Groenewegen wins longest stage of Tour de France in sprint
The Colombian flag flies as Netherlands' Dylan Groenewegen, left, crosses the finish line ahead of Colombia's Fernando Gaviria, center, to win the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 231 kilometers (143.5 miles) with start in Fougeres and finish in Chartres, France, France, Friday, July 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, July 13, 2018 1:05PM EDT
CHARTRES, France -- Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen beat favourites Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan in a sprint to win the longest stage of the Tour de France on Friday.
Four-time champion Chris Froome and the other favourites finished in the main pack on Stage 7, which -- unlike earlier sprinting legs -- was without serious crashes.
Greg Van Avermaet held on to the yellow jersey he grabbed in Stage 3 and doubled his lead over Geraint Thomas to six seconds by winning an intermediate bonus sprint.
Gaviria and Sagan have each won two stages in this year's Tour and were marking each other when Groenewegen surprised both and surged ahead on the final straight.
It was the second career victory at the Tour for Groenewegen, who also won a sprint in last year's concluding stage on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Groenewegen, who rides for Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, clocked nearly six hours over the 231-kilometre (143.5-mile) trek from Fougeres, home to the best-preserved and largest medieval fortress in Europe, to Chartres, site of a vast cathedral known for its stained-glass windows.
Gaviria crossed second and Sagan was third.