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Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Flooring) was untouchable in the final 150 metres of the sixth stage overcoming the Green Jersey wearer Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and the other German fast man, Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal).
At one stage as Demare (like Cavendish) decided to take the barrier route towards the line, we thought another repeat of Stage four was on the cards but to the credit of Cavendish’s Dimension Data team member, Edvald Boasson Hagen held his line and nerve as Demare pushed past and powered towards the line looking to take another outstanding victory.
But it was sheer power and speed from Kittel, coming from 10 riders who back flashed towards the finish line to secure his second win and edge closer towards the Green jersey.
Australian Team Sunweb rider, Michael Matthews was as also present towards the front taking seventh position across the line.
After all the previous events from the past few stages, in his own words, Matthews has said he not prepare to put his ‘life on the line’ just to secure a top five finish.
“The legs are really good. The head is really good,” Matthews said “We just need to be in a better position in the big sprints, I’m not really a guy that’s going to go crazy in the last few Ks and risk my life for being a top five or a top three. We really need to work on nailing that lead-out. That’s how I’ll get the best result in the sprint.”
It was also another solid finish for the Kiwi Tour debutant Dion Smith (Wanty- Group Gobert) finishing a credible eleventh amongst the giants. Smith has shown during the past twelve months he has the goods to mix it with the fastest men in the peloton, and is one of my Smokey’s to secure a Stage win before the finish of this year’s race.
Tomorrows Stage is another flat race so it’s possible we will see the fast men at it again, could it be the win that Kittel needs to take over the Green jersey or will we see the Frenchman extend his lead in that category, what’s very clear is these two guys are unbelievable quick and a pleasure to watch.
Other results of note from Stage Six –
- Michael Matthews – Team Sunweb
- Dion Smith NZ – Wanty – Group Gobert
- Jay McCarthy – Bora Hansgrohe
- Richie Porte – Team BMC
- George Bennett NZ – LottoNL – Jumbo
- Simon Clarke – Cannondale Drapac
- Mathew Hayman – Orica-Scott
- Adam Hansen – Lotto Soudal
- Patrick Bevin NZ – Cannondale Drapac @ .52
- Mark Renshaw – Dimension Data @ 1.14
- Jack Bauer NZ – Quick-Step – Flooring @ 2.00
- Damian Howson – Orica-Scott @3.00