Tour de France 2017: Stage 11 Preview

Can Kittel take his 5th win at the Tour? Photo via

Another sprint down, another superlative display by Marcel Kittel, who further proves that if he’s not the outright best sprinter on earth, then at least he’s the best sprinter left in the Tour de France this year. Once again, on Stage 10, Kittel started his sprint way back in the front pack, and really didn’t look well placed, but, by following in the wheel of Dan McLay before hitting full gas himself, Kittel found the right line to the front of the race and took an emphatic win by several bike lengths. McLay slipped all the way down to seventh place, with John Degenkolb taking second and Dylan Groenewegen coming in third. A fourth place for Rüdiger Selig for Bora-Hansgrohe added to Germany’s sprint dominance, even with André Greipel only managing a disappointing twelfth place.

Stage 11 looks like more of the same again, with an uncomplicated run-in to Pau. The major difference is that the stage is markedly longer than Stage 10, at over 200km, but it shouldn’t be a hard race given that the GC riders have got Stage 12 and six categorised climbs to think about. So, business as usual then? You just can’t bet against Marcel Kittel in a sprint now, nor is it likely that anyone else will get to try on the green jersey. It’s becoming clearer that Dylan Groenewegen is riding his sprints with some consistency, so he’s a good shout for the podium in Pau, and John Degenkolb appears to be coming into some form. It’s a shame that Alexander Kristoff was mobbed on Stage 10, as he looked like he might repeat the second place we saw on Stage 4. Certainly, he’s the most interesting bet at this point, and you could put Michael Matthews into the mix as an outsider — Matthews is second in the points contest and will be doing all he can to add to his kitty, and to try to catch up to Kittel.

Podium picks

1. Marcel Kittel

2. Alexander Kristoff

3. Dylan Groenewegen

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