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A game of millimetres

Team Dimension Data’s Edvald Boasson Hagen was involved in yet another photo finish on Stage 16 of the Tour de France.

Compared to his first second-place showing of the 2017 Tour — on Stage 7 vs. Marcel Kittel — the Boss’s next photo finish on his Cervélo S5 wasn’t even close. After 165 kms of hilly and then flat terrain from Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isère, Michael Matthews won by slightly less than a wheel.

Once again, DiData’s support for EBH’s fourth podium of the Tour was superb: Two years after his celebrated Mandela Day victory, Steve Cummings fought his way to the front of the pack as it raced through the breezy Massif Central. Then Scott Thwaites and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg took over, leading out the Boss over the technical run-up to the line.

In the end, however, the final sprint left EBH wanting more. “I knew I had to be in a good position towards the end, and I had the greatest momentum of all on the run-up to the finish,” he said moments after crossing the line. “What a shame!”

Still, the result moved the Norwegian road and time-trial champion closer to the top of the overall Points classification, where he’s now just three points out of fifth place.

Next up for DiData: The first Alpine stage of the Tour, where Steve Cummings could unleash one his trademark breakaways and Serge Pauwels will aim to move up the GC standings.