Groenewegen wins Tour de France 7th stage, Van Avermaet still in yellow

Groenewegen wins Tour de France 7th stage, Van Avermaet still in yellow

It marks Martin's second career stage win in the Tour, the other coming in 2013, and also serves as redemption for him after he finished second on the Mur-de-Bretagne three years ago.

Van Avermaet actually extended his lead in the overall standings over Geraint Thomas to six seconds when he raced ahead of the pack to win a three-second bonus sprint.

"I came to this team to be the leader and the pressure at the beginning, of being the leader is why I didn't do so well in Spring", said Martin.

Groenewegen grew up in a cycling environment as his grandfather was a bike manufacturer and his boyhood coach was Jean-Paul van Poppel, victor of nine sprint finishes at the Tour de France. I didn't think it was going to happen.

Dylan Groenewegen hasn't been in the right place to show his sprinting legs but this resembles the stage of Paris-Nice that he won. I felt good in the fourth stage but the good timing was missing. It's awesome, I'm really grateful for myself and for my team.

"I had good sensations but nothing outstanding, I was at my maximum".

"I'm not sure the riders knew how to take advantage of it, the stage really could have been much more interesting", he said of the course some were describing as riddled with traps.

"It was an early break but it was my only opportunity for the stage win as I'd never have got it in a sprint", explained Martin.

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"I hope so", he said.

Van Avermaet, wearing the yellow jersey, then pulled to the front in a bid for the stage win as the finish line approached but peaked too early.

"I'm fine with the penalty but they have to impose it for everyone if they do the same thing as me", the 2017 Giro d'Italia champion said.

BMC rider Porte crossed the line three seconds off the pace after the 181km ride from Brest to Mur de Bretagne, with defending champion Chris Froome five seconds further back.

Dumoulin and his Sunweb team compounded the mechanical mishap by getting a 20-second penalty when Dumoulin stayed too close to the team vehicle while trying to catch the pack, thereby benefiting from its draft that pulled him along.

The rest of the sprinters haven't really hit their form yet, but Sonny Colbrelli of Bahrain-Merida has produced two fine sprint efforts already on stages 2 and 5 and he's not been lacking in speed either on the flatter finishes.

This was the first summit finish of this Tour.

The slightly-built Bardet's AG2R team will have to race 17 stages of the 2018 Tour a man down after an over-curious roadside fan stepped into the path of the onrushing peloton to take a photo.

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