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Watch: Marcel Kittel wins Stage 7 of the 2017 Tour de France in extremely close sprint finish

Edvald Boasson Hagen could not have come closer to winning Stage 7 of the 2017 Tour de France

Photo Finish - Étape 7 / Stage 7 - Tour de... by tourdefrance

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) won Stage 7 of the Tour de France from a rapid final sprint that took several replays and a study of the finish line photo to pick the winner. The peloton waited all day for the chance to light things up and it was Kittel who came out on top once again. Just.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) could not have been closer to winning and on any other day the victory would probably have been his. The Norwegian looked the strongest he has done for years.

The end of the sprint was fairly scrappy with no clear lead-out trains controlling the race in the final 800 metres.

Neither of the top two seemed to know whether or not they'd won once they came to a halt over the finish line. Even from the slow motion footage the victor wasn't clear.

The win was finally called for Kittel but Boasson Hagen may be considering an appeal to the commissaires for a closer look at the finish line photograph.

Arnaud Demare (FDJ) finished way down in 11th, a points deficit that will be set-up in his quest for the final green jersey.

Arrivée / Finish - Étape 7 / Stage 7 - Tour de... by tourdefrance

Stage 7, a long day at the Tour de France

The Tour de France's seventh stage took riders over 214km from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges. In a year when the race is being shown from start to finish every day there are some questions over planning stages such as today's.

The obligatory breakaway went up the road and today's doomed escapees were Manuele Mori (UAE Team Emirates), Yohann Gene (Direct Energie), Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac) and Maxine Bouet (Fortuneo-Oscaro).

At its greatest, the advantage of the breakaway over the main peloton was pushed out to over 3:45 but for much of the day hovered at a manageable 2:00.

Crosswinds were the biggest threat to causing an upset or garnering anything of interest, but for the most part the peloton stayed together and the stronger team didn't take the opportunity to drill it on the front and shake things up.

As leader of the race, Chris Froome (Team Sky) put his team on the front to monitor things and keep him ahead of any potential splits, which didn't materialise anyway.

Gene was the first to be caught with around 7km left to the finish line. His three former companions pushed on for a little while, with attacks and counter-attacks as the riders tried to snap up the day's combativity prize.

Handshakes all round with 6km left to the inevitavle sprint and it was Direct Energie on the front of the peloton.

Road furniture split the race into two halves being bossed by Quick-Step Floors and FDJ. Other teams were making their presence known and the peloton hurtled towards the flamme rouge.

Tour de France 2017: Stage 7, Troyes – Nuits-Saint-Georges 214km, result

1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors, in 5:03:18
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data, at same time
3. Michael Mathews (Aus) Team Sunweb, st
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin, st
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo, st
6. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, st
7. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, st
8. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, st
9. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, st
10. Daniel McLay (GBr) Fortuneo-Oscaro, st

Tour de France 2017: General classification top 10 after Stage 7

1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, in 28:47:50
2. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky, at 0:12
3. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 0:14
4. Dan Martin (Irl) Quick Step Floors, at 0:25
5. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing, at 0:39
6. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott, at 0:43
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:47
8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek Segafredo, at 0:52
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, at 0:54
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1:01