Andre Greipel wins Stage 6 of the 2014 Tour de France. Photo by Graham Watson
It’s been a good week for German sportsmen. Marcel Kittel went 3-for-3 in opening sprint stages of the Tour de France, the German national soccer team scalped Brazil 7-1 in a World Cup semifinal match, and Thursday the man affectionately known as the Gorilla broke through with a Tour stage win of his own, blasting first across the line at the conclusion of the 194km run from Arras to Reims.
Andre Greipel of Lotto-Belisol put nearly a bike length into Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff, who slotted a distant second for the second time in three days. Samuel Dumolin (Ag2r La Mondiale) was third. The only bad news for Germany was a late race puncture suffered by Kittel (Giant-Shimano), which knocked him out of contention for another stage win.
In the race for the overall Tour title, Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and the rest of the primary GC contenders all finished on the same time. Up next is another day with sprint finish potential. But Friday’s 234.5km trip from Épernay to Nancy is the second longest of the Tour and has two small climbs near the finish, which could help launch the Tour’s first successful breakaway.
Yellow Jersey: Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Astana Pro Team
Green Jersey: Peter Sagan (SVK), Cannondale
Polka Dot Jersey: Cyril Lemoine (FRA), Confidis-Solutions Credits
White Jersey: Peter Sagan (SVK), Cannondale worn by Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Omega Pharma – Quick-Step