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Tour de France 2017: Stage 10


After a gripping weekend of racing in the Jura, the Tour de France caught its breath during Monday's rest day and resumes to what should be a gentler afternoon of racing in the Dordogne. There are just category 4 climbs on the 178 kilometres from Perigueux and Bergerac, and the sprinters will hope to have another opportunity on the Allee Lucien Videau.

The general classification picture is as follows ahead of stage 10:

Stephen Farrand and Alasdair Fotheringham have broken down the general classification  in greater detail here. Richie Porte (BMC), Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) may have been forced out, but the situation is still very tight atop the overall standings. Fabio Aru and Romain Bardet look the most likely threats to Chris Froome, but Nairo Quintana is not quite out of the hunt yet. Others, like Dan Martin, Rigoberto Uran and Simon Yates, can also have a major impact on the outcome of this race.

Another man who still wants to influence this Tour is Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), even if his hopes of a third overall victory surely ended on Sunday afternoon. The Spaniard crashed twice on stage 9 and now lies 11th overall, 5:15 back, but he is still eyeing "beautiful things" later in the Tour. You can read his full thoughts from the rest day here.

One confirmed non-starter this afternoon is Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe). The Pole was making his first tilt at the GC of the Tour, but he lost 36 minutes on Sunday after coming down in the same crash that ended Geraint Thomas' race. During Monday's rest day, Majka announced that his injuries were such that he would have to abandon the Tour. One touching feature of Majka's plight on Sunday was that his fellow countryman Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) took it upon himself to help nurse him through the final kilometres of the stage, and they crossed the line together in Chambery.

The peloton is lined up for the neutralised start, due at 1.10pm local time. After negotiating an 8.2km neutralised zone, the peloton should reach kilometre zero for the official start at 1.25.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) admitted to struggling on Sunday, but for all the doom and gloom about his prospects, he is not yet out of contention. He will need to show a lot more in the Pyrenees, of course, if he is to turn his race around.

There are leaden skies overhead as the peloton navigates the neutralised zone, but for now at least, the roads beneath their wheels are dry. 

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Offredo shakes his head in disbelief. His teammate Guillaume Van Keirsbulck had a long, solo raid on stage 4 and Offredo could be in for something similar here.

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The loudest cheers at the start were for Romain Bardet, who announced his intentions for the remainder of this race with his AG2R team's aggressive weekend in the Jura. The Frenchman trails Froome by just 51 seconds on a parcours well-suited to his talents. It's going to be hard to shake off talk of 32 years and all that... Alasdair Fotheringham has the story from Bardet's rest day press conference here.

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As the break's lead nudges above five minutes, Quick-Step send Julien Vermote to the front to keep tabs on the advantage. Froome and his Sky squad are lined up behind the Belgian.

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Richie Porte's Tour was brought to a sudden halt by his crash on the descent of Mont du Chat on Sunday, but despite sustaining a broken pelvis and collarbone, the Australian expressed hope yesterday that he might return to action before the end of the season. You can read the full story here.

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Monday's rest day saw Adriano Malori announce his retirement from professional cycling at the age of 29. The Italian never recovered fully from the injuries he sustained at the 2016 Tour de San Luis, which were so severe that he spent time in an induced coma in Buenos Aires. It must be said that the simple fact Malori was able to return to cycling at all was a most remarkable achievement. He spoke most eloquently in Spanish yesterday at the Movistar press conference as he bade farewell to competitive racing, but revealed that he was studying to become a coach. Considering his back catalogue, which includes a stage win at the 2015 Vuelta and a medal at the time trial Worlds, not to mention his command of foreign languages, one imagines we will continue to see Malori involved in professional cycling in the future. 

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Yoann Offredo is one of the most interesting personalities in the Tour peloton and, at 30 years of age, is a very late debutant in La Grande Boucle. A committed Classics man, Offredo evinced no interest in riding the Tour, and has spoken of how he used to watch with detachment during his time at FDJ as his teammates battled one another for selection for the Tour. Offredo moved to Wanty in the off-season, of course, and the Belgian squad persuaded him to revise his most atypical (at least for a French professional) disdain for the Tour. Offredo is, incidentally, just of nine debutants in the nine-man line-up.

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Katusha-Alpecin have joined the chase at the head of the bunch with Alexander Kristoff in mind. The Norwegian, still to agree a contract for 2017, is in need of a big result on this Tour after a typically consistent but ultimately underwhelming Classics campaign. Yesterday, incidentally, Katusha confirmed that Ilnur Zakarin has signed a two-year contract extension. Zakarin, fifth at the Giro and one of the most fascinating personalities in professional cycling today, is not on this Tour but is expected to feature among the contenders at the Vuelta a Espana in August. 

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Despite holding the yellow jersey, Team Sky decided not to hold a press conference at all on Monday, and so Froome's thoughts on the matter were limited to a press release far too banal to recount here. For years, Sky have been telling us that they "welcome the questions" but dispensing with the race leader's traditional rest day press conference rather strongly suggests otherwise. 

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Gesbert made headlines today even before he infiltrated the break in the opening kilometres. The Breton risked inadvertently starting a fire at the Fortuneo-Oscaro hotel on the rest day in Boulazac after he left a towel on an electric heater in his room. Ouest France has the full story here.

