Stage two: Marcel Kittel in no mood for upsets
There were no real hills today and no hills yesterday. There certainly weren’t any hills the day before because the race hadn’t even started. Kittel also did a bombing time trial, so he’s clearly in shape.
So of all the stages in this year’s Tour de France, this was the finish at which the German was most likely to be sprinting. It was therefore also the one he was most likely to win. And he did.
But this is endurance cycling. You can’t tell how riders are enduring unless you’ve something to measure it against. This was the fresh legs sprint. Things gradually start to change from now on.
Kittel said he was “super happy” with his victory. Super happiness is the default level of happiness for every stage winning rider. I don’t know why.
The Manx Missile came fourth, which is really impressive for a habitually slow starter who’s had glandular fever.
Another green jersey stage, but another monster 200-plus kilometre one too. This kind of thing’s going to start stacking up as the week wears on.
The fresh legs sprint has been and gone. Will Kittel win the slightly-less-fresh legs sprint too?
Probably not. There are a few lumps and bumps along the way and the finish is uphill too.