After already winning stage 5, Wout van Aert also claimed victory on the 7th stage of the Tour de France after a frantic and fast finale. Van Aert won from a reduced bunch sprint after the race was split into echelons.
The race was blown to pieces by crosswinds with just over 40 km to go. Van Aert didn’t seem to have any trouble keeping up the fast pacing set by Bora-Hansgrohe, while supporting his leader Roglic and saving energy to eventually contest the win. With an impressive acceleration in the final 100 metres he powered past Stuyven, Hagen and Coquard to cheer in Lavaur.
It is Van Aert’s 5th World Tour win, following his earlier triumphs at Milan – Sanremo, Strade Bianche Critérium du Dauphiné and stage 5 on Wednesday.
Wout van Aert:
“I am very proud of this victory and how we rode as a team today. It was a very fast stage because Bora immediately went full throttle on the first climb. After that, it never stopped. At the end there was still a lot of chaos and it was very hectic because of the crosswinds. Everyone feared them. The plan was to get Primoz (Roglic) and Tom (Dumoulin) through the stage without damage and time loss. That worked out well. I never expected such a mess and such a battle. As many sprinters were dropped and we were left in front with only a small group, I took the opportunity to fight for victory again. The guys started the sprint quite early and I was able to follow their slipstream. When Boasson Hagen accelerated, I went along and timed my sprint perfectly. It took a lot of energy, but it was worth it. This is really amazing.”