Newspaper article International New York Times

Another British Rider Wins Stage at the Tour

Newspaper article International New York Times

Another British Rider Wins Stage at the Tour

Article excerpt

Steve Cummings used two perfectly timed attacks to escape a breakaway group and ride to victory, the fourth win by a Briton in seven stages so far.

Britain may have voted to leave Europe, but it is dominating the Tour de France.

Friday's stage, the first in the high mountains, brought the fourth win by a British rider in seven stages.

It was also the fourth win by a rider on Dimension Data, an African-registered team that, under a different sponsor, debuted at the Tour last year. Then it was more of a curiosity than a significant force.

The winning British rider, Steve Cummings, used two perfectly timed attacks to escape a breakaway group to ride solo over the first major mountain pass of this year's race, the Col d'Aspin, before going on to a solo victory. Greg Van Avermaet, who Cummings left behind in the breakaway group, managed to hang on to the yellow race leaders' jersey despite being a sprinter rather than a climber.

Behind Cummings and Van Avermaet and the other members of the break, the 162.5-kilometer, or 101-mile, race from l'Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle, high in the Pyrenees Mountains ended on an almost farcical note. Two inflatable arches used to suspend a red, triangular flag that marks the start of the final kilometer over the road somehow partially deflated.

The Tour de France organization could not immediately explain why the inflatable structure, which vaguely resembles a long legged, red insect, had withered and sagged. But it happened just as Adam Yates, who was a few seconds ahead of the main field of riders, was passing underneath it. He hit part of one of its legs and flew over his handlebars.

Helicopter images showed Yates, a British rider with the Orica- BikeExchange team, dazed and staggering around on the far side of the inflatable looking for his bike which was sitting on top of it.

"I had no time to react," Yates said "It's a good job it was just me on my own. It could have been a lot worse."

Also trapped by the sagging mass of fabric was the motorcycle which carries a timekeeper who, clad in a yellow jumpsuit, uses a blackboard to give riders time gaps between breaks and the main field. …

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