Mathieu van der Poel retained his lead in the general classification in the Tour de France on Thursday without any problems.

The Dutchman expects that there will be a battle for the yellow jersey on Friday.

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Friday's stage looks a bit like a spring hill classic.

The seventh stage goes from Vierzon to Le Creusot over almost 250 kilometers.

The five climbs of that stage are all in the last 90 kilometers, with the last col at 8 kilometers from the finish.

"It will be a tough day tomorrow. Some riders will undoubtedly try something for the classification. We will see tomorrow. It is nice to keep the yellow jersey and we will go back to it tomorrow," said Van der Poel on Thursday after the race. sixth stage.

The 26-year-old Van der Poel is also a contender for the stage win on Friday.

The yellow jersey wearer was already the best on Mûr-de-Bretagne on Sunday.

Van der Poel's lead in the standings over number two Tadej Pogacar is eight seconds.

Mathieu van der Poel will ride in the yellow jersey for the fifth time on Friday.

Mathieu van der Poel will ride in the yellow jersey for the fifth time on Friday.

Photo: Getty Images

Van der Poel: 'In the final I did what I could do'

Van der Poel did not run into problems on Thursday and helped his teammates for the bunch sprint in the final phase, but Alpecin-Fenix ​​did not manage to book the third stage victory of this Tour: Jasper Philipsen was second behind Mark Cavendish.

"It was a tough start, as a dangerous group drove away," said Van der Poel.

"After taking in this group, it all went well towards the finish. In the final I did what I could, but we lost each other just before the last corner."

"I had to wait a little while and then we drove forward again. We then managed to set up a good lead-out, but Cavendish is currently the best sprinter."

See also: View the classifications in the Tour with Van der Poel in yellow