Van Avermaet Defends His Yellow Jersey7. July 2016, Montauban (FRA) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet soaked up his first day in the leader’s Yellow Jersey at the Tour de France, coming home just behind the sprint to retain the jersey for stage 7.
The 190.5km stage was one for the sprinters, with Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) taking the win in Montauban, edging out Marcel Kittel (Etixx Quick Step) and Dan McLay (Fortuneo- Vital Concept).
Van Avermaet and his BMC Racing Team teammates spent the day towards the front of the peloton, keeping a two-rider breakaway safely down the road, until the sprinters’ teams worked to pull them back and set the stage for a sprint finish.
Van Avermaet takes the Yellow Jersey into stage 7 which will see the peloton tackle the first big mountain stage and battle of the General Classification contenders.
Quotes of the Day
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It couldn’t have gone better I think. It was a beautiful day, not too hilly, beautiful weather, no stress and just a hard final. In the end it was really good, there were a lot of Belgian people on the road on vacation with flags and they supported me really well so it was a wonderful day for me. We are a cycling country so it’s really nice to have a few Belgians up there in the final and a stage win with me, and the Yellow Jersey. It was one of the best days of my career so far.”
“It was a pretty calm day but it was too hectic to go for the sprint. I was not recovered form yesterday either so I could not go for the sprint. But also with the stress it was just about getting safely over the line. I tried to recover as well as possible from yesterday. I will try to keep the jersey tomorrow on the last climb and I hope that I might. We’ll see how the legs feel tomorrow but I’m going to try and keep it for as long as possible. Five minutes is a lot but not so much in a mountain stage. We will see tomorrow.”
“It was good to pass the day with no troubles. It had a bit of a technical finish but I’m looking forward to tomorrow, going back into some climbing. I’ve raced up Col d’Aspin quite a lot. I’ve done the recon on it this year. I think someone has to try there. It’s not the most technical descent down to the finish. The stage in Andorra is one of the hardest stages in the Tour this year, so we’ll have to evaluate on the day and in the moment and see what’s possible.”
Tejay van Garderen:
“I don’t quite know what we’re expecting from tomorrow. A breakaway could win, or maybe we’ll see Movistar make another hard tempo like they did yesterday. There are possibilities so we just have to be prepared for everything. The Andorra stage will certainly be one of the hardest stages. Some of the stage sin the Alpes are also really hard.”
“I think it’s a pleasure for us to have the jersey and ride in the front for Greg. He is always giving us so much so it’s nice that we can give something back and ride in the front for him. It’s quite special.”
Tour de France
Stage 6, Limoges > Le Lioran (216km)
Top 3: Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Etixx- Quick Step), Dan McLay (Fortuneo – Vital Concept)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 25. Michael Schaer, 28. Greg Van Avermaet, 38. Marcus Burghardt
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 1. Greg Van Avermaet, 11. Tejay van Garderen, 27. Richie Porte
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