Tour de France: Unstoppable Kittel wins again in Pau

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) continued his domination of the sprint competition at the Tour de France with his fifth victory at this year's race on Wednesday in Pau. Kittel had a clear advantage over second-placed Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).

Kittel has now won more stages than any one rider in a single Tour de France since Mark Cavendish's haul of five back in 2011. Eight is the most that any one rider has won in a single Tour de France, with just three riders achieving that.

"It's incredible. Sometimes, I think, when you're on your top level in the sprint it's like playing Tetris, and I think in the last games I always got the right gaps. I never made a mistake and all lines were perfect.

"It's incredible. I'm so happy and it's so nice to give the team a victory. Julien worked today, Philippe Gilbert worked today, and Jack Bauer worked today. They are all champions. They are killing it for me at the moment."

Stage 11 of the Tour de France always looked like a sprinter's day, but Bora-Hansgrohe's Maciej Bodnar tried to upset the formbook. Bodnar had been part of the day's breakaway until he decided to go it alone with 23 kilometres remaining. He was never given much space, but he still held off the baying pack until 500 metres to the line.

With Bodnar caught, it was another sprinting masterclass from Quick-Step Floors. Dimension Data employed the same tactic that they had into last week's stage into Nuit-Saint-Georges, but Kittel had Boasson Hagen's number. Despite having to go the long way around to navigate a tiring Bodnar, he still had the legs to win by a convincing margin. Groenewegen used the slipstream of the big German to pull himself into second place.

Chris Froome finished safely in the pack to retain the yellow jersey ahead of Thursday's mountain stage. One of his major rivals, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), did not lose time, but had to chase back after a crash, as did Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).

How it happened

The sprint stages have followed a formula throughout this year's Tour de France and stage 11 was no different. The breakaway once again went in the opening metres of the stage, with the sprinters' teams shutting things down almost straight away.

Bodnar was one of the three to jump clear along with Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates). As soon as they made their move, Froome made it clear that this was it when he rode to the front and promptly took a nature break. With that, the gap was quickly established and the three riders had a maximum gap of little more than two minutes.

As he's done for the last two weeks, Julien Vermote assumed the front for Kittel and managed the pace. He had some help in the form of Katusha and other sprint teams but Quick-Step Floors did the lion's share of the work.

After very little happening in the opening half of the stage, the second was afflicted by several crashes. The most serious of which saw Dario Cataldo (Astana) abandon the race. His team leader Jakob Fuglsang was also involved in the incident but avoided any serious injury.

Both Contador and Bardet came down in two separate incidents. Contador's involved his teammate Michael Gogl, who took much longer than his leader to get back on his bike.

As the gap to the escapees dipped below a minute, Bodnar decided that he would see how he did on his own. His companions didn't resist too much and allowed him to go solo. Bodnar made valiant effort to hold off the peloton, but with the full might of the lead-out trains hunting him down, he didn't have much of a chance, though he held on until the final few hundred metres.

