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Tour de France: Steve Cummings wins stage seven solo

Steve Cummings wins Stage 7 of the 2016 Tour de France
Image: Steve Cummings launched his stage-winning attack with 27km to go

Britain's Steve Cummings claimed the second Tour de France win of his career with a superb solo victory on stage seven in the Pyrenees.

The 35-year-old attacked out of a breakaway group with 27km remaining and pulled away to win by 1min 4sec at Lac de Payolle.

Air bridge collapses at Tour
Air bridge collapses at Tour

Adam Yates was injured after an air bridge collapsed at the Tour de France

Cummings' victory means four of the first seven stages of this year's Tour have been won by British riders from the Dimension Data team, following Mark Cavendish's hat-trick of triumphs on stages one, three and six.

There was drama at the end of the stage, when the air bridge marking 1km to go collapsed in front of Britain's Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) and held up the rest of the peloton.

Tour de France, stage seven, air bridge
Image: The 1km-to-go air bridge collapsed on the peloton

Although no other riders crashed, Yates sustained a cut to his face that required stitches and he eventually finished four minutes behind the peloton.

However, the race jury later ruled that all general classification times would be taken at 3km to go, at which point Yates had been seven seconds ahead of the main bunch following an attack on the day's final climb.

Tour de France standings
Tour de France standings

Results and current standings in the general, points, mountains and youth classifications

The revised result lifts him into the best young rider's white jersey and second place overall, 5min 50sec down on race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), who extended his advantage at the top of the standings by joining the breakaway and finishing fifth on the day.

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All of the favourites for overall victory crossed the line in the main bunch, leaving Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 5min 57sec adrift of Van Avermaet in sixth and seventh.

Chris Froome (R) of Great Britain and Team Sky shakes hands with Alejandro Valverde (L) of Spain and Movistar after cro
Image: Chris Froome (right) finished in the peloton alongside Alejandro Valverde (left)

Cummings, who won his first Tour stage last year, said: "Of all my victories, I think it's the best one. The Tour is the Tour; it's special.

"I didn't need to win a stage this year. I had a different condition from last year, as I started the Tour riding for Mark [Cavendish], who is such a winner and an inspiration. It's brilliant; it's fantastic."

Great Britain's Stephen Cummings climbs in a breakaway during the 162,5 km seventh stage of the 103rd edition of the Tour de France
Image: Cummings pulled away from his chasers on the Col d'Aspin

Stage seven was the first of three back-to-back days in the Pyrenees and ended with an ascent of the category-one Col d'Aspin and then a 7km descent to Lac de Payolle.

The breakaway was initially made up of 29 men and included pedigree riders such as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Tony Martin (Etixx - Quick-Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), but it broke apart when a trio attacked with 43km to go.

Froome expects 'big gaps'
Froome expects 'big gaps'

Chris Froome is expecting "proper big gaps" between the favourites on stages eight and nine

Cummings, who went into the Tour having won three stages solo earlier in the year, joined them 5km later and then attacked again 7km before the start of the Aspin to move into a solo lead.

He began the 12km climb with an advantage of 30 seconds over a chase group led by Nibali and it looked likely he would be caught, but instead, he brilliantly continued to pull away and was more than a minute to the good by the summit.

Vincenzo Nibali attacks on stage 7 of the 2016 Tour de France
Image: Vincenzo Nibali was unable to chase down Cummings

Cummings safely negotiated the descent to the finish to seal his fourth win of the season, while Daryl Impey (Orica-BikeExchange) out-sprinted Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) for second place.

The Tour continues on Saturday with a 184km mountain stage from Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon. Find out more about the route in our race guide and follow the stage with our live blog from 12pm BST.

Stage seven result

1 Steve Cummings (GB) Dimension Data, 3:48:09
2 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-BikeExchange, +1:04
3 Daniel Navarro (Esp) Cofidis, same time
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, +1:58
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing, +2:57
6 Luis Angel Mate (Esp) Cofidis, +3:37
7 Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky, same time
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, st
9 Gorka Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, st
10 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, st

General classification

1 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing, 34:09:44
2 Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange, +5:50
3 Julian Alaphilippe (fra) Etixx - Quick-Step, +5:51
4 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, +5:53
5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha, +5:54
6 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +5:57
​7 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, same time
8 Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin, st
9 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac, st
10 Dan Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step, st

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