Set up by a superb team effort on Friday, Dimension Data rider Edvald Boasson Hagen narrowly missed out on the SA outfit’s first stage win at this year’s Tour de France.
After being led out by South African Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, the Norwegian sprinter launched a drive for the line at the end of the 213.5km seventh leg between Troyes and Nuits-Saint-Georges.
Boasson Hagen, a former World Championships road race silver medallist, looked to have the victory wrapped, but a late surge from German Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) edged him out by the slimmest of margins.
Louis Meintjes, riding for UAE Emirates, settled for 52nd position on the stage, but he stayed with the peloton to remain 13th in the general classification, 84 seconds behind British rider Chris Froome (Sky) who retained his overall lead.
Meintjes was also in third place in the young riders’ classification, 41 seconds behind British leader Simon Yates (Orica-Scott).
Belgian Serge Pauwels was the top Dimension Data team member, clinging to 20th position in the standings with two weeks remaining in the gruelling contest.
The eighth stage on Saturday will take the peloton 187.5km from Dole to Station des Rousses.