Tour de France 2014: Matteo Trentin wins stage seven
Matteo Trentin won stage seven of the Tour de France after edging out Peter Sagan in a sprint finish in Nancy.
A photo-finish split the pair with the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step rider winning by the width of a tyre as Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall race lead.
"We came to the Tour for Mark Cavendish to take the yellow jersey and it ended in a crash," said Italian Trentin of his team-mate's demise on stage one.
"The next morning he told us we could win a stage. We did it at last."
There was no change in the general classification, with Astana's Nibali remaining the overall leader and his main rivals, including Team Sky's Richie Porte and Tinkoff-Saxo rider Alberto Contador finishing in the leading bunch.
|Rob Hayles - BBC Sport commentator|
|"It was all in the lunge, that final lunge for the line. Sagan made a move early on to put the pressure on everyone else and he pushed on a little too much and proved he didn't quite have it. "He might struggle psychologically with the fact he hasn't won again but it's another top five finish for him."|
The Italian continues to lead his team-mate Jakob Fuglsang by two seconds in the overall standings, with Sagan third, 44 seconds adrift.
Australian Porte remains the highest-place rider of those likely to challenge Nibali, one minute 54 seconds back, while Spaniard Contador is a further 43 seconds behind.
Andrew Talansky, another of the general classification contenders, crashed in the finishing sprint after he was caught by Simon Gerrans but because the incident happened in the final 3km, the Garmin-Sharp rider was credited with the same time as those in the leading bunch.
BMC Racing's Tejay van Garderen was not quite so lucky after crashing with 15km to go. The American was unable to catch the group containing Nibali and lost more than one minute. He also lost Colombian team-mate Darwin Atapuma, a climbing specialist, who injured his knee in the same incident.
Friday's stage was not expected to provide too much of a shake-up in the general classification standings. All eyes were on Sagan, with two small climbs in the final 20km expected to suit the 24-year-old who leads the green points jersey classification.
Indeed, the eight other riders in his Cannondale squad set the pace on the front of the peloton for much of the 234.5km (145.7 miles) race from Epernay - the second-longest stage on this year's race.
A group of six riders broke clear early on but once their advantage had grown to four minutes, Cannondale took control, reduced their lead and kept it hovering between the two and three minutes mark.
|What to expect on stage eight|
|"It won't be a big day for the General Classification riders but there could be a few splits, with a few seconds being gained or lost here or there. "A breakaway could succeed, it all depends on who has got the race leader's yellow jersey. "The climbs aren't too severe so it's a stage I'd look to try and win if I wasn't looking after Richie Porte."|
By the time the race reached the first climb, a 3.2km ascent of Cote de Maron, the escapees had been caught and several riders tried to make counter-attacking breaks.
All were shut down until Sagan, whose team-mates had deserted him after expending all their energies earlier in the stage, made a break towards the top of the second and final climb with 5km remaining.
BMC Racing's Greg van Avermaet went with him but refused to help set the pace and the duo were caught inside the final 1.5km.
However, Sagan had enough of a kick to be involved at the finish but he was edged out by Trentin, who had benefitted from a couple of team-mates pacing him up the finishing straight.
The only consolation for Sagan is that he extended his lead in the green jersey classification to 113 points over France's Europcar rider Bryan Coquard in his quest to win the points race for a third successive Tour.
Saturday's eighth stage is a 161km-race from Tomblaine to Gerardmer which features the first medium mountain climbs and a summit finish.
Stage seven result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 5hrs 18mins 39secs
2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Cannondale) Same time
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra/Lotto-Belisol)
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Giant-Shimano)
5. Simon Gerrans (Aus/Orica GreenEdge)
6. Daniel Oss (Ita/BMC Racing)
7. Cyril Gautier (Fra/Europcar)
8. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra/IAM Cycling)
9. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel/Belkin)
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing)
General Classification after stage 7:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 29hrs 57mins 04secs
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den/Astana) +2secs
3. Peter Sagan (Svk/Cannondale) +44secs
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +50secs
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel/Lotto-Belisol) +1min 45secs
6. Tony Gallopin (Fra/Lotto-Belisol) Same time
7. Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky) +1min 54secs
8. Andrew Talansky (US/Garmin-Sharp) +2mins 05secs
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +2mins 11secs
10. Romain Bardet (Fra/AG2R) Same time
15. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +2mins 30secs
16. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff-Saxo) +2mins 37secs
18. Tejay van Garderen (US/BMC Racing) + 3mins 14secs