ST. HILAIRE-DU-HARCOUET, France — Belgian Ludo Peeters edged Ron Kiefel of the United States in a 12-man final sprint Thursday to win the 125-mile seventh stage of the Tour de France bicycle race.
Peeters, 33, of the Dutch-based Kwantum team, covered the hilly stage between Cherbourg and St. Hilaire in a light drizzle in 4 hours 57 minutes.
Denmark's Joergen Pedersen grabbed the overall lead from Johan Van der Velde of the Netherlands, who dropped to second, 11 seconds back. Guido Bontempi of Italy was third, 27 seconds back, and two-time Tour champion Laurent Fignon was fourth, 45 seconds behind the leader.
"Here's the victory that saves the season," Peeters said. "I took a break during the period of the (spring) classics, after having taken it a bit too easy during the winter. At my age, that's not a good tactic."