Nancy, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Matteo Trentin of Italy edged Slovakia's Peter Sagan in a photo-finish Friday to win Stage 7 of the Tour de France.
Trentin outsprinted a large group and hit the wire millimeters in front of Sagan to claim his second career stage victory in cycling's most prestigious event. He covered the 234.5 kilometers from Epernay to Nancy in a time of 5 hours, 18 minutes and 39 seconds.
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali finished 16th and was among 26 riders credited with the same time as the stage winner to keep the overall lead. He remained two seconds in front of Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang, who was placed 25th on Friday.
Sagan is still third overall, 44 seconds off Nibali's pace.
There were a few crashes Friday, including one that took out American Tejay van Garderen with about 16 kilometers remaining. He lost time because of the incident and finished more than a minute behind in 43rd place.
Another crash in the final kilometer ended American Andrew Talansky's hopes of a stage win. From there, it was a group rush to the line with Trentin edging Sagan.
"It was very nervous with this complicated finale and those crashes, but I didn't realize really because everything was happening behind me," said Trentin. "At the end, I really thought that Sagan had passed me."
Sagan, despite the narrow finish, remained in the green jersey as the points leader.
"I tried my best at the end. I was close to winning, but I didn't win," said Sagan. "This is another good day for the green jersey, but something extra is missing and that's a stage win. However, there's still a long way away in the Tour de France and my day will come. At least I hope so."
The tour continues Saturday with a 161-kilometer jaunt from Tomblaine to Gerardmer La Mauselaine, which features a pair of Category 2 climbs near the finish.
"The coming weekend is going to be very difficult with a lot of climbs on the course," said Nibali, who has worn the overall leader's yellow jersey since Stage 2. "My condition is good. To wear the yellow jersey is a motivating factor."
After Saturday's climbs, Sunday and Monday will also feature steep ascents -- including very difficult Category 1s on both days -- before the first rest day on Tuesday.