Kittel for a few millimeters to the 7th stage of the Tour de France

Avto 7 July, 2017

Photo: Jeff Pachoud Agence France-Presse
Kittel, 29 years old, won for the third time since the start of Dusseldorf after his victorious sprints of Liège (Sunday) and Troyes (Thursday).

By a margin of less than… 6 mm, the German Marcel Kittel was the winner of the 7th stage of the Tour de France on Friday, in Nuits-Saint-Georges, at the cost of a very careful examination of the photo finish.


The Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen, second, has finished on the same line in the city world-renowned the coast of Nights. Kittel, launched, projected his bike. The gap time ? Three ten-thousandths of a second, in other words as 0.0003 second, according to the timekeepers.


Before you attack the solid mass of the Jura, during the next two days, the British Chris Froome kept the leader’s yellow jersey. But, for the last time of the week, the most attention has been focused on men-jets of the pack. The next step favorable is scheduled Tuesday to Bergerac.


“The sprint was very, very tight. This is played perfectly straight, a bit like last year against Bryan Coquard [Limoges]. When there is a review of the photo finish, it is probably still a bit on the result, ” said Kittel.


Undisputed strong man of the sprint on this Round, the German team Quick-Step has dispossessed the French champion Arnaud Démare of his green jersey : “I want to focus now on this jersey. It was important today, it is in these steps that we mark the most points. “


Kittel, 29 years old, won for the third time since the start of Dusseldorf after his victorious sprints of Liège (Sunday) and Troyes (Thursday).


Not for records


To his credit, he now has 12 steps and joined Erik Zabel in the top of the ranking of the riders germans more often victorious in the steps of the Tower. Without that the statistic seems to fascinate : “It is great to be just a victory of the record, but I’m not running for records. “


Behind Kittel and Boasson Hagen, Australian Michael Matthews took third place ahead of Norway’s Alexander Kristoff and the German John Degenkolb.


On the French side, Nacer Bouhanni is ranked eighth while Arnaud Démare was not able to get into the top ten.


His sports director had stated during the race that the champion of France, winner, Tuesday, at Vittel, was not the best.


“Arnaud has spent a bad night, we were in a hotel without “air conditioning”, it was very hot in the room, ” explained his teammate Mickaël Delage.


“I was good, I was not well, confirmed Démare. In the end, it went better. But it was our effort a little too early and it was folded in the last kilometer. “


So far, the Picard refuses to consider as lost the match with Kittel :” today, it was a sprint that suited him. With a great straight line like that, it is hard to beat. But he earns a hose in the face of Boasson Hagen. It proves that he is human. “


A decisive step on Sunday


In this step of 213.5 kilometers, the scenario — immutable — in the breakaway launched from the start has highlighted four riders (Bouet, Gene, Mori, Van Baarle), controlled by the peloton with less than four minutes.


The teams of sprinters, the German André Greipel (9th to finish), especially, have not taken any risk. The gap has been melted under a minute, the 40th kilometre, before the junction is reached 6 kilometers from the finish.


This Saturday, the 8th step (187,5 km) tackles the jura mountains between Dole, in the plain, and the les Rousses close to the swiss border.


Three ascents, of progressive difficulty from the 3rd to the 1st category, are in the program. The last, the Combe of Laisia Les Molunes, is located just 12 kilometres from the finish, where Sylvain Chavanel had won in 2010.


This year, the course of an average mountain was surprised, by its appearance slog, those who had not recognized.


“Sunday’s stage will be much harder, it will be more decisive than that of Redheads “, however, believed Froome, team Sky, held the yellow jersey since the first day.


“Of my rivals, Fabio Aru is the more threatening, this is the closest in the standings, added the winner coming out. For all but the top 10 is tightened. “


At least the race will take a different turn. The litany of escapes launched as soon as the first kilometres, and times always in the end leaves space movements of the course more varied. To the attack !