While Germany’s Marcel Kittel won the 12th stage of the Tour de France on Thursday, beating Isle of Man sprinter Mark Cavendish in the 218km ride from Fougères to Tours, race favourite Chirs Froome retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
German Marcel Kittel claimed his third victory on this year’s Tour de France when he pipped Mark Cavendish on the line to take the 12th stage on Thursday.
Kittel, who won the first and 10th stages, stayed behind the Briton’s wheel in the final straight and went past Cavendish at the very last moment. Slovakia’s Peter Sagan took third place at the end of a 218-km flat dash from Fougeres.
Britain’s Chris Froome avoided a late pile-up in the bunch and retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
- Tour de France stage 21: Versailles and its secret garden.
- Tour de France stage 20: Gone fishing in Lac d’Annecy
- Tour de France stage 19: Reblochon cheese in Grand-Bornand
- Tour de France stage 18: the Alpe d’Huez and its 21 hairpin bends
- Tour de France stage 17: Chorges, a town that takes the sting out of beekeeping
- Tour de France stage 16: the medieval town of Vaison-la-Romaine
- Tour de France stage 15: vineyards below the Mont Ventoux
- Tour de France stage 14: Lyon, France's food capital
- Tour de France stage 13: Chateau de Chenonceau, the women’s castle seen from top to bottom
- Tour de France stage 12: Tours, the cavemen of the Loire Valley
- Tour de France stage 11: Le Mont Saint-Michel, the hidden side of the western wonder
- Tour de France stage 10: Saint Malo, a town of privateers not pirates!
- Tour de France rest day: a bird's eye view of the Guérande salt marshes
- Tour de France stage 9: dancing in the hills of Bethmale
- Tour de France stage 6: A bird’s eye view of Cézanne’s mountain
- Tour de France stage 5: Marseille, capital of French boules
- Tour de France stage 1: Bonifacio, a town on a cliff edge
- Tour de France stage 4: Nice is nice, even in the rain
- Tour de France stage 3: Picturesque Piana
- Tour de France stage 2: Tasting Bocognano's famous charcuterie
Dozens of riders were involved in the crash but as it occurred inside the last three kilometres all were credited with the winner’s time.
Froome’s team mate Edvald Boasson Hagen was one of those who crashed and was holding his shoulder when he crossed the line.
“He is being examined by the doctor. I don’t think he has a broken collarbone but he’s hurting,” said Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford, adding that a decision on whether the Norwegian would start the 13th stage would likely be made in the morning.
It is the second time in this year’s race Kittel has beaten Cavendish in a sprint. Another specialist, German Andre Greipel, did not contest the finale having been held up behind the crash.
Five men formed an early breakaway to open a nine-minute gap but the sprinters’ teams reeled them in with five kilometres left.
Both Kittel’s Argos-Shimano and Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-Quick Step teams took the front to lead their sprinters.
Kittel, with no lead-out man left, took Cavendish’s wheel and perfectly timed his final effort.
“As we say in Germany, good things come by three. I want to congratulate (team mate) Tom Veelers for his hard work despite what happened to him,” Kittel added.
On Tuesday, Dutchman Veelers crashed in the finale after bumping shoulders with Cavendish, who was cleared of wrongdoing by the race commissaires.
Friday’s 13th stage takes the peloton over 173 km from Tours to Saint Amand Montrond.
Date created : 2013-07-11