Fabio Sabatini (Quick-Step Floors) led the pack through the final kilometre before Dimension Data briefly took over. Kittel was too strong, though, and nothing could stop him taking his fifth victory of this Tour de France.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors4:34:27
2Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 1 - Cell 2
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 2 - Cell 2
4Michael Matthews (Aus) Team SunwebRow 3 - Cell 2
5Daniel Mclay (GBr) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 4 - Cell 2
6Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJRow 5 - Cell 2
7André Greipel (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 6 - Cell 2
8Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 7 - Cell 2
9Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 8 - Cell 2
10Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 10 - Cell 2
12Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-AlpecinRow 11 - Cell 2
13Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 12 - Cell 2
14Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 13 - Cell 2
15Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 15 - Cell 2
17Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 16 - Cell 2
18Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 17 - Cell 2
19Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 18 - Cell 2
20Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 19 - Cell 2
21Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 20 - Cell 2
22Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 21 - Cell 2
23Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 22 - Cell 2
24Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 23 - Cell 2
25Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 24 - Cell 2
26Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 25 - Cell 2
27Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 26 - Cell 2
28Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-ScottRow 27 - Cell 2
29Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-ScottRow 28 - Cell 2
30Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 29 - Cell 2
31Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 32 - Cell 2
34Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 34 - Cell 2
36Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 36 - Cell 2
38Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 37 - Cell 2
39George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 38 - Cell 2
40Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 39 - Cell 2
41Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 40 - Cell 2
42Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 41 - Cell 2
43Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 42 - Cell 2
44Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 43 - Cell 2
45Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 45 - Cell 2
47Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 46 - Cell 2
48Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto SoudalRow 47 - Cell 2
49Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-DrapacRow 48 - Cell 2
50Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team EmiratesRow 49 - Cell 2
51Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 50 - Cell 2
52Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 51 - Cell 2
53Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 52 - Cell 2
54Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 53 - Cell 2
55Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team SkyRow 54 - Cell 2
56Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-ScottRow 55 - Cell 2
57Mikel Landa (Spa) Team SkyRow 56 - Cell 2
58Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team SkyRow 57 - Cell 2
59Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-MeridaRow 60 - Cell 2
62Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 62 - Cell 2
64Warren Barguil (Fra) Team SunwebRow 63 - Cell 2
65Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 64 - Cell 2
66Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 65 - Cell 2
67Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 66 - Cell 2
68Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 67 - Cell 2
69Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 68 - Cell 2
70Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 69 - Cell 2
71Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 70 - Cell 2
72Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 71 - Cell 2
73Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 72 - Cell 2
74Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 73 - Cell 2
75Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 74 - Cell 2
76Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension DataRow 75 - Cell 2
77Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 76 - Cell 2
78Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 77 - Cell 2
79Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 78 - Cell 2
80Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 80 - Cell 2
82John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 81 - Cell 2
83Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 82 - Cell 2
84Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 83 - Cell 2
85Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 84 - Cell 2
86Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 85 - Cell 2
87Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 86 - Cell 2
88Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team EmiratesRow 87 - Cell 2
89Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-AlpecinRow 89 - Cell 2
91Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-ScottRow 90 - Cell 2
92Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-AlpecinRow 92 - Cell 2
94Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 94 - Cell 2
96Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 95 - Cell 2
97Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 96 - Cell 2
98Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 100 - Cell 2
102Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 102 - Cell 2
104Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJRow 103 - Cell 2
105Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-ScottRow 104 - Cell 2
106Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJRow 105 - Cell 2
107Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-MeridaRow 106 - Cell 2
108Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 107 - Cell 2
109Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 108 - Cell 2
110Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 109 - Cell 2
111Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 110 - Cell 2
112Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 111 - Cell 2
113Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 112 - Cell 2
114Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJRow 113 - Cell 2
115Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 114 - Cell 2
116Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 115 - Cell 2
117Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 116 - Cell 2
118Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 117 - Cell 2
119Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 118 - Cell 2
120Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 119 - Cell 2
121Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 120 - Cell 2
122Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 121 - Cell 2
123Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 122 - Cell 2
124Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-AlpecinRow 123 - Cell 2
125Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-MeridaRow 124 - Cell 2
126Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 125 - Cell 2
127Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 126 - Cell 2
128Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
129Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 128 - Cell 2
130Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJRow 129 - Cell 2
131Simon Geschke (Ger) Team SunwebRow 130 - Cell 2
132Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 131 - Cell 2
133Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 132 - Cell 2
134Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 133 - Cell 2
135Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 134 - Cell 2
136Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:35
137Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:37
138Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro0:00:38
139Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky0:00:47
140Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:07
141Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team SunwebRow 140 - Cell 2
142Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors0:01:10
143Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 142 - Cell 2
144Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 143 - Cell 2
145Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 144 - Cell 2
146Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 145 - Cell 2
147Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 146 - Cell 2
148Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:14
149Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data0:01:22
150Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:01:26
151Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 150 - Cell 2
152Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 151 - Cell 2
153Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 152 - Cell 2
154Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 153 - Cell 2
155Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension DataRow 154 - Cell 2
156Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 155 - Cell 2
157Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-DrapacRow 156 - Cell 2
158Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 157 - Cell 2
159Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:01:37
160Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:06
161Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 160 - Cell 2
162Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 161 - Cell 2
163Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 162 - Cell 2
164Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 163 - Cell 2
165Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 164 - Cell 2
166Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:02:20
167Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 166 - Cell 2
168Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 167 - Cell 2
169Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 168 - Cell 2
170Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension DataRow 169 - Cell 2
171Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 170 - Cell 2
172Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 171 - Cell 2
173Albert Timmer (Ned) Team SunwebRow 172 - Cell 2
174Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 173 - Cell 2
175Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 174 - Cell 2
176Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 175 - Cell 2
177Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:03:44
178Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo0:04:16
179Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:04
DNFDario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 179 - Cell 2
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Intermediate sprint - Aire-Sur-l'Adour, km. 142.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates20pts
2Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert17Row 1 - Cell 3
3Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe15Row 2 - Cell 3
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin13Row 3 - Cell 3
5Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors10Row 5 - Cell 3
7André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors50pts
2Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo30Row 1 - Cell 3
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data20Row 2 - Cell 3
4Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb18Row 3 - Cell 3
5Daniel Mclay (GBr) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro16Row 4 - Cell 3
6Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ14Row 5 - Cell 3
7André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal12Row 6 - Cell 3
8Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits10Row 7 - Cell 3
9Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates8Row 8 - Cell 3
10Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team7Row 9 - Cell 3
11Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert6Row 10 - Cell 3
12Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin5Row 11 - Cell 3
13Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro4Row 12 - Cell 3
14Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe Gobert3Row 13 - Cell 3
15Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team2Row 14 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 4) Côte d'Aire-sur-l'Adour, km. 145.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert1
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Most combative
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
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