CHALON-SUR-SAÔNE, France — Less than a week up to now in Brussels, Dylan Groenewegen sat dejected within the midst of a freeway, his physique language oozing disappointment as he was attended to by the Tour de France doctor.
One of the quickest sprinters on this planet with one of many essential extremely efficient teams, Jumbo-Vista, Groenewegen had been anticipated to win the opening stage and seize the yellow jersey. Instead, he was caught in a crash and wanted to observe his lead-out man, Mike Teunissen, declare all the honors.
To add to his torment, Teunissen and Groenewegen are roommates on the Tour, which implies Groenewegen wanted to spend the night time with the yellow jersey in his room.
Banged up and demoralized, Groenewegen took a few days to get effectively, successfully crushed throughout the sprints that adopted. He lastly put his poor Tour start behind him with the tightest of wins throughout the longest stage on Friday.
“It was not the start I wanted,” Groenewegen, a Dutchman, talked about candidly after pointing a finger in celebration as he crossed the highway. “Over the last days, I focused on today. My team did a really good job. The tactics were to go full gas, and I took the win.”
Groenewegen edged his Australian rival Caleb Ewan and the earlier world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia as he claimed his fourth occupation stage win on the Tour.
After a final technical hairpin bend, the 143-mile stage featured a one-mile path to the tip that gave pure sprinters a wonderful different to shine. The Italian sprinter Elia Viviani was led out by his teammates nonetheless lacked tempo and dropped out of rivalry. It was then a tight battle between Groenewegen and Ewan, with the earlier averaging 46 miles per hour and profitable by merely a few inches.
Before that intense finale, riders used Stage 7 to get effectively from Thursday’s brutal expertise, and it made for painfully boring viewing.
“A long slow day on the saddle,” the defending champion Geraint Thomas talked about. “Everything was starting to ache by the end, your wrists and your feet and stuff.”
There was no vital movement throughout the whole standings. The Tour rookie Giulio Ciccone saved the yellow jersey with a six-second lead over Julian Alaphilippe. Among the favorites, Thomas remained one of many best-positioned riders, merely 49 seconds off the tempo.
Squeezed between the crossings of the Vosges and Massif Central mountains, the stage took the peloton from Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône in east-central France. After a day of hardship throughout the Vosges that culminated with the brutal ascent to the Planches des Belles Filles, the peloton rode at a pedestrian tempo, and no particular person moved throughout the outskirts of Belfort when the breakaway specialists Yoann Offredo and Stéphane Rossetto made a switch.
Offredo and Rossetto could not make the most of the peloton’s apathy. They had been reined in about seven and a half miles from the tip.
On the Tour’s longest day, some riders had been caught napping. The American Tejay Van Garderen and Teunissen every hit the tarmac shortly after the start, close to a freeway divider. Van Garderen was attended to by three of his teammates and finally acquired once more on his bike, his face bloodied and his jersey ripped. Nicolas Roche soldiered on, too, after he fell onto his bike on a prolonged a part of the flat freeway.
Van Garderen was scheduled to have X-rays. His group will decide on Saturday whether or not or not he is matched to proceed.
“His main complaint right now is the thumb,” talked about Kevin Sprouse, a group doctor. “He’s got some bruising and swelling and just a lot of pain gripping. He may need a stitch or two in the chin.”