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Chris Froome and Team Sky didn’t hold their usual press conference on the first rest day, but Froome spoke briefly before the start of the stage as Team Sky went on the podium together to collect the tam prize from Sunday’s ninth stage.

The peloton crests the summit 3:10 down on Offredo and Gesbert, with Lotto, Katusha and Quick-Step all represented at the front.

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"I think it’s pretty clear that I’m not able to do what Michael can do," Kittel said at the start today. "He’s a very strong guy on the climbs but that’s not a surprise, he’s shown it before. So I have to score my points on stages like today and in the intermediate sprints to get a really good advantage before we get into the harder stages."

Kittel will have to fare without the help of Matteo Trentin, who was eliminated on Sunday, as he bids for his fourth win of this Tour. "For sure it’s disappointing to see him crash out of the Tour. He tried to finish the stage but it was just not enough," Kittel said. "It’ll have an influence but as a team I think we can in some kind of way try to compensate that we lost him."

A mechanical problem for Nairo Quintana, who calmly makes his way back on immediately through the race convoy.

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Andre Greipel takes third place ahead of Kittel. Kristoff was next over the line and then - I think - Matthews. Kittel adds another handful of points to his advantage in the green jersey competition. So much for the Kittel might be sparing himself for the sprint in Bergerac theory...

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Offredo and Gesbert tackle the lower slopes of the category 4 Cote du Buisson-de-Cadouin with a lead of 1:58 over the peloton.

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One notable absentee from the list of sprint teams at the head of the peloton: Michael Matthews' Sunweb squad are happy to let the chasing to Quick-Step, Lotto et al. Matthews explained before the start that he believes Saturday's stage to Rodez is a better option for him than today's flat run-in. "I enjoy those stages more than flat stages. It's more exciting for me, I don't find flat stages very exciting, they're a little boring. The hillier stages are more my forte I guess," said Matthews, though the technical run-in gives him a chance this afternoon. "I think it makes it a little bit more of a possibility for a sprinter like me, it's less about high speed."

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Kittel seems to have only Fabio Sabatini for company as he moves up in the peloton.

There has been a split in the peloton ahead of the flamme rouge... It's not clear if any GC men have missed out.

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Marco Haller leads out for Kristoff...

Dan McLay launches his effort from distance, but with Marcel Kittel on his wheel...

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) wins stage 10 of the Tour de France. His fourth stage win of this Tour and his 13th in total, the most by any German rider.

Kittel won emphatically. John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) was second, while Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) took third.

Rudiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe) took a solid fourth, while fifth-placed Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and sixth-placed Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) will be very disappointed with how that one panned out. 

So, too, will Andre Greipel, who was nowhere to e seen in the finishing straight and placed outside the top ten.


Chris Froome (Sky) retains the yellow jersey and it does not appear the late split in the peloton has made any change to the top of the GC, though we await confirmation.

Kittel came off McLay's wheel at 63kph to win the stage by the proverbial street from Degenkolb and Groenewegen.

"It's an incredible amount of Tour de France stages, and to win four in one Tour is amazing," Kitttel says, who has set a record for Tour stage wins by a German rider. "Of course, it means something to me. I've won so many stages in the Tour and I never expected that when I started my career. I dreamed of being a professional but to be at this level is incredible. I feel like I live in a small little bubble. I saw that McLay started to sprint very early to come to the front, and that was my lead-out. I feel really good in the sprint at the moment and the power was there."

QuickStep directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters downplays the prospect of Kittel winning another four stages between here and Paris - "We'll go day by day, eh" - but he points out that the German is building quite a buffer in the points classification. Matthews will need to be very industrious in the mountains to peg back this deficit.

General classification:

Second-placed John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) speaks. "We always tried to stay in a good position. in the end it was super hectic, very nervous. When I was going in the last kilometre, I thought the sprint was already over, but then a miracle happened and Marcel overtook me. I did a full sprint to stay on his slipstream and that took me to second place," says Degenkolb, who acknowledges there was little to be done against Kittel. "Today he was unbeatable, that's for sure. But at the tour anything can happen."

Chris Froome (Sky) speaks after defending his lead for another day. "It's nice after a rest day for things to not be so crazy again. Nice stages to tick off now. I guess, just regain a bit of energy before we hit the Pyrenees. Tomorrow should be another sprint day. Everyone’s waiting to see what the weather’s going to be like tomorrow. That could play a part. Otherwise it should be a straightforward sprint day before we hit the Pyrenees the day afterwards. The race is still very close, very open, and there is a lot of racing to come."


Our reporters in Bergerac are in the salle de press working on their post-stage stories. As we wait for them to file, here is a selection of snap reactions from some of the protagonists from today's stage.

Video highlights of today's stage are available here.

You can read Chris Froome's thoughts on earning a 50th yellow jersey here.

A full report, results and pictures are available here. Thanks for joining our live coverage on Cyclingnews this afternoon, we'll be back with more from stage 11 to Pau, where Marcel Kittel will be chasing a fifth stage win on this year's Tour de France.


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