind him, De Gendt then broke clear of CCC’s Alessandro de Marchi and held off Alaphilippe and Pinot’s late charge.

“The pack was closing and I had to go solo to try and stay ahead of them,” De Gendt told ITV4.

“I had amazing legs today. I had a really good feeling all day and with 70km to go I really started to believe in it. It hurts. It really hurts.”

Stage eight result

1. Thomas de Gendt (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) 5hrs 17minutes

2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +6secs

3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) Same time

4. Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Sunweb) +26secs

5. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA Hansgrohe) Same time

6. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Mitchelton-Scott)

7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel/Wanty-Gobert)

8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/CCC)

9. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos)

10. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team INEOS)

General classification

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 34hrs 17mins 59secs

2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +23secs

3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +53secs

4. George Bennett (NZ/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1mins 10secs

5. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Ineos)+1mins 12secs

6. Egan Bernal (Col/Team Ineos) +1mins 16secs

7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Team Jumbo-Visma) +1mins 27secs

8. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First) +1mins 38secs

9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana Pro Team) +1mins 42secs

10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/BORA-Hansgrohe) +1mins 45secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48976323

Tour de France: Dylan Groenewegen wins stage seven as Giulio Ciccone retains yellow jersey

Dylan Groenewegen wins stage seven

Groenewegen, who won back-to-back stages at the 2018 Tour, now has four stage wins in total after winning in Chalon-sur-Saone

Dylan Groenewegen claimed his first stage win of this year’s Tour de France as Giulio Ciccone retained the leader’s yellow jersey after stage seven.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas finished safely in the peloton to remain fifth overall.

At 230km, stage seven was the longest of this year’s Tour and the flat route set up a thrilling bunch sprint to the finish line in Chalon-sur-Saone.

Caleb Ewan crossed the line in second ahead of Peter Sagan.

Groenewegen, who won two stages at last year’s Tour, timed his lunge for the line perfectly to finish inches ahead of Ewan.

The 26-year-old Dutchman raised his arm in celebration but had to wait for TV replays to confirm victory, his fourth at this race since 2017.

It was an exciting finish after more than six hours of racing, mostly at a sedate pace.

Two French riders, Stephane Rossetto of Cofidis and Yoann Offredo of Wanty-Groupe Gobert, went clear soon after the race started in Belfort and were allowed to stay away until the final 11km.

That left the sprinters to contest the stage win and this time Groenewegen, who was hurt in a crash near the end of stage one, prevailed.

There was no change at the top of the general classification, although Nairo Quintana and Dan Martin both found themselves on the wrong end of a split in the peloton in the final 30km and had to fight to regain contact.

Thomas and the other main contenders had a quiet day after the drama of Thursday’s mountain-top finish in La Planche des Belles Filles that saw the Welshman take time out of all of his rivals.

Saturday sees the race go back into the hills, with a bumpy 200km route from Macon to Saint-Etienne that features almost 3,800 metres of climbing.

In his BBC Sport Tour de France stage-by-stage guide, Mitchelton-Scott’s Adam Yates is backing one-day Classics specialist Greg van Avermaet to take the victory.

Stage six results

1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned/Team Jumbo – Visma) 6hrs 2mins 44secs

2. Caleb Ewan (Aus/Lotto – Soudal) Same time

3. Peter Sagan (Svk/BORA – hansgrohe) Same time

4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bahrain – Merida) Same time

5. Jasper Philipsen (Bel/UAE Team Emirates) Same time

6. Elia Viviani (Ita/Deceuninck – Quick-Step) Same time

7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/Team Dimension Data) Same time

8. Jasper Stuyven (Bel/Trek – Segafredo) Same time

9. Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Sunweb) Same time

10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor/UAE Team Emirates) Same time

General classification after stage seven

1. Giulio Ciccone (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) 29hrs 17mins 39secs

2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick Step) +6secs

3. Dylan Teuns (Bel/Bahrain-Merida) +32secs

4. George Bennett (NZ/Jumbo-Visma) +47secs

5. Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos) +49secs

6. Egan Bernal (Col/Ineos) +53secs

7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +58secs

8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/Jumbo-Visma) +1min 04secs

9. Michael Woods (Can/EF Education First) +1min 13secs

10. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First) +1min 15secs

More to follow.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48967872

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