Pow­er­ful Kit­tel bursts to vic­tory

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

TROYES, France: Mar­cel Kit­tel once again had too much power for his ri­vals as he burst through to win a bunch sprint at the end of the sixth stage of the Tour de France yes­ter­day.

The Ger­man sprinter looked to be strug­gling as the lead­ers roared to­wards the fin­ish in Troyes.

But he ended up win­ning the sprint by a bike’s length for his 11th Tour stage vic­tory.

The Quick-Step Floors rider, who also won the se­cond stage, crossed the line in front of French­man Ar­naud De­mare and fierce ri­val An­dre Greipel.

Kit­tel and Greipel are now tied for Tour stage wins.

Ki­etel has, how­ever, been look­ing in omi­nous form on this Tour and he will be the favourite again for to­day’s sev­enth stage that takes the pelo­ton over 213.5km through the vine­yards from Troyes to Nuits Sain­tGe­orges.

“I’m proud of my team, they did a great job be­cause it was a very dif­fer­ent fin­ish to Liege,” Kit­tel said after the 216km ride from Ve­soul.

“The last kilo­me­tre was a lit­tle bit freestyle, but I had a good wheel to fol­low in De­mare, and then I had to go on my own from 250m.

“I feel good at the mo­ment, and for sure I have (the green jersey) in my fo­cus,” said a clearly elated Kit­tel.

In the points clas­si­fi­ca­tion, Kit­tel trails De­mare (FDJ) by 27 points, after Peter Sa­gan, who was tar­get­ing a sixth con­sec­u­tive green jersey.

But Sa­gan was kicked out of the race after he had sent Mark Cavendish crash­ing in the fi­nale of the fourth stage.

Sa­gan’s team, Bo­ra­Hans­grohe, ap­pealed be­fore the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS) but sport’s high­est court re­jected their re­quest of hav­ing the world cham­pion re­in­stated.

Race leader Chris Froome fin­ished safely in the pack to re­tain the yel­low jersey, 12 sec­onds ahead of his Sky team­mate Geraint Thomas with Ital­ian Fabio Aru (As­tana).

“This was one of my most re­laxed days on the Tour de France,” said Froome af­ter­wards.

The GC (gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion) con­tenders will re­turn to proper ac­tion on Sun­day for a stage fea­tur­ing three outof-cat­e­gory climbs and a dan­ger­ous des­cent into Cham­bery. — Reuters

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