Belgium rider wins final sprint to claim first in Stage 7 of the Tour de France today.
By Chuck Gibson (Interview quotes provided by Le Tour de France)
INTERNATIONAL (September 4, 2020) – Wout Van Aert is the first to claim multiple stage wins with his Stage 7 sprint victory in the Tour de France today.
The 2020 Tour de France is shaping up to be one of the fastest ever with Van Aert covering today’s 168 km (104 mile) route in 3h 32’ 03” to win his second stage victory this tour. He sat patiently about four riders back as sprinters began breaking for the finish, but as Julian Alaphillipe nearly collided with another rider and threw his hands up in protest, the Belgium Van Aert accelerated past all riders ahead of him to triumph again.
“I didn’t expect to sprint for the win today,” said Van Aert. ““I’m really proud of this one. We rode flat out straight from the gun. It’s more of a surprise today. Nobody expected such a hard race!”
At the end of the day, the Yellow Jersey remains on the back of Adam Yates from Great Britain. There was no change in the top two overall leaders with Primoz Roglic right behind Yates in second overall just 3 seconds off the pace.
“I’ve kept yellow, so it went well for me,” said Yates. “I stayed out of trouble the whole day, although at the end the race was a bit hectic. I’m looking forward to see what we can do tomorrow.”
Julian Alaphillipe, despite his protest and failure in the sprint finish today, picked up a couple spots in the overall standings moving up to 11 still just 15 seconds behind Yates. Alaphillipe lost the Yellow Jersey to Yates due to a 20 second penalty at the end of Stage 5. He held the lead after winning Stage 2, but gave up the lead with the penalty and is trying to fight his way back into Yellow. Saturday and Sunday will test the mettle of the overall leaders as the Tour heads into the Pyrenees Mountain stages.
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