On Friday, the Tour de France peloton reached Bordeaux after a seventh stage made for the sprinters. Jasper Philipsen seized the opportunity to get his third win on the race, while the entire Groupama-FDJ squad finished without issue by the Garonne River. David Gaudu and Thibaut Pinot finished within the main peloton and kept their positions overall. The final might be harder on Saturday in Limoges.

First there were four, then three, then two, and eventually, there was only one left. At the start of Mont-de-Marsan, on stage 7 of the Tour de France, several men made a small attack to distance themselves from the peloton, but in the end, only Simon Guglielmi decided to keep on going. The French rider, who rode for two years with Groupama-FDJ, therefore found himself alone in the lead for almost a hundred kilometres towards Bordeaux. At first, the peloton remained very calm and did not spend too much strength to control the lone fugitive, but the latter eventually received some support from Pierre Latour and Nans Peters in the final third of the course. However, the gap of the trio barely exceeded the one-minute bar, and the two freshest competitors stayed at the front until the last ten kilometres. With four kilometres remaining, the peloton eventually brought back the last man standing, after a nervous last hour of racing and just before the long-awaited sprint. Despite some proper nervousness, no crash happened, and Jasper Philipsen then took victory ahead of Mark Cavendish.

“The team is riding well”, Olivier Le Gac

All the Groupama-FDJ riders completed the stage in the main peloton, without losing time, which meant David Gaudu could keep his seventh place overall. “We tried to drink as much as possible, to eat, to spin the legs and to make the most of the calmer moments in the first hundred kilometres”, explained Olivier Le Gac. “When there’s no real breakaway or the pace is easy, you know it’s going to be very nervous in the end. You need to be able to get back into it as the final approaches and stay focused. You can’t relax too much. Then, you have to enter the fight, position David, and avoid splits so as not to be caught behind”. “It was very hot today, and we needed to pay attention to that”, added Philippe Mauduit. “The course was also very tricky on the final. Therefore, we still had to be careful. For us, the goal was obviously to get safely through this stage, and that’s what we managed to do. So it’s a good day from that point of view.”

Saturday, twenty-four hours before climbing atop of the Puy-de-Dôme, the riders will cover 200 kilometres towards Limoges, where the winner will come from an uphill sprint after another hot day. “You need to think about drinking enough, getting hydrated and staying cool as much as possible during the first days of heat, so as not to pay for it later on”, Olivier concluded. “At the moment, I’m happy with the legs. The team is also riding well, the group life is great, and everything is going well. We will do everything to keep it going in the next two weeks.”

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