Dylan Groenewegen has won the seventh stage of the Tour de France on Friday. The Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma was the fastest in the sprint in the streets of Chalon-sur-Saône.
The win of Groenewegen is already the third stage win of this Tour of Jumbo-Visma and of the Netherlands. Mike Teunissen was the fastest in the opening stage and the team time trial was also a prey for the Dutch formation.
The 26-year-old Groenewegen fell in the first stage, after which he sprinted to fifth place on Tuesday and thus booked his first victory on Friday. In total, Groenewegen now has four stage victories in the Tour. Two years ago he had day success for the first time and in 2018 he was twice the fastest.
The Amsterdammer is the first Dutchman since Jeroen Blijlevens at the end of the last century who has day success in three consecutive Tours. Blijlevens even won a stage four times in a row, in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Groenewegen was just ahead of Ewan and Sagan. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Ciccone stays in yellow
Groenewegen had to go deep on Friday to be the fastest this Tour for the first time. After 230 kilometers, he was a quarter-wheel ahead of the Australian Caleb Ewan and Peter Sagan finished third.
It was already expected that the seventh stage would end in a mass sprint. Italian gel jersey wearer Giulio Ciccone did not see his leading position at risk in the flat stage and his lead on number two Julian Alaphilippe is still six seconds.
Steven Kruijswijk remains in eighth place the best Dutchman in the general classification with 1.04 arrears on Ciccone.
The Tour continues on Saturday with a 200-kilometer hill ride from Mâcon to Saint-Étienne and then Ciccone may have to work hard to keep it yellow.
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Two riders early in the attack
Friday's ride was 230 kilometers, the longest of this Tour, but certainly not the most spectacular. Shortly after the start in Belfort, the French Stéphane Rossetto and Yoann Offredo went on an adventure. Because both riders were not a danger in the general classification, they got all the space from the peloton.
Not much later the peloton was startled by a crash. Teunissen crashed and the American Tejay van Garderen crashed, but both riders were able to continue the race.
Meanwhile, Rossetto, who runs for Cofidis, and Wantred-Gobert's Offredo increased to more than five minutes, but Bahrain Merida, Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-Quick Step were in control in the front, making it almost certain that the ride would turn out to be a mass sprint. At fifty kilometers from the finish, the lead of the two refugees had already fallen to less than two minutes.
With thirteen kilometers to go Rossetto and Offredo were caught and the peloton could prepare for the sprint. Deceuninck-Quick Step tried to sell Elia Viviani as well as possible and Lotto Soudal drove for Ewan, who went early. In the end, they ran out against Groenewegen, which was slightly faster than the competition after more than six hours of races.
Joy at the Groenewegen on stage. (Photo: Pro Shots)