Deceuninck – Quick-Step have become accustomed to having good days at the Tour de France, but stage seven of the 2020 edition will be one to forget.
Having already lost Julian Alaphilippe’s yellow jersey to a time penalty a couple of days ago, Bora-Hansgrohe stole Peter Sagan’s green jersey back from Sam Bennett on stage seven, attacking in the wind and dropping the Irishman, Sagan then mopping up intermediate sprint points.
“I just feel like I let the team down a little bit,” Bennett said after the stage. “The legs were good, I was riding for the stage rather than watching Bora, to begin with, and that was a bit of a mistake I made.
“I feel I let the guys down after they made such a big effort to get me back the first time and then I was caught out again.”
Bennett says that his instructions at the start of the day were to go for the stage win rather than worry about maintaining his lead in the points classification. Now he has neither and says in hindsight that tactic was a mistake.
“I don’t know now,” Bennett said of whether he will continue to battle Sagan for green. “Today I was told to switch focus and just look at trying to win the stage, so I didn’t look at Bora. So that was a bit of a mistake. We’ll just see where the points are in the next day and keep doing what we’re doing.”
As for Alaphilippe, he was one of the few Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders left in the front echelon, the Frenchman then gearing up to contest the finish in place of Bennett. However, as he nearly swerved into another rider he unclipped, his chance of victory over.
“It’s not really a great day for us,” Alaphilippe summed up. “We lost most of the team in the split. I was really well-positioned for the sprint but I unclipped and I just couldn’t sprint properly. It was just full gas right from the start, from kilometre zero. Didn’t really have any time to think.”