Kit­tel puts power to the pedal for lucky 13

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

BERG­ERAC: Ger­man Mar­cel Kit­tel claimed his fourth vic­tory in the Tour de France when he pow­ered to an im­pres­sive Stage 10 win in a bunch sprint yes­ter­day as Bri­ton Chris Froome re­tained the over­all lead.

Kit­tel’s com­pa­triot John De­genkolb was sec­ond and Dutch­man Dy­lan Groe­newe­gen took third place with Froome fin­ish­ing safe in the bunch to keep the yel­low jer­sey.

“It was a quiet day, no stress at all,” said Froome, who like the other rid­ers en­joyed a rest day on Mon­day.

“It was one of the most re­laxed days we’ve had in this Tour de France. It was like hav­ing a dou­ble rest day.

“Now it’s about sav­ing en­ergy for the Pyre­nees and the Alps,” added the Team Sky rider, who to­day spends his 50th day in yel­low to match the great Jac­ques An­quetil’s mark.

The record is held by Bel­gian Eddy Mer­ckx with 96 days in the leader’s jer­sey.

Sky are on course to be­come the first team since Mer­ckx’s Faemino-Faema in 1970 to hold the cov­eted jer­sey through­out the race.

Elie Ges­bert, who on Mon­day al­most set his For­tu­neo-Os­caro team ho­tel on fire af­ter leav­ing a towel on an elec­tric heater to trig­ger a par­tial evac­u­a­tion of the build­ing, jumped away at the start.

He was ac­com­pa­nied by fel­low French­man Yoann Of­fredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and the duo built a max­i­mum ad­van­tage of 5:30.

The sprint­ers’ teams, how­ever, had them on a tight leash and they were reined in 6.8km from the line.

None of his ri­vals could match Kit­tel’s power as the Quick-Step Floors rider beat De­genkolb by more than a bike length to ex­tend his lead in the points clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

It was Kit­tel’s 13th Tour stage win, tak­ing him one ahead of Erik Za­bel’s Ger­man record of 12.

“I don’t see cy­cling from that po­si­tion. It’s not about be­ing a VIP or part of his­tory,” Kit­tel said.

“I just do what I can do best, which is sprinting. I’m en­joy­ing this huge event to­gether with my team mates. We trust each other, and this is very spe­cial, very im­por­tant to me.” – Reuters

MAR­CEL KIT­TEL

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