Another day, another victory for Jumbo-Visma. For the second time in the last three days, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won a sprint stage. Van Aert rode to victory in Stage 5 at Privas and he emerged victorious once again during a short and flat ride from Millau to Lavaur in Stage 7 of the Tour de France that was plagued by brutal crosswinds and a messy sprint at the finish line.
During another near-photo finish, Van Aert edged out Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT) and France’s Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) at the sloppy finish line at Lavaur.
Team Jumbo-Visma claimed its third victory this week. Van Aert won twice, while teammate Primoz Roglic won Stage 4 during an early summit finish at Orcieres-Merlett.
|TOUR de FRANCE STAGE 7 RESULTS|
- Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 03:32:03
- Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT)
- Bryan Coquard (BB)
Roglic sits in second place in the overall general classification standings. Roglic trails leader Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) by three seconds.
“I was with Primoz the whole day in the front,” said Van Aert. “So, it was a good day for the team. I didn’t expect it to be such a mess in the end, with such a small group, but it was a shame not to give it a try in a smaller bunch sprint.”
For the second day in a row, Yates retained the yellow jersey. Yates finished in ninth place in Stage 7.
Stage 7: Millau > Lavaur
On paper, the modest 168 km ride from Millau to Lavaur didn’t offer any major challenges during a flat Stage 7. However, Mother Nature had other ideas. Crosswinds created a little chaos for the peloton.
With 40 km to go, Ineos Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma tried to take advantage of the crosswind in order to set up their sprinters for the final push.
The congested final sprint saw Julian Alaphilippe in the mix and Van Aert behind in fourth place. Alaphilippe and Hagen bumped as the Norwegian surged ahead of the Frenchman. Van Aert shot through a narrow gap and overtook Hagen at the finish line.
“I’m really proud of this one,” said Van Aert. “I didn’t expect it this morning. It was straight from the gun and an impressive stage from the Bora Hansgrohe team. Bora made sure that all the sprinters were dropped and after that it was always hectic and everybody feared the crosswinds.”
Alaphilippe’s teammate, Sam Bennet, came into Stage 7 as a co-favorite to finish first at Lavaur. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), winner of Stage 3, was also one of the co-favorites as well at 3/1 odds. However, both finish near the back of the pack. Bennet arrived at Lavaur in 114th place, while Ewan took 163rd.
Stage 8: Cazeres-sur-Garonne > Loudenvielle
The Tour de France reached the Pyrenees. Stage 8 is a short, yet difficult 141 km ride from Cazeres-sur-Garonne to Loudenvielle. The shortest stage of Le Tour includes a pair of Category 1 climbs and a dread HC (“hors categorie” in French means beyond categorization) at Port de Bales.
The first Category 1 ascent will be a 7 km climb up Col de Mente with 8% grade hills.
The HC ascent of Port de Bales will last nearly 12 km that includes a steep climb with a hellacious average gradient of 7.7%. The descent includes dangerous hairpin turns that aren’t for the faint of heart.
Stage 8 also includes a second Category 1 climb up Col de Peyresourde.
|GC STANDINGS THRU STAGE 7|
- Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 30:36:00
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +00:03
- Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +00:09
- Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) +00:13
- Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +00:13
As expected, the master climbers come into Stage 8 as the favorites.
Will last year’s champion Egan Bernal (Ineos) make a move in Stage 8? He moved into fourth place overall and trails Yates by 13 seconds.
William Hill updated its 2020 Tour de France futures and Roglic is still the favorite at 8/11 odds to win. Bernal saw his odds slightly move to 3/1 to pull off back-to-back Le Tour victories.
Alaphilippe shaved a second off of his time in Stage 7. He moved up to 11th place in the GC and now trails Yates by 15 seconds.