Kittel clinches Stage 10; Froome retains overall lead

Thursday, 13 Jul, 2017

The sprinters like Kittel have been far too dominate.

Kittel said he had "never felt better" but refused to entertain suggestions he was unbeatable, naming Matthews as a constant threat. "I thought I had to be in the last 10 minutes, but you need to be signed on before then".

Unlike most Tour stages starting in Pau, Thursday's ride will be relatively easy until the midway point, before the Pyrenees really kick in.

Kittel made it two wins in two days following his win in Bergerac 24 hours earlier, extending his dominance of the sprint stages in this year's Tour.

The Quick-Step Floors powerhouse has now won the most stages in a single Tour since Mark Cavendish in 2011.

Initially expecting to be challenging for stage wins, Bennett said it was somewhat frustrating to look back on his opening day time trial in the Dusseldorf downpour, where he slipped off his bike and ended up 1min 37sec off the pace in 162nd place.

"It's a fourth stage win in 10 days, that's a great achievement for me and the team". But while he was encouraged, he was also left wondering what might have been after his path to the line was blocked.

'I don't see cycling from that position.

"But it went okay today actually".

"We chatted, admired the countryside". It will be a nice way to start a long day of climbing.

Additionally, Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang, who is expected to play a key role alongside second place Astana teammate Fabio Aru, fell and hurt his wrist. AG2R-La Mondiale took all risks in the descents to set up Romain Bardet for the stage win and it nearly paid off, last year's runner-up being caught only 2km from the finish line.

With 27.5-km remaining and the peloton only 30-seconds behind, Bora-Hansgrohe's Pole Maciej Bodnar dashed away from his breakmates.

Chris Froome had no problems in the peloton and retains the yellow jersey before the race heads into the Pyrenees.

Sunday was a brutal, bruising and costly day for the Tour as a whole as five riders crashed out - including Australian contender Richie Porte and Froome's team-mate Geraint Thomas - and seven more failed to make the cut-off time.

"It's true, it's fantastic, I can't even tell you how proud I am", said Quick-Step's Kittel.

"We don't want guys who have lost time to get back into the game", the defending champion told reporters on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the death of Tom Simpson on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.