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by Neal Rogers
July 7, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Kittel takes second sprint victory of Tour de France, again ahead of Démare; Sheyla Gutierrez fastest of the break after an action-packed Stage 7 at Giro Rosa; Astana’s Lopez wins summit finish at Tour of Austria as Denifl moves into GC lead; Ruth Winder in yellow after solo victory on opening stage of Tour de Feminin; Valcar PBM rider Claudia Cretti involved in serious incident at Giro Rosa Stage 7; Cavendish receiving online abuse after Sagan’s expulsion from Tour de France; CAS rejects Bora-Hansgrohe’s appeal against Sagan’s Tour de France disqualification; Video: GoPro’s Tour de France Stage 6 highlights; Video: Taylor Phinney, on Alberto Contador’s pink whistle at the Tour de France; Video: In a first, bomb-sniffing dogs are deployed at the Tour de France; Video: Tour de France organizers implement system to empty septic tanks from team buses at every start and finish; Video: British cyclist David Smith faced a third life-threatening surgery in six years; Video: Raccoon pedals a tricycle.
Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) took his second stage victory of the 2017 Tour de France Thursday on a hot day in Troyes. The big German sprinter came from behind to best Frenchman Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and compatriot André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) who took second and third, respectively. Kittel didn’t make his final move until 75 meters out, the headwind final making a sprint from behind advantageous.
“First of all I want to say I am very proud of my team,” Kittel said. “It was a very different sprint than in Liège. It was really important to bring me to the front at the key moment, and keep me there. I had a good wheel, first from Démare, and then I had to go at 250 up to the front. It went perfect. I was in great position, a little bit behind so I could see where others went. I feel good at the moment.”
Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie) was the first aggressor after the neutral flag dropped. Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Emirates) were in tow, and the trio quickly distanced themselves from the field. Their gap rose to over four minutes by kilometer 30, as behind, the main field took lunch and conversation.
At eight kilometers out, the gap was under 30 seconds and the catch was inevitable. Quemeneur, Backaert, and Stake Laengen were finally caught at under three kilometers to the finish as world time-trial champion Tony Martin and his Katusha-Alpecin teammates arrived at the front and took a turn of speed for teammate Kristoff.
Quick-Step Floors moved up as a unit with Kittel at the back of their blue train and dropped him off into the last kilometer in perfect positioning. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) started his sprint from 500 meters out and functioned as a lead out for the men behind him. It looked to be Greipel’s race at 100 meters out, but Kittel, from behind, sling-shotted out of the draft and overtook Greipel and Dèmare for the win.
Click through to read the full race report.