Green jer­sey Kit­tel quits Tour de France

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Sprint star Mar­cel Kit­tel quit the Tour de France yes­ter­day af­ter a crash on the 183km, 17th stage in the Alps from La Mure to Serre-Che­va­lier. The 29-year-old Ger­man was lead­ing the sprint­ers’ green jer­sey com­pe­ti­tion at the time he aban­doned hav­ing won five stages so far. “An­other sad news: Green jer­sey @marcelkit­tel, and win­ner of five #TDF2017 stages, has stopped at the top of Col de la Croix de Fer,” said the Ger­man’s Quick-Step team on Twit­ter. What had been a hugely suc­cess­ful Tour for Kit­tel quickly turned sour as he crashed 20km into yes­ter­day’s stage.

He was cut and blood­ied and even needed to change a shoe while hang­ing onto his team car as the race con­tin­ued. The pelo­ton led by race leader Chris Froome’s Team Sky sat up and waited for Kit­tel but once the climb­ing be­gan with the sec­ond cat­e­gory Col d’Ornon, the Ger­man started to lose touch with the bunch. By the 24km long hors cat­e­gory Col de la Croix de Fer just over 100km from the fin­ish, he was los­ing se­ri­ous ground and the prospect of get­ting to the fin­ish line within the re­quired time de­lay was di­min­ish­ing, so Kit­tel quit.

“We might not have Paris, but we’ll al­ways have these fan­tas­tic wins! Thank you, @marcelkit­tel!” added Quick-Step. Kit­tel had taken his per­sonal to­tal to 14 Tour stage wins, over­tak­ing the record mark of 12 by a Ger­man that Erik Za­bel man­aged.

He had held a 128-point lead over Michael Matthews in the green jer­sey com­pe­ti­tion and looked likely to win that. But a de­ter­mined Matthews had whit­tled down that lead to just 29 points over the past four days and by win­ning yes­ter­day’s in­ter­me­di­ate sprint, he moved to just nine points be­hind Kit­tel.

The Ger­man would still have been ex­pected to win the jer­sey with two likely flat stage sprints to come but Matthews could have taken it off him on Thurs­day’s stage with 20 points up for grab in the in­ter­me­di­ate sprint there. As it is, the Aus­tralian will now wear the green jer­sey on Thurs­day and with a 160-point lead over Ger­man An­dre Greipel, he is al­most cer­tain to win it if he reaches Paris.— AFP

—AFP

LE LA MURE: Ger­many’s Mar­cel Kit­tel wear­ing the best sprinter’s green jer­sey, in­jured af­ter fall­ing, rides dur­ing the 183 km sev­en­teenth stage of the 104th edi­tion of the Tour de France cy­cling race yes­ter­day.

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