Kittel notches 2nd straight stage win in photo finish

Kittel notches 2nd straight stage win in photo finish

Kittel notches 2nd straight stage win in photo finish

Germany's Marcel Kittel barely beat Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen when the two finished Stage 7 of the Tour de France with a dramatic photo finish on Friday.

Perhaps the Slovakian was waiting a mile or so from the finish of Stage Six on a giant Evel Knievel gyro launcher, giving him just enough time to contest another sprint.

Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race - The 187.5-km Stage 8 from Dole to Station des Rousses, France - July 8, 2017 - Direct Energie rider Lilian Calmejane of France reacts on the podium, wearing the best climber polka-dot jersey.

Following Wednesday's fireworks on the first mountain top finish of this year's race, won by Italian Fabio Aru following a gutsy solo attack, it will be down to the ground with a bump, and perhaps a few bruises too, on Thursday.

French underdog Lilian Calmejane soloed to victory on stage eight of the Tour de France as Team Sky's leading duo were reminded how an easy mistake could shatter plans to win the race.

The Frenchman took the spotted jersey following the mountainous stage, while reigning champion Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey. I'm in a great shape.

The Direct Energie rider also claimed the polkadot king of the mountains jersey for his efforts on the hilly stage, taking it off Italy's Fabio Aru, victor of Wednesday's fifth stage.

"Last year at the Vuelta I won in a similar manner; it's my first Tour, the eighth stage: a wonderful victory".

"To reach twelve stage wins at the Tour is an incredible success".

For Froome, the results from this weekend might make a big difference. "But I certainly wouldn't say he's any more of a threat than Richie Porte".

It will be interesting to see how the overall classification reads by Sunday night after two massive back-to-back stages. "Nobody moved so I thought I had to go to see what I could do", said Froome, who added he felt fresher than on his previous dominant rides on the Tour.

"There was just a moment when I broke free and started to go ahead".

Kittel is also bidding for a tilt at winning the green jersey for the first time this year as he closed the gap to leader Demare to 27 points - there are 50 points available to stage winners every day.

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