Tour de France 2018: Dylan Groenewegen Wins Stage 7, Greg Van Avermaet Leads

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJuly 13, 2018

Netherlands' Dylan Groenewegen reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the seventh stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Fougeres and Chartres, western France, on July 13, 2018. (Photo by Jeff PACHOUD / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)
JEFF PACHOUD/Getty Images

Dylan Groenewegen of Team LottoNL-Jumbo won Stage 8 of the 2018 Tour de France on Friday, beating Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan in another exciting sprint finish.

It's a first stage victory for the Dutchman on this tour in what is the longest stage of this year's race. The route from Fougeres to Chartres is largely flat but comes in at a punishing 230 kilometres.

Tour de France shared Friday's results:

The early stages of the race saw a few solo breakaways as the riders made their way across northern France.

Thomas Degand was the first to make a move before being reeled back in. Yoann Offredo was next and managed to move nine minutes clear at one point.

However, the peloton had Offredo back in their sights by the 90-kilometre mark:

Laurent Pichon of Fortuneo-Samsic also hit the front with 80 kilometres to go and worked hard to maintain his advantage.

The weather conditions were also proving problematic:

Pichon's advantage was also wiped out as the riders headed towards the closing stages:

The sprinters began to move into position, with Greg Van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen at the tip of the peloton and Philippe Gilbert, Geraint Thomas and Tom Dumoulin all well-placed.

Van Avermaet managed to extend his yellow-jersey lead during the stage by winning the intermediate sprint to gain three bonus points.

The pace slowed as the riders approached the finish in anticipation of another dramatic dash to the line.

With the end in sight, Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Gaviria and Arnaud Demare all made their way to the front of the peloton as the pace began to pick up again.

It was Groenewegen who proved the strongest, as he picked up his first win since claiming a sprint finish on the Champs-Elysees in 2017.

Van Avermaet keeps the yellow jersey ahead of Team Sky's Geraint Thomas:

There's no let up yet for the riders as they head to Dreux on Saturday, which is Bastille Day in France. From there, they will race 181 kilometres to Amiens, with another sprint finish likely.

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