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Tour de France : Belgian Edges Kiefel of U.S. in 7th Stage

July 11, 1986|United Press International

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."

"Last year, I finished three times in second place. This year, I won in the first week."

Although the pack was moving at an unusually quick pace of 25 m.p.h., the day was full of attacks and counterattacks.

About 60 miles into the stage, Fignon beat Tour favorites Claude Criquielion of Belgium, Colombian Luis Herrera and five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault in a bonus sprint. He won a total of 18 bonus seconds on the stage.

Today, the racers take on the 127-mile eighth stage from St. Hilaire-du-Harcourt to Nantes. The 23-stage Tour ends July 27 in Paris.

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