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Ineos echelons cause unexpected GC shakeup on Stage 7 of the Tour de France

Landa, Porte, Carapaz and Pogačar lose time

2020 Tour de France Stage 1 Nice Photo by: Sirotti

After being on their heels for the first few stages, Ineos Grenadiers have asserted themselves in the last couple of days, and the squad forced splits in the windy final quarter of Friday’s Stage 7 to reshuffle the GC. Wout Van Aert won his second stage in Lavaur, where Hugo Houle came 11th. It wasn’t the anticipated sprint stage at all. Adam Yates (Great Britain/Mitchelton-Scott) kept the yellow jersey.

The Course
The 168 km heading southwest from Millau to Lavaur looked like a simple route for the sprinters, but winds were feared.

After polka-dot jersey holder Benoit Cosnefroy scampered ahead to take King of the Mountains points on Côte de Luzençon, Peter Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe put the hammer down and the story of the next hour was the German squad gapping the other sprinters, including two stage winners, Alexander Kristoff and Caleb Ewan, and the green jersey Sam Bennett. Sagan was second place to Matteo Trentin at the day’s intermediate sprint.

With the sprinters well back, Thomas De Gendt attacked over the top of Col de Peyronnenc
with 98 km to go and soloed just ahead of the peloton for about 50 km.

Just before the bunch turned into cross winds, Ineos started to whip up the pace. This created an important split, Trentin, Richie Porte, Bauke Mollema, Mikel Landa and Tadej Pogačar third place call in the second group.

Canada’s Hugo Houle worked at the front of the leading group for Angel Lopez, contributing with Groupama-FDJ and Jumbo-Visma. Ineos’s own Richard Carapaz flatted and joined the Pogačar-Landa group.

After Sagan lost his chain, Van Aert was the fastest of the rest to take his brace.

The Pyrenees beckon on Saturday: the Col de Peyresourde peaks 11-km from the finish in Loudenvielle.

2020 Tour de France Stage 7
1) Wout Van Aert (Belglium/Jumbo-Visma) 3:32:03
2) Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway/NTT) s.t.
3) Bryan Coquard (France/B&B Hotel) s.t.
11) Hugo Houle (Canada/Astana) s.t.

2020 Tour de France GC
1) Adam Yates (Great Britain/Mitchelton-Scott)
2) Primož Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) +0:03
3) Guillaume Martin (France/Cofidis) +0:09Si