Tour de France: Marcel Kittel wins stage 10 as collision ends Mark Cavendish's chances
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 10/07/13 11:35am
Marcel Kittel, right, beat Andre Greipel, centre, and Mark Cavendish, left
Mark Cavendish missed out on victory on stage 10 of the Tour de France after being involved in a late controversy as Marcel Kittel claimed his second win of the race.
Cavendish saw his line blocked by Kittel's Argos-Shimano team-mate Tom Veelers in the final 400m and the duo subsequently collided, with Veelers coming off worse and falling.
Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), who appeared to be responsible for the clash, continued on, but by now was badly out of position and had to settle for third place, with Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) taking second.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) safely avoided the incident to cross the line on the same time as all of his general classification rivals and retains the leader's yellow jersey.
But the day was far less satisfactory for Cavendish, whose turbulent Tour continued with a controversial conclusion to the stage in Saint-Malo.
Cavendish caught out
He entered the final 500m on the wheel of team-mate Gert Steegmans, but when the Belgian powered forward, Cavendish opted to stay in the slipstream of his rivals.
Kittel then moved left off Veelers's wheel to set off in pursuit of the now surging Greipel, and Veelers subsequently began to drift right, straight into the path of Cavendish.
The Manxman momentarily veered out of the way but then swung back towards Veelers, leading with his shoulder and causing the Dutchman to crash.
Cavendish's line was cut up again when Kittel swung back across him to the right and, having lost more ground, the 24-time Tour stage winner gave up his challenge for victory.
Kittel still had speed, though, and swept past German compatriot Greipel to add to the win he took on stage one in Corsica.
It was a frantic finale to a nervous day on the Tour in which riders were on alert for splits in the peloton caused by crosswinds.
A five-man breakaway was allowed to move clear, but they were only afforded a lead of just under four minutes and the gap soon began to plummet as the main bunch neared the notoriously blustery coastline of north-east France.
Teams looking for victory in the general classification moved up alongside the sprint trains to avoid being caught out and when they collectively turned left at the seafront and exposed themselves to side gusts, a frantic battle to stay at the front ensued.
However, the pack stayed together and a bunch sprint that is likely to be remembered for the wrong reasons ensued.
Stage 10 result
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano, 4:53:25
2 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol, same time
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, st
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale, st
5 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ, st
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, st
7 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st
8 Kevin Reza (Fra) Europcar, st
9 Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM, st
10 Jose Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar, st
24 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st
25 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, st
31 Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff, st
1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, 41:52:43
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +1:25
3 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, +1:44
4 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin, +1:50
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Saxo-Tinkoff, +1:51
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff, +1:51
7 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +2:02
8 Dan Martin (Ire) Garmin-Sharp, +2:28
9 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha, +2:31
10 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +2:45
- Green (points classification): Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale
- Polka dot (mountains classification): Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar
- White (best young rider): Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar