Tour de France 2017 : Stage 7 – Triple and green for Kittel in photo-finish

Another hot day, another long sprint stage in the Tour de France – the last one until next Tuesday – another break from the flag, this time a quartet, also pulled back before the bunch sprint won by Marcel Kittel, who continues his sprint dominance. This makes it all sound a bit Groundhog Day, but it wasn’t. The jury had to spend time poring over the photo finish, which seemed to show a dead heat before confirming Kittel’s third stage win imperceptibly ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen, with Michael Matthews in third place. Kittel’s victory also netted him the green points’ jersey. Race leader Chris Froome and the rest of the GC contenders finished safely in the peloton.

Rider of the Race

Continuing the Groundhog Day theme, my choice of Rider of the Race is another hard-working domestique. This time the prestigious award goes to Lars Bak, who also taps out the tempo on the front of the chasing peloton for kilometre after kilometre. A pro cyclist since 2002, the 37-year-old Dane, another blond, moved to Lotto Soudal six season’s ago with Andre Greipel. He won a number of races early in his career and fittingly his last one was on home-turf in the Tour of Denmark 2015. Though he did win 100 beers for being the heaviest rider to creast the Stelvio in the most recent edition of the Giro d’Italia.

Embed from Getty Images

When questioned about the amount of time he spends at the front of the peloton, Lars merely says: “It’s my job.” Even so, he clearly has a sense of humour.

Like yesterday’s winner, Julien Vermote, expect to see more of Lars as the race unfolds. I wonder if anyone is keeping track of how many kilometres the pair have spent leading the bunch?

How close was that photo-finish?

Looks like a dead heat, doesn’t it? But, according to Inner Ring, the line judge has a zoom camera capable of taking thousands of images per second and can therefore tell to 1000th of a second who won. Tissot, official Tour time-keeper, confirmed Kittel won by 0.0003 seconds or less than 6 millimetres.

I was going to let one of my fellow Velovoices have the last word, until I spotted this.


Top 5 stage 

1  Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) 05:03:18

2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) same time

3 Michael Matthews (Sunweb) s/t

4 Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) s/t

5 John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) s/t

Top 5 GC 

1 Chris Froome (Sky) 28:47:50

2 Geraint Thomas (Sky) +0:12

3 Fabio Aru (Astana) +0:14

4 Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) +0:25

5 Richie Porte (BMC) +0:39

All the jerseys

Leader: Chris Froome (Sky)

Points: Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors)

KOM: Fabio Aru (Astana)

Best Young Rider: Simon Yates (ORICA-Scott)

Team Classification: Sky

Most Aggressive Rider: Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac)

For race reviews, go to CyclingNews; official LeTour website is here

Header image: Marcel Kittel ©Quick-Step Floors Twitter Feed

3 thoughts on “Tour de France 2017 : Stage 7 – Triple and green for Kittel in photo-finish

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