[QODLink]
Cycling

Kittel seals hat-trick of Tour wins

Favourite Chris Froome protects his lead as Germany's Marcel Kittel outguns Mark Cavendish to take stage 12 victory.

Last Modified: 11 Jul 2013 15:51
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Close call: Argos-Shimano rider Marcel Kittel (R) just gets better of Cavendish at the finish line [Reuters]

German rider Marcel Kittel overtook Mark Cavendish right at the line to win the 12th stage of the Tour de France in a sprint finish on Thursday and Chris Froome stayed safely in the main pack to preserve his big lead.

Cavendish moved in front first but Kittel gained ground and just beat him to the line to earn his second stage win in three days, and third of this race.

"As we say in Germany, good things come in three,'' the 25-year-old Kittel said.

"It was close. I don't know what to say. It was a real sprint today, that's why I'm so happy."

It has been a nervy Tour so far and about 20 riders were caught in a crash near the end, with some stuck under the bikes of others as wheels and frames jutted out at all angles.

"It's always like that at the end before a sprint,'' Froome said.

"It's scary for everyone.''

Froome still leads Alejandro Valverde by 3 minutes, 25 seconds and is 3:54 ahead of two-time former champion Alberto Contador.

Cavendish, the Tour's best sprinter two years ago, has had a frustrating race so far.

The British sprinter looked well set to clinch his 25th career stage win of the Tour as his Omega Pharma QuickStep teammate Gert Steegmans got him in a great position to attack. But Cavendish did not have the legs to hold on and Kittel beat him by half a wheel's length.

"I can go back and look over it but he was just faster,'' Cavendish said.

Peter Sagan finished third and still has a comfortable lead as he bids to win the sprinters' green jersey contest.

Sagan has 307 points, and leads Cavendish by 96 points. Greipel is in third place and Kittel is fourth, but both are more than 100 points adrift of Sagan.

302

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
Whatever the referendum's outcome, energy created by the grassroots independence campaign has changed Scottish politics.
Traders and farmers struggle to cope as restrictions on travel prevent them from doing business and attending to crops.
Unique mobile messaging service, mMitra, helps poor pregnant women in Mumbai fight against maternal mortality.
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
join our mailing list