German sprinter Marcel Kittel takes his fourth stage win of the 2017 Tour de France, bringing his total tally to 13 victories
- Chris Froome maintains overall lead
Kittel’s German compatriot John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) put in his best result of the 2017 Tour in second spot, with Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) in third. British sprinter Dan McLay (Fortuneo-Oscaro) placed seventh.
This time there was no need for a photo finish. Kittel’s unrivalled acceleration after jumping off McLay’s back wheel meant he was several bike lengths clear by the line.
“I can’t believe it, I’m so happy,” said an elated Kittel after the victory. “It’s super-nice, the team worked again so hard.”
His latest win increases his lead in the points classification – and also means that he becomes the most successful German of all time at the Tour in terms of stage wins, with 13 career victories to Erik Zabel’s 12.
“Of course [the German stage record] means something for me. I never expected it when I started my career… it’s hard for me to imagine. I feel like I live in a small little bubble, in a small little world and it’s not true”.
“I had a pretty good spot,” said Kittel of his positioning in the finale. “It was still relatively far with 500m to go after the last left corner. I saw McLay started to sprint early to come to the front, and that was my lead-out so from there on I hit the front at 220m. I feel really good in the sprints at the moment.”
There was no change to the general classification, with all of the overall contenders coming home within the main peloton. Chris Froome (Team Sky) continues his 18-second lead over Italian Fabio Aru (Astana), with Frenchman Romain Bardet (Ag2r) in third at 51 seconds.
Briton Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) continues to lead the best young rider classification, and Frenchman Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) is King of the Mountains.
Stage 10 – how it happened
Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) was the first rider to make an escape stick as the day kicked off in Périgueux, and for a short while it looked as though we would have a repeat of stage four with a lone Wanty rider out all day.
However, youngest rider in the race Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Oscaro) managed to bridge to Offredo to form a French duo.
Compared to the previous day of racing on Sunday, the stage unfolded in a very straightforward manner. The two escapees forged on, gaining a five-plus-minute advantage over the bunch. Then, after the half-way mark, their advantage started to get chipped away as the peloton eyed a bunch sprint finish.
With the duo caught with 7km to go, the break was caught. This signalled the peloton to noticeably increase its pace to prevent any further late attacks and keep things together for the sprinters.
Lotto-Soudal were by far the most organised of the teams heading into the finale, but Greipel – who had earlier ‘won’ the intermediate sprint out of the bunch – somehow found himself on Alexander Kristoff’s (Katusha-Alpecin) wheel and badly positioned.
He sat up and had to settle to spectating as his compatriot Kittel swept to another victory.
On Wednesday, the riders tackle another similarly flat stage from Eymet to Pau albeit it with a longer 203.5km distance.
Another bunch sprint should be on the cards, and on his current form there would be few betting against Kittel taking a fifth win.
The 2017 Tour de France concludes on Sunday, July 23.
Watch: Tour de France 2017 week two preview
Tour de France 2017, stage 10: Périgueux to Bergerac, 178km
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors, in 4-01-00
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
6. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
7. Daniel McLay (GBr) Fortuneo-Oscaro
8. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data, all same time
General classification after stage 10
1. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky, in 42-27-28
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana], at 18s
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 51s
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac, at 55s
5. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at 1-37
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-44
7. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott, at 2-02
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, at 2-13
9. Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky, at 3-06
10. George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 3-53