Green And Yellow To Remain Unchanged After Stage 10
German Marcel Kittel (team Quick-Step Floors) managed to retain a firm grip on the green jersey (points jersey) during Stage 10 of the 2017 Tour de France. Defying the typical tyre-breadth victories that we have been seeing thus far during this year’s Tour, Kittel powered towards a sprint victory – and appeared to be low-flying over the finish line, placing the length of nearly four bikes between himself and runner-up John Degelkolb.
The Stage 10 victory is Kittel’s fourth 2017 Tour stage win.
What’s more, the German made it look easy. As mentioned before by Aussie great Mark Cavendish, sprinters tend to develop their own winning style and dynamic, and this is without a doubt the driving force behind Kittel’s sterling performance this year.
Chris Froome, this year’s master of the yellow jersey, has also managed to hold on to his status as leader of the pack.
Michael Matthews In Need Of A Miracle
Kittel’s victory has placed a damper on Aussie Michael Matthews’ hope for the green. Kittel increased his points lead to such an extent after the Stage 10 victory, that Matthews has had to reassess whether it was viable to keep the challenge for the points jersey going. Kittel extended his lead on Matthews to 102 points during Tuesday’s stage. Matthews still occupies the runner-up position for the green jersey after managing to bag 13 additional points during Stage 10.
A disappointed Matthews seemed doubtful as to whether he had any remaining chance at nabbing the green from Kittel after Tuesday’s dismal performance, saying that in order to go for green, you had to finish well consistently – and Tuesday was an exception.
Matthews went on to say that a decision now had to be made as to whether to keep chasing the green, or just focus on the individual stages. Matthew now needs a stage win, especially for the value of raking in the 50 additional points.
Being a rider with brilliant climbing prowess, the best opportunity for a stage win would probably be during the 14th stage on Saturday – the 181.5km stretch between Blagnac and Rodez is elevated at a 9.6 percent gradient and has an uphill finish of 570m.
Kittel is wary of Matthews’ ability to climb well – saying that the biggest threat to the green jersey is Matthews’ ability to break away during uphill climbs.
In order to successfully go for green, Matthews will have to win a hilly stage with Kittel being effectively absent.
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