German Marcel Kittel of the Etixx-Quick Step team won the fourth stagecoach of the Tour de France, a 237.5 km ride from Saumur on Tuesday
The Tours bunch sprints are always tense occasions but generally the tension precedes the finish rather than coming after it. Here, nonetheless, the boundary between Marcel Kittel and the Frenchman Bryan Coquard on the line handed a positively generous look to the few inches that had separated Mark Cavendish from Andr Greipel in Angers the previous day. Kittel landed his ninth Tour stage win by a few cases millimetres, so tight that initially the French television commentators were roused it had gone their guys channel. Again , no one knew “whos been” triumphed until the photo finish had been scrutinised.
The finish up the 700 metres of Avenue Georges Dumas from the river Vienne was steep enough for long enough to give the relative lightweights such as Coquard reason to hope, and fetched a whole new element to the finish mix. So too did the breathtakingly fast and highly dangerous downhill run-in through the town to the river, past the railway station, round bends with no visible departure, through circuitous and in and out of traffic islands, all at a accelerate some five or 10 kph faster than usual.
The triple 2014 theatre winner, Alexander Kristoff, was first to induce his effort, but as Coquard read subsequently, this was a finish where the winner would have to leave it belatedly; not surprisingly the Norwegian faded as Kittel knocked in the middle of the road, with Coquard accelerating rapidly to close the initial crack from a few lengths behind, but then visibly struggling to come level with the German. In the final metres he had just enough force, or so it seemed, but his right shoulder attained linked with Kittels left and slowed him down fractionally.
The Frenchman has progressed steadily since triumphing the silver medal in the track omnium at the London Olympics and will surely soon get the stage-win he merits; however, the fact that there is local Raymond Poulidor the celebrated eternal second, and most well known French cyclist of all time on the podium subsequentlies helped as a remember that finishing a fearless runner-up is anything but job suicide in France.
Slumped on the tarmac afterwards, Kittel described the wait to find out who had triumphed as, horrifying; more than usual was going on this win after “hes spent” 2015 in the doldrums. English love will recollect his brief appearance at the Tour de Yorkshire which was distressing to watch and summing-up up a season waste opposing a virus, making one abortive comeback after another, until the Giant-Alpecin team refused to send him to the Tour after which he left to change Mark Cavendish at Etixx crews in-house fastman.
This is a extremely, very important daylight for my occupation; if I can win even a 237 -km stage with an uphill finish that shows Im back at the highest level, said the German, who had already had indicated that 2015 was shaft behind him by prevailing 12 races this year including two stages of the Giro dItalia. With both him and Cavendish seemingly back to their best, that predicts often for the remaining flat stages, begin with flow south to Montauban.
Cavendish lost contact with his lead-out beings, inaugurated the sprint well back, was boxed in as other equestrians lost momentum, but still “ve had enough” nothing to finish eighth in a finish that did not entirely suit him, one neighbourhood behind the British beginner Dan McLay, whose promising evidencing prolonged. The green jersey is now on the shoulders of Peter Sagan by a measly five points “the worlds” champion was third here, right in the combination once again and when the race participates the mountains the Slovak is likely to draw further ahead.
With a 216 -km stage including 5 second and thirdcategory hills in the final 80 km through the Cantal, the first serious climbing is coming back Wednesday, earlier than in any Tour since the 1992 hasten made a brief visit to the Pyrenees. There is nothing on the dimensions of the what lies ahead later on, but it should be enough to create a pick and as on the road to Cherbourg on Sunday one or two overall contenders are likely to come unstuck. Alberto Contador will be closely watched, so too Geraint Thomas, who has been nurse severe bruising to the ribs since his accident at the finish at Utah Beach.
Conventionally, the Tour organisers wait a little longer to send the field up any serious clambers, but the deliberation this year is that the sooner the field is tired out the better, as the tirednes will help to settle nerves and thus prevent clangs. After Wednesday, a long time any flat respite between mountain stages will last-place is a single daylight the departure from the Pyrenees next Tuesday is via the most important one pass of the entire hasten, the Port dEnvalira lending weight to the proof that this is the most rocky Tour of recent years.
Whether the yellow-bellied jersey changes handwritings at the finish at Le Lioran on Wedesday remains to be seen. French eyes will be on Julian Alaphilippe, who lies precisely 12 seconds behind Sagan and can climb, but “the worlds” champ has managed to trip strongly through what is termed medium mountain in the past.
The more exciting wonder is whether Tinkoff will expend vigour in defence of his t-shirt, which in turn may depend on whether Contador is seen as a busted even and Sagans lead takes priority over the Spaniards chances of a high place overall.