Slovakian rider Peter Sagan won the hilly seventh stage of the Tour de France in a sprint finish on Friday, and Daryl Impey kept the overall race lead. Sagan held off a challenge from John Degenkolb of Germany to clinch his first stage victory in this year’s Tour and extend his lead in the contest for the sprinters’ green jersey. Italian sprinter Daniele Bennati was third.
Impey began the day as the first South African rider to wear the yellow jersey, but he will likely relinquish it after Saturday’s first of two difficult days of climbing in the high mountains of the Pyrenees. Keen to get Sagan in a good position to attack, the Cannondale team increased the pace considerably near the end. Sagan’s stage win moves him 94 points clear of German Andre Greipel and he is already more than 100 points ahead of his archrival Mark Cavendish the 2011 green jersey winner.