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Tour de France stage 7: Chavanel solos back into yellow

This year's first mountains and a summit near the finish means a reshuffle of the GC...

The main general classification riders marked each other closely in Stage 7 of the Tour de France this afternoon as Sylvain Chavanel of Quick Step overhauled team-mate Jerome Pineau on the day’s final climb, the Category 2 Cote de Lamoura, to win in Station des Rouses in the Jura Mountains. In doing so, Chavanel moved back into the race leader’s maillot jaune that he had worn on Tuesday after winning at Spa the previous day.

Then, the French rider, the sole survivor of a day-long breakaway, had profited from a nervous peloton, led by Team Saxo Bank’s Fabian Cancellara, effectively neutralising the race following a series of crashes in the Ardennes, allowing him to solo to the stage win.

The Quick Step rider, who had staged a remarkable recovery after suffering a fractured skull in late April, sported the maillot jaune for just 24 hours before Cancellara took it back from him on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles that were so decisive in Tuesday’s Stage 3 to Arenberg Porte de Hainaut.

However, today there was no question today of him benefiting from any largesse on the Team Saxo Bank rider’s part as Cancellara, spending the 21st day of his Tour de France career in yellow – the end of his stints in the jersey often coinciding with the arrival of the mountains – fell off the back of the main bunch on the day’s penultimate climb, the Col de la Croix de la Serra.

Although the Swiss rider used his descending skills to rejoin the group on the way to the foot of the final ascent, he was struggling once more as the road went upwards again, and eventually came home nearly a quarter of an hour behind the winner, marshalled by team-mates Jens Voigt and Matti Breschel.

After crossing the line, Chavanel revealed that as he reached his team-mate Pineau, the latter urged him to “Go, go!” having himself run out of steam after going of the front of the race with four other riders just five kilometres after the start of the 165.5km stage in Tournus.

That Pineau was in that break was little surprise – yesterday, the Frenchman had put the peloton on notice yesterday that he planned to get into an early attack in an attempt to hold onto the polka dot jersey for as long as possible, and he kept good to his promise, heading his fellow escapees over the day’s first five climbs.

Rafael Valls Ferri of Footon-Servetto came home second, 57 seconds down on Chavanel, while Rabobank’s Juan Manuel Garate was third, a further 30 seconds down, some 10 seconds ahead of a chasing pack that included a number of the main general classification riders.

Astana had forced the pace at the head of that group on the final ascent, with Alberto Contador closely marked by the three riders who occupied the places behind him when last year’s edition of the race finished – Team Saxo Bank’s Andy Schleck, Lance Armstrong of RadioShack and Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins as well as BMC Racing’s Cadel Evans.

The latter now moves up to second in the general classification, after Geraint Thomas, previous occupant of that position, struggled on the final ascent, eventually coming in more than five minutes behind the winner, and the Team Sky rider also drops to eighth in the young riders classification, with his white jersey going to Andy Schleck

While the main pretenders to Contador’s crown may have kept their powder dry today, there are likely to be fireworks tomorrow on the first of two big mountain stages in the Alps, with 189km of riding including the Category 1 Col de la Ramaz coming 35km before a similarly categorised summit finish in Morzine-Avoriaz."


Top 20 Tour de France 2010 Stage 7

1  CHAVANEL Sylvain       QUICK STEP           4h 22' 52
2  VALLS FERRI Rafael     FOOTON-SERVETTO       + 00' 57
3  GARATE Juan Manuel     RABOBANK              + 01' 27
4  VOECKLER Thomas        BBOX BOUYGUES TELECOM + 01' 40
5  PERGET Mathieu         CAISSE D’EPARGNE      + 01' 40
6  MORENO Daniel          OMEGA PHARMA-LOTTO    + 01' 40
7  FEDRIGO Pierrick       BBOX BOUYGUES TELECOM + 01' 47
8  HESJEDAL Ryder         GARMIN-TRANSITIONS    + 01' 47
9  PLAZA MOLINA Ruben     CAISSE D’EPARGNE      + 01' 47
10 CAPECCHI Eros          FOOTON-SERVETTO       + 01' 47
11 ROCHE Nicolas          AG2R LA MONDIALE      + 01' 47
12 GERDEMANN Linus        TEAM MILRAM           + 01' 47
13 CONTADOR               Alberto ASTANA        + 01' 47
14 EVANS Cadel            BMC RACING TEAM       + 01' 47
15 GAUTIER Cyril          BBOX BOUYGUES TELECOM + 01' 47
16 ARMSTRONG Lance        TEAM RADIOSHACK       + 01' 47
17 MONIER Damien          COFIDIS               + 01' 47
19 SANCHEZ Luis-Leon      CAISSE D’EPARGNE      + 01' 47
20 SCHLECK Andy           TEAM SAXO BANK        + 01' 47

Top 20 General Classification after Stage 7

1 CHAVANEL Sylvain        QUICK STEP          33h 01' 23
2  EVANS Cadel            BMC RACING TEAM       + 01' 25
3  HESJEDAL Ryder         GARMIN-TRANSITIONS    + 01' 32
4  SCHLECK Andy           TEAM SAXO BANK        + 01' 55
5  VINOKOUROV Alexandre   ASTANA                + 02' 17
6  CONTADOR Alberto       ASTANA                + 02' 26
8  ROCHE Nicolas          AG2R LA MONDIALE      + 02' 28
10 MENCHOV Denis          RABOBANK              + 02' 35
11 WIGGINS Bradley        SKY PRO CYCLING       + 02' 35
12 KREUZIGER Roman        LIQUIGAS-DOIMO        + 03' 10
13 SANCHEZ Luis-Leon      CAISSE D’EPARGNE      + 03' 11
14 ARMSTRONG Lance        TEAM RADIOSHACK       + 03' 16
15 LÖVKVIST Thomas        SKY PRO CYCLING       + 03' 20
16 VALLS FERRI Rafael     FOOTON-SERVETTO       + 03' 39
17 LEIPHEIMER Levi        TEAM RADIOSHACK       + 03' 39
18 GARATE Juan Manuel     RABOBANK              + 03' 44
19 BRAJKOVIC Janez   TEAM RADIOSHACK            + 03' 46
20 ROGERS Michael   TEAM HTC-COLUMBIA           + 03' 46


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Simon_MacMichael | 13 years ago

I was wondering which bit of the stage report had upset maoudis. Then I checked how his Fantasy TDF team got on today. Ouch  3

maoudis | 13 years ago

 20  20  20  20  20  20 what a pile of junk

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