Sam Bennett's been forced to give up the Tour de France green jersey after been outdone by pace and cross-winds on stage 7.
The Deceuninck Quick-Step rider held a 12-point lead over Peter Sagan heading into Friday's stage, but saw that frittered away.
For the second time on this year's Tour, the stage was won by Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma), beating Edvald Boasson Hagen (NTT Pro Cycling) and Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels–Vital Concept) in a sprint to Lavaur.
After a crazy Stage 7, @woutvanaert claims his second stage victory on Tour de France 2020 ! ↪️ Relive the last KM of Stage 7!
Wout Van Aert remporte sa seconde victoire d'étape sur le Tour de France 2020 ! ↪️ Revivez le dernier kilomètre de l'étape 7 !#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/bKGRRdPGxt
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) September 4, 2020
"I'm really proud of this one", the Belgian said afterward, "I didn't expect it would be such a mess in the end, it would have been a shame not to give it a try."
Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retains the leader's yellow jersey, with a 3-second lead over Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma).
Early on today's stage, Bora-Hansgrohe put the hammer down in terms of pace, which led to not only Bennett but sprinters like Caleb Ewan being dropped.
As Nicolas Roche had alluded to on Thursday, stage 7 was meant to see the sprinters left to their own devices as those riding for general classification rode preserved energy for the Pyrenees.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has reclaimed the green jersey, and holds a 9-point lead over Bennett.
Sagan claims the team went against the orders of the team principal with their tactics, telling Eurosport, "We did a similar stage in 2013, which I won.
"We pulled the race all day, to get rid of sprinters, and that day I went and won.
"This time, it was similar but without the win. I’m very happy with my teammates because they did a really extraordinary job. We decided together to do it.
"The director at first didn’t really agree but the race went very well, and even the directors were happy in the end.
"I was unlucky in the sprint because my chain got blocked. It was a mechanical problem, yes, but that wasn’t the whole story.
"I was behind Van Aert, but then I got out of position, and everybody went left, I tried not to fall but I collided with someone, I don’t know who, and my chain came off. I’m lucky to not have crashed. After that, it was impossible to get to the front."
"I'm disappointed because we controlled the race all day. Everything seemed like it was very good and in the end I had bad luck in the final - I had the chain drop off and I missed a lot of points. That's cycling.
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