Tuesday 22 August 2017

Four-star Kittel

Marcel Kittel celebrates winning the stage and taking the points jersey. Photo: Getty Images
Marcel Kittel celebrates winning the stage and taking the points jersey. Photo: Getty Images

independent.ie Sportsdesk

Marcel Kittel roared into Bergerac yesterday to take his fourth stage win of the 2017 Tour de France and 13th of his career. His baker's dozen is also a new national record for Germany in the Tour.

Kittel's win yesterday was by far his most dominant, too, blasting round British sprinter Dan McLay after the Fortuneo rider made an early lunge for the line. By the finish, Kittel was several bike lengths ahead of closest rival Jon Degenkolb, and even had time to sit up and celebrate his latest triumph in style.

Although a long way off Mark Cavendish's total of 30 Tour wins, in the Manxman's absence, Kittel's four victories in 10 days have given him the same air of invincibility.

Local hopes were pinned on Nacer Bouhanni but he could only manage sixth before he found himself in the umpteenth episode of argy-bargy between sprinters in this year's Tour.

The Frenchman - who used to box as part of his training - was given a minute's penalty in the overall standings yesterday for some on-bike sparring when he lashed out at New Zealand rider Jack Bauer around seven kilometres from the line. Bizarrely, though, he was not relegated from his sixth place on the stage.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport