Germany’s Marcel Kittel of Argos dominated a dramatic group sprint to win the 10th stage of the Tour de France as Britain’s Mark Cavendish escaped sanctions for his role in a late crash.
Yellow jersey holder Chris Froome of Team Sky finished the 197km between Saint Gildas des Bois and Saint Malo just behind the sprinters to retain his lead of 1min 25sec on Spaniard Alejandro Valverde of Movistar.
On a day the peloton were hit with crosswinds as they successfully reeled in a five-man breakaway, Froome was only too happy to avoid being caught up in the crash which saw Dutchman Tom Veelers hit the ground after Cavendish barged into him. “That’s always everyone’s worst nightmare, getting caught in a pile-up,” said Sky team leader Froome. “Fortunately I was to the side of that crash and went around it no problems.”
Kittel, the winner of stage one when he also took the leader’s yellow jersey, pipped compatriot Andre Greipel (Lotto) to become the first sprinter on this year’s 100th edition to win two stages.
But the German admitted the crash had taken the shine off his victory. “I’m really happy to have won but the victory is tempered a bit by the crash.”