Tour de France 2017: Marcel Kittel wins again on stage ten

German storms to comprehensive sprint victory as Chris Froome claims 50th yellow jersey

Marcel Kittel (QuickStep Floors) stormed to victory on stage ten of the 2017 Tour de France in the green jersey – his fourth win of this year’s race – as his domination of the sprints continued. 

British sprinter Dan McLay (Fortuneo-Oscaro) led the sprint out, but Kittel charged past off his wheel and opened up a huge lead on his sprinting rivals.

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) took second place, with Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) third, but there was never any doubt who would win once Kittel had opened up his sprint.

McLay eventually finished seventh, while Chris Froome (Team Sky) was safely in the peloton to secure the 50th yellow jersey of his Tour de France career.

Marcel Kittel celebrates win number four at this year’s Tour de France (pic – Sirotti)

Yoann Offredo (Wanty Groupe-Gobert) and Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Oscaro) bought their tickets for the breakaway, but the lead they established fairly quickly was soon eaten into by the peloton.

Gesbert led the way over the two climbs, while Offredo took maximum points at the intermediate sprint, two-and-a-half minutes ahead of the peloton.

Greipel won the kick from the peloton, meanwhile, with he and green jersey Kittel proving too strong for Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida).

The action, otherwise, was as expected on the largely flat stage, with QuickStep Floors happy to ride on the front again – largely relieving Team Sky of chasing duties.

When the two escapees were swallowed up, however, there were no clear leaders on the front, with several teams involved – both for their GC leaders and sprinters.

Lotto-Soudal looked to have taken up a good position for Andre Greipel, while Katusha-Alpecin were involved with Alexander Kristoff as they rounded the final two bends.

Kittel, meanwhile, was quite a way back but was dropped off near the front by team-mate Fabio Sabatini and from there it was all about the green jersey.

Christophe Leporte (Cofidis), Nacer Bouhanni’s lead-out man, punched a hole through which Kittel charged, onto McLay’s wheel.

And when McLay opened his sprint up from well back, Kittel took his slipstream and charged around the Brit – opening up a lead of a couple of bike lengths over his rivals.

Kittel has now won more Tour de France stages than any other German rider, having overtaken Greipel and now Erik Zabel at this year’s race, and will expect another sprint opportunity on stage 11.

And the German admitted he is in dreamland at this year’s race.

“I can’t really believe it,” he said. “It’s number four, so that’s an incredible amount of Tour de France stages – to win them in one Tour, I just can’t believe it.

“It’s really nice. I’m just speechless – I’m really, really happy.

“I’ve won now so many stages in the Tour and I never really expected that at the start of my career – I feel like I live in a small little bubble, in a small little world, that’s not really true.”

Chris Froome has now worn the yellow jersey on 50 occasions (pic – Alex Broadway/ASO)

Froome, meanwhile, was safely in the bunch to write his own little bit of history – the Team Sky man has now worn the yellow jersey as many times as Jacques Anquetil.

He joins Anquetil, Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx as the only other riders – with Lance Armstrong’s achievements stripped from the record books – with 50 or more yellow jerseys.

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) was also safely in the bunch, retaining his lead in the youth classification.

Tour de France 2017: stage 11 – result

1) Marcel Kittel (GER) – QuickStep Floors – 4.01.00hrs
2) John Degenkolb (GER) – Trek-Segafredo – ST
3) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo
4) Rudiger Selig (GER) – Bora-hansgrohe
5) Alexander Kristoff (NOR) – Katusha-Alpecin
6) Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) – Cofidis
7) Dan McLay (GBR) – Fortuneo-Oscaro
8) Pieter Vanspeybrouck (BEL) – Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9) Sonny Colbrelli (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida
10) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – Dimension Data

General classification

1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 42.27.28hrs
2) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +18″
3) Romain Bardet (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +51″
4) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Cannondale-Drapac +55″
5) Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) – Astana +1.37
6) Daniel Martin (IRL) – QuickStep Floors +1.44
7) Simon Yates (GBR) – Orica-Scott +2.02
8) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +2.13
9) Mikel Landa (ESP) – Team Sky +3.06
10) George Bennett (NZL) – LottoNL-Jumbo +3.53

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