Groenewegen wins as bunch sprint sets off July 14 fireworks

Тур де Франс-2018 Груневеген переміг на сьомому етап

Four-time victor Chris Froome crashed but recovered to finish with the other main general classification contenders.

But it could easily been very different.

The Irishman, victor of stage six on the Mur-de-Bretagne, was one of several riders to fall with Quick-Step Floors' Julian Alaphilippe and Tom Skujins in the polka-dot jersey also caught out. Fortunately for the six-time grand tour victor, who had nowhere to go when his team mate Gianni Moscon went down right in front of him, he was back up on his bike and pedalling in no time.

Van Avermaet picked up a one-second bonus overall during an intermediate bonus sprint at 20K from the finish.

Questions will be asked about the leadership issue at Sky after Geraint Thomas abandoned Froome when a mechanical failure saw the four-time victor crash late on.

"I'm fine. Gianni (Moscon) went down, I went over the top, it was just one of those things, just gravel on a cobble section".

"Everybody said I'm done, after this accident I will never come back".

Porte, victor of last month's Tour de Suisse, was nearly one minute behind his teammate Greg Van Avermaet in the overall standings.

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Both Team Sky riders finished in the front group, 27 second behind stage victor John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) with most of their overall rivals.

For the second year in a row, the Tour's ninth stage was cursed for Porte.

The Tasmanian was left in tears on the side of the road after he crashed out of the race with a fractured right clavicle. The German rider won the Paris-Roubaix single-day classic, which covers much of the same course, in 2015.

Thomas showed his climbing prowess, finishing 20 seconds ahead of 2017 Giro d'Italia champion Tom Dumoulin and Froome.

The last kilometers were fighting for victory only three people: John Degenkolb, Eve Lampart with Quick-Step Floors and Greg van Avermat from the BMC, however, strongest at the finish was exactly Degenkolb.

Green jersey Peter Sagan, this year's Paris-Roubaix champion after an attack from 53km, was furious with himself after a lapse cost him a place on the winning break. His average speed over the stage was 45.9 kph overall and 39.8 kph on the cobbles.

After Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen doubled up at the Tour de France with his second win in as many days, the Race organisers announced that Greipel and Gaviria, who originally finished third and fourth, had been relegated for irregular sprinting after clashing in the final hundred metres.

That challenge will be followed by a rest day on Monday before the race shifts to its first mountain stages in the Alps.

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