Matej Mohoric takes Tour de France stage 7


Slovenian rider Matej Mohoric captured his first-ever Tour de France stage victory at Le Creusot on Friday, winning stage 7 while Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel held the yellow jersey for another day.

Mohoric, of Bahrain Victorious, and Van der Poel of Alpecin Fenix were able to join a breakaway over the 155-mile course, the longest Tour stage in 21 years.

Richard Carapaz of Ineos Grenadiers tried to pick up significant time on fellow contenders Tadej Pogacar and teammate Geraint Thomas but ran out of gas in the closing miles and was 5:19 back of the overall lead.

Jumbo Visma’s Primoz Roglic, among the top betting choices, struggled badly and faces a major task to rejoin the leaders.

Mohoric completed a Grand Tour triple. He also won stages at Cuenca at La Vuelta 2017 and Gualdo Tadino at the 2018 Giro d’Italia.

“This definitely is the best day of my career,” Mohoric said. “I’ve won stages on the two other GTs, and it has always been on the longest stage of those GTs — that endurance effort suits my characteristics.

“The fact I was to win the stage didn’t sink until I went under the flamme rouge,” he added. “That’s when I started to cry out of pure emotion.”

Van der Poel extended his lead to 30 seconds over Wout van Aert, who pushed past Pogacar into the overall runner-up spot.

“It has been a very hard stage,” Van der Poel said. “It is not often that you ride over 255 km — especially not on a Grand Tour. … I was on my very limit, but I’m happy to keep the yellow jersey.”

Kasper Asgreen and Mohoric will start Saturday’s mountain stage in third and fourth, respectively. Pogacar fell to fifth, 3:43 behind Van der Poel.

The 21-stage course is scheduled to conclude on July 18 in Paris.

–Field Level Media