Marcel Kittel celebrates after winning the Stage 11 of the Tour de France yesterday. Pic/AFP
Marcel Kittel continued to dominate the Tour de France sprint finishes, taking his fifth stage victory in Pau yesterday. Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen took second with Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway third as Chris Froome retained the leader's yellow jersey. But there was agony for Poland's Maciej Bodnar who spent more than 200km in a breakaway, only to be caught with 300-metres to ride. Once he was caught, though, there was a certain inevitability about Kittel's victory, his 14th overall at the Tour.
In each of the last five years one rider has been dominant in sprint finishes, with Briton Mark Cavendish taking four stage wins last year and German Andre Greipel matching that the year before.
The two years previous to that, Kittel had been the top fast man, winning four stages in each of 2013 and 2014. But he seems to be better than ever this year, and with Cavendish, world champion Peter Sagan and French winner of the fourth stage Arnaud Demare all out of the race, Kittel seems to have no competition left.
With at least three more possible sprint finishes to come in the race, Kittel could yet match the record of eight stage wins form a single Tour.
The dazzling persona of a champion -- the 'Dauntless Dhoni'!
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