Unstoppable five-star Kittel sprints to another stage win

Friday, 14 Jul, 2017

After winning half of the 10 the road race stages in the Tour since the race left Dusseldorf on July 2, the German is rewriting the record books.

"It's quite savage. I think if someone blows in those few hundreds of metres (at 20 per cent), there could be some really significant time gaps", said Froome.

"I nearly can not believe what's happening here at the Tour".

The French riders may choose to preserve their energy, however―Friday is Bastille Day, and the stage from Saint-Girons to Foix should provide them with another chance to beat the peloton to the finish line.

Kittel said he had "never felt better" but refused to entertain suggestions he was unbeatable, naming Matthews as a constant threat.

"We weren't where we said we wanted to be in the meeting and it left me with a long sprint to try and even get into the top 15 to even get any points". - Belgian Philippe Gilbert after his Quick-Step Floors team mate Marcel Kittel of Germany won his fifth stage of this year's race. "It was like having a double rest day", he added.

Thankfully, Stage 12 reintroduces mountains to the Tour after three days of inaction.

The trio has been remotely controlled by the peloton, less than five minute.

Second-place Fabio Aru was all smiles near Domme - a picturesque town perched on a breathtaking cliff above the Dordogne river - and shook hands with another rider at a pedestrian pace. We had a big chat last night about what we wanted to do and we did that.

A number of small crashes caught out a number of riders hoping for a quiet day.

"I won now so many stages in the Tour". Offredo and Gesbert fought hard until the end, but were hampered by a strong headwind and were caught seven kilometers from the finish.

On Stage Nine, he was part of an elite climbing group that featured three-time champion Froome, multiple Grand Tour victor Nairo Quintana, talented Frenchman Romain Bardet and 2015 Vuelta a España victor Fabio Aru.

But Frenchman Romain Bardet, who is third overall behind race leader Chris Froome, was not so fortunate. This is also a mountaintop finish which will not cater the sprinters at all but the GC contenders and the breakaways.

Froome, 32, finished safe in the bunch.

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

It was in 1961 that Simpson first wrote his name in the history books when he became the first, and still to this day only, British male to win the Tour of Flanders.