In the final stage to favor the sprinters before the Tour concludes in Paris, Mark Cavendish was the quickest across the finish line. The Briton beat out Norway’s Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan of Slovakia.
Mark Cavendish continued his excellent Tour de France by winning his fourth stage at this year’s event.
Saturday saw the riders take on a 208.5-kilometer stretch of largely flat terrain from Montelimar to Villars-les Dombes. Martin Elmiger and Jeremy Roy broke away from the pack with just under nine kilometers left in an attempt to catch the other riders napping, but they were reeled in by the peleton.
In the final mass sprint, Cavedish positioned himself behind Marcel Kittel’s back wheel, squeezing out the German over the final decisive meters. Kittel was none to happy, but the Dimension Data rider didn’t care as he racked up the 30th stage win of his career. That’s only four fewer than legend Eddy Mercx, who holds the all-time record.
“We knew we had to be there when it narrowed,” Cavendish said after the race. “It was about jumping the train at the end. I followed Kittel and made sure I stayed there. I saw Quick Step hit out early and knew Kittel would be left out in the front. He kicked off a bit but I was way past him – I think he was just frustrated.”
The winning time was 5 hours, 43 minutes and 49 seconds. As expected there was no change in the overall competition, with Chris Froome retaining the yellow jersey.
It was the first of three days of national mourning in France to honor the victims of this week’s deadly truck attack in Nice. A minute of silence was observed at the start of the stage.
Sunday’s 15th stage sees the riders tackle a 160-kilometer mountain stage between Bourg-en-Bresse and Culoz that features six climbs, including one of the highest and two of the first categories.