By Thomas Dodd
- Briton Steve Cummings claims stage seven with solo break
- Win in fourth for Britain and Dimension Data in first week of Tour
- Inflatable banner signalling 1km to go collapses on GBRs Adam Yates.
LAC DE PAYOLLE, FRANCE – Steven Cummings made it four successes for Britain in the opening week of the Tour de France with a brilliant solo victory on the first day in the mountains.
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In a day that ended with a bizarre twist for British riders, Adam Yates climbed to second overall despite being knocked over by the inflatable 1km to go banner, which collapsed as the majority of the main contenders made their way into the finish.
Retrospective action from the Tour’s committee judged that he had lost his advantage over the peloton owing to the crash, and Yates was given the time over the chase group he had amassed with three kilometres to go.
The change of timings on the official classification for the stage meant Yates is now Greg van Avermaet’s closest challenger. The 23-year-old will also wear the white jersey for best young rider tomorrow.
Before all the commotion of airless inflatables, the day was all about Cummings, who was the sole survivor from an escape group of 29 riders.
The Briton, who was recently overlooked by selectors for the GB Olympic team in Rio made a mockery of his omission by leading seasoned climbers such as Vincenzo Nibali and Daniel Navarro in his wake as they ascended the 1,500m high category one climb the Col d’Aspin.
Behind them, race leader Greg van Avermaet put in a highly commendable ride to finish fifth on the road and extend his advantage at the top by nearly forty seconds.
The main protagonists marked each other closely all the way to end, the only notable absentee from the main peloton was Thibaut Pinot. The young French star lost over three and half minutes to some of his GC rivals and the FDJ rider will now likely go hunting stage wins to make up for the fact a podium place in Paris now looks beyond him.
Day two in the Pyrenees on Saturday will feature one of the most regularly visited base towns, as the race will head from Pau to Bagneres de Luchon, crossing over the iconic Col du Tourmalet and Col du Peyresourde in the process.
Stage 7: Arpajon-Sur-Cere to Montauban (190.5km)
1. Steven Cummings (GBR) Dimension Data 3h48m09seconds
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica +1m04
3. Daniel Navarro (ESP) Cofidis +1m04
4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Astana +1m58
5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing +2m57
6. Luis Angel Mate Mardones (ESP) Cofidis +3m37
7. Geraint Thomas (GBR) Sky +3m37
8. Wouter Poels (HOL) Sky +3m37
9. Gorka Izaguirre (ESP) Movistar +3m37
10. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar +3m37
11. Chris Froome, Sky +3m37seconds
73. Adam Yates, Sky +3m30
156. Luke Rowe, Sky +17m25
177. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +20m09
189. Ian Stannard, Sky +20m09
190. Daniel McLay, Dimension Data +20m09
Overall Standings (After Stage 6):
1. Greg van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing 34h09m44seconds
2. Adam Yates (GBR) Orica +5m50
3. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Etixx-QuickStep +5m51
4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Movistar +5m53
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha +5m54
6. Chris Froome (GBR) Sky +5m57
7. Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar +5m57
8. Warren Barguil (FRA) Giant-Alpecin +5m57
9. Pierre Rolland (FRA) Cannondale +5m57
10. Daniel Martin (IRE) Etixx-QuickStep +5m57
22. Geraint Thomas, Sky +6m37
106. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data +40m41
139. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data +47m07
161. Luke Rowe, Sky +50m41
174. Daniel McLay, Fortuneo +52m39
179. Ian Stannard, Sky +54m45
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