Nancy: Matteo Trentin was thrilled to edge out Peter Sagan in a photo-finish to win the seventh stage of the Tour de France in Nancy yesterday and give Omega Pharma-QuickStep its first win of the 101st edition of the race.
Matteo Trentin of Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling team celebrates on the podium yesterday after winning Stage 7. Pics/Getty Images
The 234.5-kilometres route from Epernay was the second longest stage of this year's race and lit up when the riders reached the day's second and final categorised climb.
The summit of the Cote de Boufflers came with 5.5km to go, with Sagan (Cannondale) prominent over the top, but the leaders regrouped in a technical finale and Italian Trentin pipped Sagan by the narrowest of margins.
"I've won by just a few centimeters" Trentin said on letour.com.
"It was very nervous with this complicated finale and those crashes but I didn't realise really because everything was happening behind me. Surprisingly, I wasn't feeling good this morning, but on the way, I felt better and better. After the first climb, I realised something was possible.
Andrew Talansky of Garmin-Sharp crashes near the finish line in stage seven in Nancy
"(Michal) Kwiatkowski led me out to perfection. I had to finish it off. But at the end, I really thought that Sagan had passed me."
The Belgian squad had to regroup following leader Mark Cavendish's exit on day one and Italian Trentin's second Tour stage win will come as a welcome success.
Six days of bad luck
"It's wonderful for the team, especially after six days of bad luck," Trentin added.
Sagan appears comfortable in the points classification's green jersey with the race only a week old, but he is still chasing a fifth stage win of his career and a first of the 2014 Tour.
Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome confirmed yesterday he has fractures to his hand and wrist. Froome left the Tour de France during Wednesday's tough cobbled stage after crashing twice, adding to his fall the day before when he suffered his injuries. "MRIs done, confirmed fractures to the left wrist & right hand. Time for some R&R...," he said on his Twitter feed.