After a rest day, it was time for the riders to hit the roads again (not literally I hoped, after only 180 riders started today following the crash ridden Stage 9).
A flat day with a slight uphill finish meant it was another merry day for the sprinters.
It was a day which was supposed to be won by the man in Green.
The day started like every sprint day has started so far in the Tour De France so far: With a breakaway.
This time it was Yoann Offredo (Wanty) who attacked, having had 1 day in the breakaway on Stage 2 and earned the Dossard Rouge for that.
He went solo for a couple of kilometers but was quite hesitant as there no one else around. Finally he was joined by Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Oscaro).
The Peloton let the 2 guys get away and let them build a nice 5 minute lead.
It was a chatty peloton today, led by Julien Vermote (Quick-Step Floors). It was quite an uneventful day, there were tiny scenes like Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) trying to get his seat adjusted but mostly the race went smoothly, through the beautiful French countryside.
Gesbert scored 2 KOM points by winning both Category 4 mountains atop the Côte de Domme at km 100.5 and côte du Buisson-de-Cadouin with 138.5km to go , while Offeredo took the intermediate sprint.
Among the big boys it was Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) followed by Mr. Kittel.
For his aggressive riding, Gesbert got the Dossard Rouge as the peloton caught the breakaway after 170 kms.
As usual, the pace picked up and it looked like Lotto Soudal would take the day having a properly organized sprint train at the front, followed by Katusha. Kittel was somewhere in middle but as he has shown time and again on this tour, he’s a dangerous man from that position.
After safely negotiating some sharp turns the sprinters moved closer and picked up the pace with Kristoff, Nacer Bouhanni(Cofifis), John Degenkolb(Trek Segafredo), Griepel and Kittel all ready to pounce.
And just as the climb began, Kittel erupted again and won, well, quite comfortably taking his 4th stage of this year’s tour and becoming the 1st German to win 4 stages in the Tour De France.
Just for the record, Kittel finished the uphill sprint @ 61 kmph . What a beast.
So, results for today:
Jersey wearers after Stage 10:
Another sprinters day tomorrow.
And honestly, if it is not Sagan then Kittel is the perfect Green jersey.