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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Trentin nabs stage with thrilling photo-finish victory

Published 12/07/2014 | 02:30

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Italy's Matteo Trentin crosses the finish line ahead of Slovakian rider Peter Sagan to win the seventh stage of the Tour de France from Epernay and finishing in Nancy. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong
Italy's Matteo Trentin (right) crosses the finish line ahead of Slovakian rider Peter Sagan to win the seventh stage of the Tour de France from Epernay and finishing in Nancy. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Matteo Trentin of Italy won the seventh stage of the Tour de France in a photo finish, after two top American hopefuls went down on another day of spills. Fellow Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.

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Trentin, a cheery 24-year-old who won a stage in the Tour of Switzerland earlier this year, beat Slovakia's Peter Sagan by no more than a centimetre on the finish-line photo of the final sprint. The finish was so close that the Tour's website initially declared Sagan the winner.

The Cannondale star, who took home the green jersey given to the Tour's best overall sprinter for the last two years, has finished in the top five of every stage this year – and second three times – but has yet to win. France's Tony Gallopin was third. USA rider Tejay van Garderen, a solid all-around performer with an outside shot at the title, crashed late in the stage and lost more than a minute.

Van Garderen was not the only American to have a bad day. Andrew Talansky fell in the final sprint, rolling over and scuffing up his left arm and ripping his jersey on his shoulder after getting bumped by Australia's Simon Gerrans.

But under course rules, Talansky, the Garmin-Sharp team leader, didn't lose time in the title chase because his crash happened within the last three kilometres.

Overall, Nibali has a two-second lead over Astana team-mate Jakob Fuglsang and is two minutes and 37 seconds clear of two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador.

Irish Independent

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