Tadej Pogacar took his second consecutive stage victory at La Super PLanche des Belles Filles as he overhauled breakaway rider Lennard Kämna with 100 metres to go along with Jonas Vingegaard and outsprinted the Dane at the eleventh hour.
SIMON GESCHKE JOINED BY TEN RIDERS AFTER ONE HOUR OF HARD RACING
172 riders took the start of stage 7 at 13.12. Despite many skirmishes, no breakaway took shape before Simon Geschke (Cofidis) rode away by himself at km 40. Filippo Ganna (Ineos) joined him for a little while before waiting for the peloton. 10 attackers got the green light to escape from the peloton and accompany Geschke at the front: Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Max Schachmann and Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Kasper Asgreen (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), Giulio Ciccone and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) and Cyril Barthe (B&B Hotels-KTM). Those riders covered 51.6km in the first hour of racing.
THREE GERMAN RIDERS HIGHLY MOTIVATED AT THE FRONT
Schachmann (2’07’’ down on GC) was the virtual yellow jersey for a little while but the cooperation in the front group wasn’t good. Stake Laengen sat up and waited for the peloton with 95km remaining as UAE Team Emirates was seriously chasing the breakaway down. The time difference was still two minutes when Pedersen crossed the line of the intermediate sprint in first position. The front group was reduced on the way up to col de Grosse Pierre. Schachmann, Kämna, Geschke, Durbridge and Teuns crested with 2’40’’ lead over the peloton. Barthe and Erviti joined the leading quintet with 50km to go while the peloton was timed 3’10’’ adrift.
KÄMNA UNTIL 100M TO GO
A maximum gap of 3’15’’ was recorded two kilometre further while Mikkel Bjerg was doing most of the pull at the head of the pack. The seven leaders were 2’ ahead with 20km to go. From there, Schachmann was no longer the virtual yellow jersey. Ineos Grenadier took over from UAE Team Emirates around the 10km to go mark with a time difference of 1’40’’. Erviti was the first breakaway rider to surrender. Kämna sped up just before the start of the ascent to La Super Planche. Geschke attacked with 6.8km to go. Kämna caught him and soloed 5km before the summit. The German retained 33’’ lead under the red flame. 100 metres before the end, Vingegaard passed him and Pogacar overhauled the Dane at the very end to take his eighth Tour de France stage victory.