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BMC Racing rider attacks from break to take fine solo win

Greg van Avermaet of BMC Racing is the new leader of the Tour de France, dropping fellow breakaway rider Thomas De Gendt of Lotto-Soudal on the Col du Perthus to ride away for his second stage win in the race.

De Gendt crossed the line at Le Lioran in the Auvergne a shade over two and a half minutes behind his compatriot, and has the consolation of moving into the lead of the mountains classification.

Tinkoff's Rafal Majka, another member of what had originally been a nine-man break, came home third just ahead of the group containing most of the overall contenders.

That group, however, was missing the Polish champion's team mate Alberto Contador, who again struggled due to the injuries suffered in his crashes on the first two stages.

Also missing from that group, and losing even more time than the Spaniard, was Giro d'Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali of Astana, dropped on the Col du Perthus, the penultimate climb of the first medium mountain stage of this year's race, as Movistar and Sky forced the pace.

It's van Avermaet's second Tour de France stage victory, and comes a year after his first, when he outsprinted Tinkoff's Peter Sagan - from whom he takes the yellow jersey today - on Stage 13 in Rodez.

Once thought of as a perennial runner-up, van Avermaet is having a stellar season. In March, he was an unexpected winner of Tirreno-Adriatico - helped by the cancellation of the Queen Stage due to the weather - and the previous month, he won the Belgian classic, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Here's the on-board footage from the stage.

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.