Tour de France Stage 7: Dylan Groenewegen outsprints Fernando Gaviria

Unbelievable scenes as Ireland's Dan Martin wins Tour de France stage

Netherlands' Dylan Groenewegen, left, crosses the finish line ahead of Colombia's Fernando Gaviria, center, to win the seventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 231 kilometers (143.5 miles) with start in Fougeres and finish in Chartres, France, France, Friday, July 13, 2018. I thought when I first kicked I was floating, I was quite excited.

"(Porte) can be confident after this climb", Van Avermaet said. Sagan likened it to the Ardennes classics, Sme wrote, and he also said he liked it. "I was second there before and I feel like I should have won that day perhaps".

"It's not going to be easy to win here but we keep trying".

Since the route was announced in October, this 156.5km stage nine over the cobbles of northern France to Roubaix had been circled as the wildcard which could deliver a jolt to the race, and it did not disappoint.

But in 2016 the 29-year-old German came close to losing a finger amid a litany of injuries suffered when a auto driving down the wrong side of the road wiped out him and several team-mates during a training ride in Calpe, Spain.

"I was a bit nervous because of the headwind, I didn't think it was going to happen", Martin, 31, said.

"Third is okay, if I win what do I get except an extra point or two?"

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"It was a boring stage, no wind, no stress just boring, I was talking to everybody", he said.

He thanked Greg Van Avermaet, the overnight leader from BMC Racing, for his early move at the final turn.

With almost six hours in the saddle and hardly any action until the finale, there was plenty of time to relax and fool around during the longest stage of the Tour de France on Friday.

Froome is 14th, 1:05 behind Van Avermaet.

Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium, wearing the yellow jersey, took advantage of an intermediate bonus sprint to add two seconds to his overall lead - ahead of BMC teammate Tejay van Garderen of the United States.

With a notoriously hard 90 degree bend with 2km to go and speeds hitting 60 km/h, tensions were high over the closing kilometres as the sprinters' teams jockeyed for position.

Martin was one of several team leaders along with former Tour victor Vincenzo Nibali and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana who were caught off-guard by an attack by Quick-Step 100 kilometers into the stage during a straightaway that was exposed to crosswinds.

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