Tour de France: Marcel Kittel claims fifth victory in stage 11

Kittel will be among the sprinters looking to win today’s stage while Froome should just be looking to stay out of trouble

Kittel will be among the sprinters looking to win today’s stage while Froome should just be looking to stay out of trouble

This is the second-longest stage of the race.

The stage took the peloton on a flat, 178-kilometer (111-mile) run from Perigueux to Bergerac in southwestern France.

Meanwhile Chris Froome maintained his overall lead, and held onto his spot as the Yellow Jersey for yet another stage to show how dominant he is in this entire field.

"It was a nervous day", Froome said of the crashes.

Norway's Boasson Hagen was the first of the sprinters to launch his sprint, charging towards the line on the right side of the road, but despite an impressive effort, he had to see Kittel overtake him and win the stage.

Twice champion Alberto Contador and Colombian challenger Nairo Quintana lost ground last Sunday but Froome says he will not give them space in today's 10th stage.

"It's incredible because even being at the top of your game, you're never sure to win".

Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen completed the podium in the medieval town.

With Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and Arnaud Demare out of the race, Kittel strengthened his grip on the green jersey, given to the top sprinter.

Britain's Dan McLay, who was cruelly passed by Kittel on Tuesday's sprint finish, notched up a further placing in fifth. "It's not about being a VIP or part of history", Kittel said.

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"It went so well that it's now pretty clear I have to just go for it and ride smart". - Belgian Philippe Gilbert after his Quick-Step Floors team mate Marcel Kittel of Germany won his fifth stage of this year's race. It was like having a double rest day'.

Thankfully, Stage 12 reintroduces mountains to the Tour after three days of inaction.

Offredo was joined soon afterward by Elie Gesbert, the youngest rider in the peloton at 22 years old, and the pair quickly opened a gap.

The trio has been remotely controlled by the peloton, less than five minute.

The sprinters, and their teams, are not only exhausted, but there are fewer of them now. We had a big chat last night about what we wanted to do and we did that. "It was very pleasant", Warren Barguil said, summing up the day. But Lotto Soudal's Andre Greipel, Cofidis's Nacer Bouhanni, and Katusha's Alexander Kristoff will certainly do their best.

The British rider has an 18 second-lead over Aru, with Bardet 51 seconds off the pace.

After seeing Gesink, Porte, Thomas and many others crash out in the first nine days, Bennett stressed the importance of being patient and "staying on two wheels" - heeding the advice from retired pro Hayden Roulston, who said he should just follow the leaders and let them make the mistakes.

Another quiet day had been expected in the battle for yellow, but there were a few dramas along the 203.5 kilometre stage from Eymet.

"So much can happen between now and Paris, but I love the Pyrenees and I've always raced well there".

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