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Tour de France poised for shake-up as its longest stage heads for the hills

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Spectators at the Tour de France – GETTY IMAGES

05:00 AM

Catch-up: Highlights of yesterday’s stage . . .

can be watched here

04:55 AM

Bonjour!

Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage seven at the Tour de France, the 249.1-kilometer run from Vierzon to Le Creusot. Following another location that transported cycling fans back over a decade to an era when Mark Cavendish won sprint finishes for fun, today’s stage promises to be a wholly different affair. At 249. km is the longest at this year’s Tour and has more distance than any other day in the world’s biggest bike race for over two decades. Anyway, before we look at the route, let’s remind ourselves about the overall state of play in the race.

After finishing safely in the bunch after first helping Alpecin-Fenix team-mate Tim Merlier to challenge for the stage where he was runner-up to Cavendish, Mathieu van der Poel kept his top spot in the general classification and so will again were the Maillot Jaune, the leader’s yellow jersey. The Dutchman takes an eight-second lead over defending champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) into today’s stage. At the same time, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) starts the day. Third, 30sec behind his great rival Van der Poel.

Tour de France

Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick Step) will wear the maillot vert, the green jersey, for the third day at this year’s Tour, the winner of the 2011 competition, taking a 46-point lead over Philipsen, while Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) is third another three points back.

Once again, there were no changes in the mountains classification on Thursday. So for the sixth consecutive day, Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe) will be dressed in the maillot à pois, the polka dot jersey, a competition the Dutchman who was born one meter above sea level has led for five days. He wore it on behalf of Van der Poel for one day.

And finally, Pogacar will again wear the maillot blanc, or the white jersey, as the best young rider ahead of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) in second while David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) kept hold of his third spot after what was a quiet day for the general classification riders.

 

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