Sagan seals Stage 7 win as Impey retains yellow

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Peter Sagan took victory in Stage 7 to strengthen his hold over the green jersey classification while Daryl Impey retained yellow.

Cannondale controlled the race from the off, and put Sagan in the perfect position to win his first stage of the Tour.

The Slovakian capitalised on a strong lead-out to hold off the challenge from rivals on the line in an exciting sprint finish.

The 205.5km, four-climb Montpellier to Albi stage was tipped as one for the courageous, with a breakaway given a chance to survive.

And a three-man escape looked to bitterly hold on, until it was caught just 3km from the finish. Cannondale did most of the work in the peloton, hauling in Jan Bakelants, Gautier and Oroz to set up the sprint to the finish.

Omega Pharma Quick-Step's Mark Cavendish - winner on Stage 5 and a green jersey candidate - gave up the chase with 40km to go after falling two minutes behind the peloton over the four climbs.

That put Sagan in pole position, with Team Sky's Edvald Boasson-Hagen also well placed. There was a bit of bustling and jockeying for position, but Cannondale controlled the pace with four riders on the front.

And Sagan didn't disappoint, fighting through a block to win the stage after emerging from John Degenkolb's slipstream. The Slovakian won by the length of a bike in the end.

Orica GreenEDGE rider Daryl Impey did enough to keep hold of the yellow jersey. But the mountains are looming this weekend, and the favourites - including Alberto Contador and Chris Froome - will be looking to take advantage.

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