As the Tour de France’s first true “transitional” stage this year, stage 7 marked the longest stage of the 2019 edition at a monstrous 231 kilometres. If you are reading this write-up because other previous engagements prevented you from watching live or you simply fell asleep during the stage, count yourself lucky. As I write this, I’m left questioning myself on why I woke up with 100km from the finish. It truly was one of those stages where one could’ve turned on the television with 2km to go and not missed a thing. With that said, please do keep reading, because I promise I’ve gone to great lengths to make this worth something.
In a repeat of last year’s stage 7, Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen muscled his way to the top of the sprinters to win his first stage of the 2019 edition. Aussie pocket rocket Caleb Ewan walked away with yet another second place whilst the Hulk himself, Peter Sagan, continued to rack up sprint points by placing third. Trek-Segafredo’s youngster-in-yellow Giulio Ciccone retained his slim lead in the general classification while fan-favorite Tim Wellens earned yet another day in the famous spotty dots.
Rider of the Race
By far and wide, Dylan Groenewegen is my favorite sprinter in this year’s Tour de France field. While the JumboBees have a formidable sprint train for him, I imagine it is still mightily difficult to outwit Elia Viviani when QuickStep have two lead-out men in the final 700 meters. Yet, that’s what Groenewegen was able to accomplish today. For simply winning the stage, he’s the rider of the race!
Plus, the Bulldog of Amsterdam is perhaps the best ever cycling nickname in the current era of professional road race!
A Moment of Excitement
There was one moment of excitement that nearly uplifted everyone’s spirits and had an opportunity to change the narrative of this stage. After the intermediate sprint at 33km to go, CCC Team and Ag2r took the front of the peloton and raised the pace.
With the peloton already slightly split due to accelerations from the intermediate sprint, this rising pace quickly found some of the “top” general classification contenders dropped from the peloton.
Unfortunately for the race’s excitement, this situation was short lived. The peloton sat up and Movistar sent workhorses back to ensure Nairo Quintana can finish in 11th place overall in Paris. In a flash, the excitement was over.
The excitement may not have amounted to anything, but this brought me a few snickers. As Midge put it, this is #NatureBreakGate.
Tractors, Chateaus, Art…
When the race is more than 30 minutes behind it’s slowest schedule with plenty of kilometeres remaining the commentators, helicopter pilots, and motorbike cameramen have to fill the air time with something. So, allow me to present you the tractors, chateaux, and field art of stage 7.
The Final Word
Stage 7 – Top 5
1 Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) 6:02:44
2 Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)
3 Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
4 Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida)
5 Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates)
General Classification – Top 10
1 Guilio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 23:14:55
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Decuninck-QuickStep) +0:06
3 Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) +0:32
4 George Bennet (Jumbo-Visma) +0:47
5 Geraint Thomas (Ineos) +0:49
6 Egan Bernal (Ineos) +0:53
7 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:58
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +1:04
9 Michael Woods (EF Education First) +1:13
10 Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +1:15
All the Jerseys
Maillot Jaune: Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)
Maillot Vert: Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe)
Maillot Blanc: Giulio Ciccone(Trek-Segafredo)
King of the Mountains: Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)
For the full race review, go to cyclingnews
Header image: GETTY/Velo/Tim de Waele