Kittel wins third Tour de France stage in Tours

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) continued his dream Tour de France with victory on stage 12. The German charged around Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in full flight to take his third victory of the 2013 edition. Cavendish looked like he had the legs to take it, but Kittel had the speed to overhaul the Manx Missile in the final metres.

"Both teams had no real lead-out trains in the finale, so every lead out guy had to go long," Kittel said after his win. "I had to go onto the wheel of Cavendish and then I waited a little before I started my sprint. It was close."

Peter Sagan had to settle for third place. The Cannondale rider still holds a commanding lead of 94 points in the green jersey competition. Cavendish moved into second, 16 points ahead of André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol). A crash in the final three kilometres left Greipel without any teammates at the finish. Greg Henderson, Jurgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg all went down, leaving Greipel stuck behind. The German was unable to get back and he crossed the line in the main bunch.

After leaving last year's Tour in the first week, Kittel was more than delighted to have rectified it. "The win today means a lot to me. This is my third win in the Tour de France and in Germany we say 'Good things come in threes'," the Argos-Shimano sprinter said. "I would like to dedicate it to my team, especially Tom Veelers who is still in a lot of pain. I saw him after the stage and he was in tears. I love my team."

Chris Froome avoided the crash to finish safely in the group and retain his yellow jersey. Froome put a lot of time into his rivals in yesterday's time trial, but it wasn't without some ramifications. "I could definitely feel the legs from the efforts of yesterday," he said at the finish. "But they got better as the stage went on. Today was the most relaxed day in the Tour so far and it was a great win by Kittel. We've got a couple more of these sprint stages and then we'll be ready for the mountains."

How it happened

This year's Tour de France hasn't seen much resistance to the breakaways. That continued today with the first attack proving fruitful. Francesco Gavazzi (Astana), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Anthony Delaplace (Sojasun) were the ones to go up the road.

The quintet got a maximum gap of nine minutes before the peloton decided to pick up the pace. With an assured sprint finish, there were plenty of teams on hand to keep the escapees on a short leash.

Gavazzi took full points at the intermediate sprint, leaving it to the sprinters to mop up the remaining positions. As ever it was hotly contested between Cavendish, Greipel and Sagan. Cavendish was the one to come out on top this time, ahead of Greipel. Sagan was left to lick his wounds and vent his annoyance after being blocked by Vacansoleil's Kris Boeckmans.

For much of the day the pace was kept at a high 45kph, faster than any of the Tour's schedules. Sicard was obviously feeling it and he was the first of the escapees to begin his journey back to the peloton. He was caught with 43 kilometres to go. Keen to get the combative prize and some exposure for his team, Flecha refused to be caught and decided to go solo. The peloton seemed all too happy to let the Spaniard make a go of it. Heading under the 10km to go banner, Flecha had a small lead of 25 seconds over the main group. The Vacansoleil rider was finally caught with six kilometres remaining.

With the finish in sight, the pace of the peloton continued to rise, stringing out some of the more tired riders. Just after the three kilometres to go banner, Lotto-Belisol found themselves in a spot of bother. Henderson, Sieberg and Jurgen Roelandts all found themselves on the ground with several other riders. Greipel missed the crash, but was caught up behind him, making it impossible for him to contest the sprint.

The crash was evident at the finish, as many of the sprinters were without their lead-out men. Cavendish still had Gert Steegmans, who delivered him perfectly to the line. It looked like it was all set up for Cavendish, but Kittel jumped out in the final metres to make it a hat trick of victories.



Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano4:49:49
2Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
5Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
7Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
8Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
9Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
10Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
11Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
12Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
13Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun
14Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling
15Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
16Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
17Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
18Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
19Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
20Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
21Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
22Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
23Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
24Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
25Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
26Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
27Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida
28Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
29Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
30Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
31John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
32Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
33André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol
34Alexandre Geniez (Fra)
35Arthur Vichot (Fra)
36Thibaut Pinot (Fra)
37Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol
38Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)
39Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
40Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling
41Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
42Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
43Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
44Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha
45Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
46Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
47Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
48Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
49Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar
50Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
51Jean-Marc Marino (Fra) Sojasun
52Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha
53Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
54Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha
55Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha
56Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
57Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
58Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
59Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
60Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team
61Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team
62Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling
63Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
64Brian Vandborg (Den) Cannondale Pro Cycling
65Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
66Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
67Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
68Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
69Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
70Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha
71Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
72Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
73Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
74Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
75Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
76Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
77Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
78Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
79Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
80Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
81Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team
82Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
83Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida
84Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida
85Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
86Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
87Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
88Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
89John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
90Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
91Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
92Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
93Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
94Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
95Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
96Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
97Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Sojasun
98Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
99Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun
100Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling
101Maxime Mederel (Fra) Sojasun
102Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
103Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
104Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
105Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team
106Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
107Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra)
108Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack Leopard
109Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack Leopard
110Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack Leopard
111Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
112Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
113Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
114Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling
115Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
116Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha
117Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha
118Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
119Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
120Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
121Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:02:31
122David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp0:00:00
123Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:00
124Julien El Fares (Fra) Sojasun0:00:00
125Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ.fr0:00:00
126Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:00
127Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:00
128Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:00
129Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:02:31
130Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:00
131David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar0:03:00
132Jérémy Roy (Fra)
133Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
134Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol
135Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
136Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Katusha
137Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
138Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp0:00:00
139Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:03:00
140Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
141Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge
142Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
143Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:00
144Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:03:28
145Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:00:00
146Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:03:44
147Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
148Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar
149Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
150Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:00
151Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Sojasun0:03:44
152Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
153Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol
154Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
155Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
156Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
157Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling0:00:00
158Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:04:01
159Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling
160Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling0:00:00
161David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling0:04:01
162Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
163Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
164Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
165Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
166Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
167Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:00
168Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:00
169Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:00
170Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:04:01
171Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
172Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
173Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge
174Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:04:07
175Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:00
176Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Sojasun0:00:00
177William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:00
178Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol0:00:00
179Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-Sharp0:00:00
180Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol0:00:00
181Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar0:00:00
182Brice Feillu (Fra) Sojasun0:07:09
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Intermediate sprint - Savigné-Sur-Lathan, km. 166.0
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team20pts
2Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team17
3Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida15
4Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun13
5Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-Euskadi11
6Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step10
7André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol9
8Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling8
9Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team7
10Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol6
11Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step5
12Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol4
13David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling3
14Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling2
15Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff1
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano45pts
2Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step35
3Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling30
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha26
5Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida22
6Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge20
7Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team18
8Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar16
9Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi14
10Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale12
11Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team10
12Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step8
13Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun6
14Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling4
15Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits2
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Young riders
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano4:49:49
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team
6Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
7Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
9Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
11Alexandre Geniez (Fra)
12Arthur Vichot (Fra)
13Thibaut Pinot (Fra)
14Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
15Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
16Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
17Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) Sojasun
18Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Sojasun
19Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
20Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
21Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
22Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:02:31
23Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp
24Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
25Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar0:03:44
26Kévin Reza (Fra) Team Europcar
27Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling0:04:01
28Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
29Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacan