Marcel Kittel proves himself the best sprinter at the 2013 Tour de France

The points competition is geared towards the sprinters, but it isn’t the sprint competition. If it were, Marcel Kittel would have been the one with the green beard, not Peter Sagan. Kittel won four stages in all, including the biggest sprint of all on the Champs Élysées, breaking Mark Cavendish’s winning run there. I’m a bit disappointed about that last part, if I’m honest, but hey-ho.

Is Kittel really faster than Cavendish?

Kittel, Cavendish and André Greipel all looked much the same speed in the last couple of hundred metres of this year’s Tour de France. Cav perhaps edged out an extra half a kilometre per hour through sheer bloody-mindedness, kicking the shit out of his bike, flinging it from side to side with clench-jawed fury in a desperate bid to get past the other two, but basically, they all looked much of a muchness.

That said, Cavendish was the only one of the three to ride the Giro before the Tour and who knows what that took out of him. Sprinters don’t rely on freshness in quite the same way as other riders, but a three-week Grand Tour’s surely got to have an impact, right? I mean it would hospitalise me, so it must take a tiny bit of the edge off at the very least.

Being as Cav finally won the Giro points competition this year, that perhaps means it needn’t be a target next year, in which case he can concentrate fully on the Tour, preventing me from making flimsy excuses on his behalf.

By the way…

Did I mention that Chris Froome has won the Tour de France? Well, he did. I’ll come to that in good time.

No, really, I will.

Stage 22

There is no stage 22. The Tour de France is over. Instead of racing on their bikes, everyone will be doing what Adam Hansen started a couple of days ago in the middle of a mountain stage.


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