Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) won stage 13 of the 2015 Tour de France on Friday, in a close uphill finale with green jersey Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) in Rodez. Chris Froome (Team Sky) retained the overall race lead.
A disappointed Sagan took his fourth second place in the 2015 race but extended his lead in the points classification as consolation.
Belgian Jan Bakelants (Ag2r) placed third on the stage after the day’s escape group was tantalisingly caught only several hundred metres from the finish line.
On a baking hot day that could have seen the overall contenders take it easy, there was a frantic fight to the line which saw race leader Froome sprinting hard to lead home Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Froome maintained his lead over van Garderen in the general classification, with Quintana in third.
Saturday’s stage 14 features a category two climb up to the finish in Mende, which could once again see the overall contenders fighting for valuable seconds as the race heads towards the Alps.