Kittel Powers to Victory in Stage 6 of Tour de France
Today's stage 6 of the 2017 Tour de France offered the sprinters another opportunity to compare raw muscle power in a bunch sprint, while the general classification favorites and hopefuls were busy staying out of trouble in the 216 kilometer stage from Vesoul to Troyes in France.
After the first general classification battle and summit finish in yesterday's stage 5, the Tour de France peloton was happy to sit up immediately as the race was given free at kilometer zero and let three riders go clear to form the breakaway group of the day.
With a sprint victory up for grabs at the end of today's journey, the sprinter teams kept the trio advantage below four minutes in the first half of the stage before initiating their usual reel-in procedure.
The peloton timed the catch rather well and the race was brought together with two kilometers to go, by which time the sprint trains had already been formed.
Kittel won the stage for his QuickStep Floors Pro Cycling Team. French National Champion Arnaud Demare finished second, and Andre Greipel third. Alexander Kristoff showed improving form by finishing fourth.
Team Sky Pro Cycling's Chris Froome remains general classification leader with teammate Geraint Thomas tailing twelve seconds behind.
Friday's stage 7 of the 2017 Tour de France is a 213.5 kilometer ride from Troyes, through Gevrey-Chambertin, to famous wine location Nuits-Saint-Georges. While the stage looks like an additional perfect stage for the sprinters on paper, it may be a different type of rider who ends up celebrating the stage victory by drinking champagne on the podium because the stage is contested on a false plateau.