Saturday, 22 July, 2017

Tour de France 2017, stage seven

Fabio Aru claimed his maiden Tour de France win in Paris Tour de France Betting: Stage 6 Preview
Jan Ortega | 09 July, 2017, 00:23

But the commissaires fortunately pored over a super high resolution pic and proclaimed Kittel the victor of stage 7 after 213.5 kilometres raced from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges.

But Calmejane, 24, held an impressive one-and-a-half-minute cushion over the main group with a 10-kilometre flat awaiting him, but the young gun lost five seconds over Robert Gesink after coming down with cramp. The stage victor should be a climber who gets in the early break such as Cannondale's Pierre Rolland.

Australian Michael Matthews finished third as reigning champion Chris Froome maintained his overall lead at the end of the 213.5km stage from Troyes on another day of minimal drama, until the controversial finish.

For the overall contenders it was another day to simply stay out of trouble before the weekend s back-to-back mountain stages when the yellow jersey battle will return to centre stage. "The hope is that you have riders still very close to him (when the race hits the decisive stages)", he explained.

"Nothing has changed, (we've just got to) stick to going for the stage wins and after that see what happens".

I think tomorrow we could see the GC [general classification] really blown to pieces and proper gaps opening up.

But with Sky reluctant to chase them down, BMC made a decision to take over pace-setting duties, in the hope of setting up Porte for the stage win and the time bonus that would offer.

The controversy that unfolded on Stage 4 when Sagan's elbow knocked Cavendish off his bike ultimately sent both home, leaving Kittel in a strong position claim the green jersey.

Two days ago, there was a crash in the final kilometre of the stage even before Sagan's elbow on Cavendish, a victor of 30 Tour stages.

They held on for nearly 2km more but with 4km to ride, it was over and now all down to the overall contenders. The weather forecast for the weekend is rainstorms, which is going to make things even more hard.

A first dose of mountain work; the 12km first-category climb just before the finish is long enough to burn off any weaker elements and the 10km across a plateau gives them no chance to regain contact. Arguably the toughest of this Tour, it has seven notable climbs.

Dan is now fourth overall at 25 seconds, so there is the possibility we could have an Irishman in yellow by Sunday.

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