Everybody said I'm done - Degenkolb revels in first Tour victory

Everybody said I'm done - Degenkolb revels in first Tour victory

Everybody said I'm done - Degenkolb revels in first Tour victory

Dylan Groenewegen has snatched his second win in a row on the Tour de France, while Australian contender Richie Porte has entered the overall top 10 for the first time.

It is a bitter blow for Porte after a broken collarbone in a horrific crash during last year's tour forced him to retire from the race.

Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet, who is riding in support of BMC leader Richie Porte, kept the overall lead for a fifth consecutive day.

But Van Avermaet, who predicted he would lose the yellow jersey before stages Tuesday and Wednesday, cracked on the second of three major climbs Wednesday.

"I think it's a good position to be in".

"This win was fantastic for my self confidence, I feel under less pressure now, a sprinter needs confidence", he said, "I'll be trying to win again tomorrow now!"

Sunday's course will include some cobbled sectors used in the single-day Paris-Roubaix race. "It's a insane moving circus around France and every day is different". "I am very happy with my team".

At the end of a tense day, Van Avermaet topped the general classification from Thomas, with Quick-Step Floors' Philippe Gilbert and Bob Jungels next in line, just a handful of seconds behind the Welshman.

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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.

Most of the other leading contenders, including Chris Froome, Romain Bardet, Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana and Richie Porte came home safely in the peloton.

While the Dutchman followed up Friday's success in Chartres with a Bastille Day victory in Amiens on stage eight, Cavendish could enjoy a respite from questions over his form as there was little he could have done differently this time.

"I think it's fantastic, I can't find the right words to express how it feels to win", said Degenkolb, who now has stage wins in all three Grand Tours.

"I've had bad luck, but I always had the will to come back to my best".

"I'm relieved to get through today and looking forward to getting into the mountains now where the real race for GC (general classification) will start", Froome said.

France's Romain Bardet, who was third overall a year ago, suffered three punctures but managed to limit the damage, only losing seven seconds to Froome and the four-time champion's Sky team mate Geraint Thomas.

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