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.
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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.