• Tour de France

Trentin takes chaotic seventh stage by a whisker

ESPN staff
July 11, 2014
Matteo Trentin, right, edged Peter Sagan to victory in a thrilling photo finish © Getty Images

Matteo Trentin edged Peter Sagan in a thrilling photo finish amid late drama in the seventh stage of the Tour de France between Epernay and Nancy.

Vincenzo Nibali stayed safe in the race leader's yellow jersey after the 234.5km stage, which saw several crashes late on.

After a chaotic hilly prelude to a sprint finish, Sagan was beaten by a whisker at the line and is still yet to win a stage this year despite coming close on several occasions. Omega Pharma - Quick Step's Trentin records his second career Tour stage win.

As the pack approached the first climb, Tejay van Garderen was left playing catch up and he ended up losing a big chunk of time in the general classification standings, finishing one minute and three seconds behind winner Trentin and the group containing Nibali, Richie Porte and Alberto Contador.

Sagan trails Nibali by 44 seconds while Porte is a minute and 54 seconds behind.

Most of the sprinters, including Andre Griepel and Marcel Kittel - who won three of the opening four stages - were dropped in a hilly finale with 18km to go.

However, a big crash in the peloton saw Van Garderen down on the tarmac while there was more bad news for BMC Racing with Darwin Atapuma forced to abandoned.

With the race to the finish on, no one was waiting around to make sure Van Garderen was OK and he had to borrow Peter Velits' bike as he and BMC played catch up from the back.

With just 11km to go, the average speed rose to 44km per hour as Sky's Geraint Thomas powered away at the front in aid of team-mate Porte.

Sagan then attacked over the top of the final climb as Greg van Avermaet stayed on his wheel, while Van Garderen's task was made even harder when the peloton split on the climb.

A few seconds ahead, it looked like no one would catch Van Avermaet and Sagan but they were soon reeled in.

There was then a big crash on the final bend just behind the leaders with Garmin-Sharp's Andrew Talansky going down, before Trentin won his battle with Sagan to take victory.

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