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Marcel Kittel sprints to victory on Stage 10 of the 2017 Tour de France

Sam Challis
11 Jul 2017

The German triumphs on a routine stage for the race's GC hopefuls

Marcel Kittel put in a powerful sprint to see off his sprint rivals and win Stage 10 of the 2017 Tour de France in Bergerac. The German entered the sprint in the perfect position after a pair of technical left-handers in the final kilometre, and opened up enough of a gap that he had time to raise his arms in victory and coast over the finish line.

John Degenkolb of Trek-Segafredo took his best finish of the race to date in second, with Lotto-NL Jumbo's Dylan Groenewegen took third.

A day-long break of two was reeled in 7km from the finish, never in any danger of threatening a peloton that was tightly patrolled by the sprinters’ teams. 

Team Sky’s Chris Froome, Astana’s Fabio Aru and the rest of the GC hopefuls had a welcome uneventful day in the saddle that helped warm the legs after the Tour’s first rest day.

Tour de France 2017 Stage 10: How it happened

For teams targeting the general classification, Stage 10’s flat, 178km route from Perigueux to Bergerac in the Dordogne region was little more than an additional rest day, and despite the high pace, GC contenders were happy to remain out of trouble and let the sprinter’s teams do the bulk of the work on the front of the peloton.

As expected, attacks from minor teams seeking to be in the day’s break started from the gun and two riders, Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Fortuneo-Oscaro's Elie Gesbert, got away, quickly building a 5-minute lead.

But their lead wasn't permitted to stretch out any further by the teams eyeing a stage win. Quick-Step Floors, Katusha-Alpecin and Lotto Soudal patrolled the front of the pack, working for Kittel, Alexander Kristoff and Andre Greipel respectively.

Over the next 100km those three teams pegged the advantage back, second by second, to around 3 minutes by the time the two leaders crested the first of the day’s two ‘climbs’ - the category 4 Cȏte de Domme (3.5km at 3%), which came with 77km left to race.

Saint-Cyprien hosted the day’s intermediate sprint with 57km left to race and there was significant interest amongst the peloton to pick the rest of the points after the break’s Offredo claimed first place and Gesbert second.

Quick-Step executed their leadout for Kittel well, delivering the green jersey to within touching distance of the line, but it was fellow German Greipel who edged it, claiming third place over the line.

The Cȏte du Buisson-de-Cadouin (2.1km at 5.6%) was dispatched with barely a gear change at 40km left to race, paling in comparison to the sharp ramps of the Jura mountains tackled a couple of days ago.

A catch of the breakaway looked imminent around at 20km out but a noticable increase in urgency from the lead pair made the peloton work hard and they were finally caught with 7km left of the stage.

10km out the GC teams moved to the front - a formality to protect their leaders from the potential mistakes of other riders - but passing into the 3km safety zone they moved back to allow the sprinters to go to work.

Lotto Soudal were omnipresent at the front right of the peloton for the last 10km and the rest of the sprinters' teams were left to organise on the left of the road.

Kittel didn't have much of a lead out but still easily bested his rivals to take his fourth stage win of the 2017 Tour de France.