Groenewegen wins 2nd straight stage at Tour

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John Degenkolb won a chaotic stage nine of the Tour de France over the cobbles to Roubaix, as race leader Greg Van Avermaet extended his overall advantage.

Belgian Greg van Avermaet retained the overall leader's yellow jersey."My shape is getting better by the day, I'm proud that I won again today", said Groenewegen, who won the final stage on the Champs Elysees a year ago.

Van Avermaet expertly navigated the cobbles to finish second behind stage victor John Degenkolb and increased his lead over Froome's Sky teammate Geraint Thomas in the overall standing to 43 seconds.

Despite missing out on the stage victory, Van Avermaet had the consolation of extending his lead in the general classification to 43 seconds to second place Geraint Thomas. "It was a good opportunity and I seized it".

"I love Roubaix", said Degenkolb, who was one of six riders badly injured when knocked down by a British tourist.

Degenkolb won Paris-Roubaix in 2015, but had endured two years of injuries and setbacks. Cycling betting odds suggest he was going to have a hard tour but it was suspected he wouldn't finish. "I am very happy with my team".

The 25-year-old Groenewegen, who rides for the Dutch Lotto team, flew out of the pack on France's July 14 national holiday to leave Greipel, Gaviria and Sagan trailing in his wake.

There was more misfortune for BMC as Tejay van Garderen, who should assume the team leadership in the mountains, also crashed and could not chase back on, falling from third to 30th overall.

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     Andre Greipel and Fernando Gaviria were battling on the side of the sprint
ITV SPORT Andre Greipel and Fernando Gaviria were battling on the side of the sprint

"It's a miracle I made it back, it's a miracle I'm still in the Tour de France", a dust covered Bardet said at the finishing line.

But Bardet was able to pace his way back alongside Landa and the duo lost just seven seconds to Froome's group.

Porte's team duly confirmed the Australian had been sent to hospital for examination.

Trek Segafredo's Degenkolb outsprinted Van Avermaet and Yves Lampaert to win.

As the Tour resumed after a rest day with a trip into the Alps, the Quick-Step Floors rider was among a large group that broke clear from the peloton in the early part of Stage 10.

"So maybe I'll get away Tuesday's stage", which is a rolling run into the Alps and looks flawless for him.

Although Van Avermaet retains yellow for now, it was in truth a dismal day for BMC. "I was feeling all right, I was as in a good position all the time, so yeah, all in all, it was a pretty good day".


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