Tour de France Stage 7: Mostly Transitional, But With a Tricky Finish

Marcus Newton
July 16, 2018

Martin came home second the last time a Tour stage ended in Mur de Bretagne three years ago and he admitted he had been obsessed about winning here this time on a punchy climb that suited his abilities.

Defending champion Chris Froome crossed eight seconds after Martin in 18th.

Greg Van Avermaet remained in the yellow jersey, extending his lead over Geraint Thomas to six seconds by claiming the three-second in-stage time bonus.

He had accelerated from 19 to 30km/h on a 10 per cent gradient and he went for it with a kilometre to go to the finish line.

Dumoulin suffered an ill-timed front wheel puncture on the approach to the base of the Mur de Bretagne as the peloton raced into the final few kilometres. "I managed to keep my sprint longer".

"I had started wondering myself, thinking "shit, am I good enough", so this win feels really good after six days waiting".

The pair are 13th and 14th, one minute two seconds behind yellow jersey Greg van Avermaet, and one second ahead of Dumoulin.

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Chris Froome went headfirst into a grass verge and ended nearly two minutes off yellow but could call Sunday a success as he survived a chaotic day on the Tour de France when others were not so lucky. Van Avermaet's teammate and Tacoma native Tejay van Garderen is in third place, 5 seconds behind the leader.

Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan have dominated the sprints so far, and there's no reason to bet against them here.

Since the route was announced in October, this 156.5km stage nine over the cobbles of northern France to Roubaix had been circled as the wildcard which could deliver a jolt to the race, and it did not disappoint.

Watch the stage 7 highlight video from the Tour de France above.

"I'm hoping still to improve", the Slovakian said.

Martin was one of several team leaders along with former Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana who were caught off-guard by an attack by Quick-Step 100 kilometers into the stage during a straightaway that was exposed to crosswinds.

The peloton set off amid good racing conditions for the longest stage on the race, with a finish line opposite the 800-year-old cathedral of Chartres, a UNESCO world heritage site.

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