Marcel Kittel's second stint in the Tour de France's yellow jersey was just as short as his first. Just a day after emphatically the Giant-Shimano rider took it with a sprint victory in Harrogate on stage 1, he had to hand it over to Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
With nine climbs on the menu, it was always going to be a tough day out for the sprinter. His team did a good job keeping him out of trouble and inside the peloton, but the second category Holme Moss proved too much for the German. Despite the challenges and finishing almost 20 minutes back on the winner Nibali, Kittel say's his day in yellow was a good one.
"I still enjoyed every second. It was still very hard but despite 3,000 metres of climbing, I still had a good time on the bike," Kittel said, not looking at all disappointed to see his jersey go.
Knowing that he would have to give up his maillot jaune at the end of the day, Kittel decided to have some fun with the British crowds - who were only too happy to join in. The sprinter is a big favourite with the crowds in Yorkshire and has been receiving big cheers wherever he's gone, but he decided to see just how loud they could be.
"The fans were incredible, there are really no words for that. It was an awesome day," he grinned. "Just on that one mountain, it was incredible out and I was up front and just yelled and them and gave them signs to be even louder, like I couldn't hear them. Then it was all over, and I really thought that I lost my hearing."
Normal service will resume for Kittel tomorrow. He will be hoping for a good night's sleep as the teams head south ahead of the final stage of the Grand Départ. Stage 3 will be the flattest of the three to take place in England, and Kittel will be the favourite again to take victory in London.
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