Kittel makes it two on Tour de France stage victory

Marcel Kittel wins the 6th stage of the Tour de FranceFinal victory of Marcel Kittel this Thursday in Troyes at the end of a sprint of high level.

This was one of the tightest stage victories the Tour has ever seen, eclipsing even last year's whisker-thin margin between Kittel and Bryan Coquard at Limoges.

"I will now concentrate on my Tour de France and continue racing".

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"If anything it was more of getting a feel of the climb to the Mont du Chat and the descent", said Froome.

Demare, who nearly came a cropper along the barriers down the inside of Alexander Kristoff in the sprint finish to the 216km stage from Vesoul to Troyes, acknowledged that Sagan's absence changed things, but insisted he'd had a good chance of claiming the jersey anyway.

"It's a nice situation for me that I can say now that I've won 11 stages on the Tour, I'm very proud of that", said the 29-year-old Quick-Step rider.

In the meantime, the top sprinters will have two days to lick their wounds and try to conjure up a way to stop Kittel.

Sagan won the green jersey in the past five Tours.

He remains 12 seconds clear of countryman and Sky teammate Geraint Thomas in second, while Australian hope Richie Porte stayed fifth a further 27 seconds adrift.

Porte moved up to fifth at 39sec, with Quintana ninth at 54sec.

They held on for nearly 2km more but with 4km to ride, it was over and now all down to the overall contenders. "Tomorrow will be another long day". "I was in yellow back in 2013 (for the first time), that was a bit of an overwhelming experience", said the 32-year-old three-time victor.

"If they just have true point to point stages, where the stage starts where it left off the evening before, then they don't have opportunities to make it shorter", Lotto-Soudal sports director Frederik Willems said.

"If anything we made a little bit of a mistake giving Aru that much space".

"When there's a photo finish you always have doubts and there again it really was so close".

Aside from a category-four climb three-quarters of the way through, the 213.5-kilometre route from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges is well-suited to the sprinters.

  • Joey Payne