Tour de France Stg7 - Van Aert wins, Yates holds yellow
Today’s stage seven of the Tour de France was won by Wout van Aert in a sprint finish, with Britain rider Adam Yates retaining the leader's yellow jersey.
The Belgian rider out sprinted Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen and Frenchman Bryan Coquard to make it a double at this year’s tour after earlier winning stage 5.
Riders had to also contest the crosswinds wreaked havoc stage over 168km from Millau to Lavaur, with the race to the finish down to a select few who made the break a way with 30kms to go.
Photo: Cor Vos
Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates crossed in ninth to hold the leaders yellow.
For Van Aert it is already his third stage victory in the Tour de France in his second participation. It is his sixth victory of the season and Team Jumbo-Visma’s seventeenth.
“I am very proud of this victory”, Van Aert said. “I am also proud of how we rode as a team today. It was a very fast stage because Bora immediately went full throttle on the first climb. After that, it never stopped. At the end there was still a lot of chaos and it was very hectic because of the crosswinds. Everyone feared them. The plan was to get Primoz and Tom through the stage without damage and time loss. That worked out well. The team was very strong again. I never expected such a mess and such a battle. Due to the fact that many sprinters were dropped and we were left in front with only a small group, I went for my own chance again. The guys started the sprint quite early and I was able to go along in the slipstream. When Boasson Hagen accelerated, I went along and timed my sprint perfectly. It took a lot of energy, but it was worth it. This is really amazing.”
Teammate Tom Dumoulin ran out of superlatives for his teammate. “This is just unbelievable. Wout rode to protect Primoz all day and to keep him out of danger. He also took a lot of wind. It is unbelievable that he can then still pull such a sprint. I have no words for that. The team was again very good today. We were continuously riding in the first part of the peloton with six riders. The fact that our climbers George and Sepp were still able to do massive pulls at the end says a lot about the strength of this team. We knew where we had to be in the front for the crosswinds and we knew where it was going to split apart. It is great that Wout then finishes it off. This is a very beautiful day. Now on to the Pyrenees.”
Adam Yates tour leaders
"There were only a few critical moments where you had to be in position. The wind wasn’t crazy strong, but it was just kind of enough to create a few splits.
"But the guys looked after me perfectly, even in the final I ended up on my own just because they put me in position and used a lot of energy to keep me up there.
"The next two days should be pretty tough, I think today everyone was expecting to have an easier day before the two big mountain stages, but BORA-hansgrohe had other ideas and we rode pretty much full gas from start to finish. It was a hard day for everybody."
Stage 7 results
1 - Wout van Aert (Bel - Jumbo Visma) 3hrs 32mins 03secs
2 - Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor - NTT Pro Cycling) Same time
3 - Bryan Coquard (Fra - B&B Hotels-Vital Concept)
4 - Christophe Laporte (Fra - Cofidis)
5 - Jasper Stuyen (Bel - Trek-Segafredo)
6 - Clement Venturini (Fra - AG2R-La Mondiale)
7 - Hugo Hofstetter (Fra - Israel Start-Up Nation)
8 - Egan Bernal (Col - Ineos Grenadiers)
9 - Adam Yates (GB - Mitchelton-Scott)
10 - Alejandro Valverde (Spa - Movistar)
General classification after stage 7
1 - Adam Yates (GB - Mitchelton-Scott) 30hrs 36mins 00secs
2 - Primoz Roglic (Slo - Jumbo-Visma) +3secs
3 - Guillaume Martin (Fra - Cofidis) +9secs
4 - Egan Bernal (Col - Ineos Grenadiers) +13secs
5 - Tom Dumoulin (Ned - Jumbo-Visma) Same time
6 - Nairo Quintana (Col - Arkea-Samsic)
7 - Romain Bardet (Fra - AG2R-La Mondiale)
8 - Miguel Angel Lopez (Col - Astana)
9 - Thibaut Pinot (Fra - Groupama-FDJ)
10 - Rigoberto Uran (Col - EF Pro Cycling)