After yesterday’s climb, it was time for another group sprint and Team KATUSHA ALPECIN was eager to put team leader Alexander Kristoff in position to challenge for the win. With teammate Rick Zabel recovered from crashes earlier in the Tour, Kristoff had his full lead out train on hand in Troyes, and took fourth on the day.
“The sprint was OK for me but I was a little bit disappointed. We tried our best. Marco Haller was there again and did a really good job but I came a little bit behind,” said Alexander Kristoff.
Asked about lifting his hand up as if in protest, Kristoff said that was not the case: “I think I hit a bit of paper in the left corner and slid some on my front wheel so it was lucky I did not crash but I did lose some speed there. But anyway, at the end I felt good. We will have more stages, including one tomorrow,” Kristoff concluded. It was actually Marco Haller who lifted his hand to signal that Arnaud Démare had unintentionally touch his handlebars in the sprint, but no accident resulted from the movement.
It was a second stage win for Quick-Step Floors Marcel Kittel (5:05:34 and 42.413 km/h) with Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and André Greipel of Lotto Soudal taking second and third just ahead of Kristoff, all on the same time for the 216k stage from Vesoul to Troyes.
The general classification for the yellow jersey remains the same. Chris Froome has yellow, followed by Team Sky teammate Geraint Thomas at 12-seconds and Fabio Aru of Astana another two-seconds back.
Stage 7 on Friday in the 104th Tour de France provides another chance for Alexander Kristoff and his Team KATUSHA ALPECIN teammates to go for glory on the finish line. At 213.5k, the stage begins in today’s finish town of Troyes and ends in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
Photo credit © Tim De Waele