Italian Matteo Trentin won the seventh stage of the Tour de France – a 234.5-km ride from Epernay to Nancy – on Friday, while two top American contenders, Tejay van Garderen and Andrew Talansky, took tumbles.
Slovakian Peter Sagan took second and France’s Tony Gallopin finished third. Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
Van Garderen, 11th in the race at the start, fell with about 15 kilometres to go and lost about a minute to the other favourites.
Also involved in the crash was Colombian BMC team mate Darwin Atapuma who later withdrew from the event.
In the final straight Garmin-Sharp rider Talansky, ninth overall, fell before getting back on his bike.
Because the incident happened inside the final three kilometres, he was given with the same time as the bunch.
The sprinters dropped out when the peloton reached Col de Maron, a short fourth-category climb 20 kilometres from the finish.
In the final kick, a 1.3-km climb at an average gradient of 7.9 percent, Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet powered away from the pack before being caught.
Sagan was then beaten by a tyre’s length by Trentin, who also won a Tour stage in Lyon last year.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-07-11