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Another TDF top 10 finish for Dimension Data

Dimension

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Mark Cavendish raced to another top 10 finish at the Tour de France on Saturday.

That was after Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) made it two in a row when he sprinted to the victory on stage eight

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was second and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) placed third.

It was another standard sprinters stage with a flat run of 181 kilometres between Dreux to Amiens making up the route.

The early break of the day initially consisted of three riders but that soon became two as Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) and Marco Minnaard (Wanty Groupe Gobert) pushed on.

While the gap got up to and over the five-minute mark, it was never a real concern for the peloton as the sprint teams knew they could reel the duo back in before the finish Amiens, and they did exactly that with 10km to go.

Africa’s Team Dimension Data were again focused on delivering Cavendish into a good position for the sprint finale. The white and green Dimension Data colours were prominent fixtures near the head of the peloton from 35km out, using all eight riders to hold their place.

The drag race for the finish really sped up with around 20km to go. It was tight and stressful in the peloton and this saw a big crash in the pack with 16km to go.

Being well placed at the front though, the Dimension Data riders were unaffected by the crash.

Coming into the final 5km, the sprint train was in full flight once again but a tricky right-hand corner with 1.5km to go disrupted proceedings.

Through the corner, Cavendish had been detached from his leadout train but found the wheel of Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) for the finale. Groenewegen benefited from Fernando Gaviria and Andre Greipel bumping in front of him and catapulted past the duo to take the victory.

He was unable to find a clear gap to launch his sprint, so for the second day in a row the Manxman crossed the line 10th but was moved up to eighth after Greipel and Gaviria were relegated by the commissaries.

Describing the eighth stage, Dimension Data’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg said:‘It was another flat and long day in the saddle with not a lot happening for a large portion of the stage.

‘Only two guys were upfront in the break so it ended with a big final sprint as we had hoped.

‘The team did a good job, we kept to the front the last 15km and avoided the crashes and carnage behind us. In the end Mark [Cavendish’ was maybe too far back after that final corner, but I haven’t actually seen what happened yet so it is hard to say.

‘I think the team did a good job though and this was the last sprint chance for a while.

‘Its on to the Roubaix stage tomorrow and then into the mountains.’


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