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Tour de France: Steve Cummings wins in bizarre ending

By The Sports Xchange
Tour de France: Steve Cummings wins in bizarre ending
Steve Cummings. (YouTube)

British rider Steve Cummings won the seventh stage of the Tour de France, making his move on the final climb Friday.

As Cummings celebrated his win, back down the road the inflatable arch marking one kilometer to go deflated and slowed down the riders, who had to lift the arch off the ground and slip their bikes underneath it.

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"Of all my victories, I think it's the best one. The Tour is the Tour, it's special," said Cummings, who was overlooked by British Cycling for the Rio Olympics next month. "The Olympics is the Olympics, they made the selection. I'm over it, as an athlete you just deal with disappointment. This (the Tour) is the biggest show, it's much bigger than any Olympic Games."

Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium, who was in a breakaway with Cummings, held on to the yellow jersey with a fifth-place finish.

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Defending champion Chris Froome of Great Britain and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana of Colombian finished in the main pack during the first stage in the Pyrenees.

Adam Yates, a British rider, was hit by the collapsed arch and reached the finish with a bloodied chin.

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Organizers said they would take finishing times three kilometers from the finish of the 101-mile leg from L'Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle, France.

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"It won't make a big difference because there was a downhill and flat portion before the finish," said Thierry Gouvenou, the Tour technical director. "It was a major incident, but we have the means to deal with it."

Daryl Impey of South Africa finished second and Daniel Navarro of Spain crossed third, each 65 seconds behind Cummings.

In the overall, Van Avermaet leads Julian Alaphilippe of France by 6:36, with Alejandro Valverde of Spain third, 6:38 back.

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"I did not plan to be in a breakaway," Van Avermaet said. "I'm not a good climber, I'm a classic rider, and the big favorites did not see me as a threat. Tomorrow, it will be too difficult with all the climbs, but I'm happy I spent an extra day in the yellow jersey."

The Tour remains in the Pyrenees for the next two days. Stage 8 on Saturday is a challenging 114-mile leg from Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon that features four climbs.

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