photo credits @ Tour of Britain/Twitter
André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) won stage 7of the Tour of Britain today, in what turned out to be a photo finish with Team Sky’s Elia Viviani.
In a closely matched duel, Greipel managed to edge out the Italian rider by a matter of millimeters – to seize the victory.
IAM Cycling’s Sondre Holst Enger rounded out he podium in third.
Meanwhile. overall race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) finished in fifth place to safely retained his grip on the yellow jersey – heading into tomorrow’s final stage in London.
After the day’s original four-man breakaway group featuring Chris Opie (One Pro Cycling), Tom Stewart (Madison-Genesis), Johnny McEvoy (NFTO) and Alistair Slater (An Post-Chain Reaction) were reeled in, a new escape group formed, this time, containing Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Graham Briggs (JLT Condor), Bram Tankink (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Gabriel Cullaigh (Great Britain).
After Lotto-Soudal lead the initial chase, Madison-Genesis took up the pace-setting in an attempt to catch the breakaway group, and set up their man Stewart for the finale.
Madison-Genesis’s efforts saw Dowsett get caught first with 21km to go. Briggs and Cullaigh were caught with 18km to go on the final climb.
From there, Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) attacked over the top of the climb, but was caught after just a few kilometers. At that point, Rob Partridge (NFTO) had a go, but was caught with 9km to go.
Lotto-Soudal and Sky then hit the front of the peloton as their lead-out trains organized themselves around Greipel and Viviani.
Greipel hit the front in the final 500 meters, but Viviani accelerated furiously to his left, and for a moment it looked as though the Italian rider had taken his third stage victory in the race.
However, a study of the finish-line photos confirmed that Greipel had in fact won the stage.
Top 20 Finishers
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto – Soudal 5:14:42
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
3 Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
4 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx – Quick Step
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka
6 Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINS
7 Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
8 Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
9 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Cannondale – Garmin
10 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto – Soudal
11 Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Team Cannondale – Garmin
12 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Esp) Movistar Team
13 Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Esp) Movistar Team
14 Zdenek _tybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick Step
15 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
16 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
17 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick Step
18 Michael Mørkøv (Den) Tinkoff – Saxo
19 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Rsa) MTN – Qhubeka
20 Alex Peters (GBr) Great Britain
General Classification after stage 7
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka 33:02:36
2 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:13
3 Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:00:43
4 Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINS 0:00:44
5 Zdenek _tybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick Step 0:00:51
6 Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Esp) Movistar Team
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
8 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Cannondale – Garmin 0:00:59
9 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Tinkoff – Saxo
10 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) An Post – Chainreaction 0:01:02
11 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff – Saxo 0:01:14
12 Alex Peters (GBr) Great Britain 0:01:19
13 Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Esp) Movistar Team
14 Rasmus Christian Quaade (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:01:21
15 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto – Soudal 0:01:33
16 Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:00
17 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Team Cannondale – Garmin 0:02:07
18 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 0:02:11
19 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Team Cannondale – Garmin 0:02:15
20 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling 0:02:58
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