Analytics in Action – Stage 11Blog
Once again top dog in today’s race to Pau, Marcel Kittel (QST) became only the second rider this century to score five stage wins on a single Tour de France.
Marcel Kittel (QST) dominates the sprint … again. The 11th stage of the 2017 Tour de France created a feeling of déjà-vu, with the German sprinter storming to victory ahead of every rival after a day of racing controlled by the sprinter teams.
Dylan Groenewegen (TLJ) was just a notch faster again at 72.04km/h, but with a top speed of 71.24km/h, Kittel (QST) snatched his fifth victory this July. In the 21st century, only Mark Cavendish has achieved this same feat.
Meanwhile, Chris Froome (SKY) enjoyed a smooth ride for his 50th day leading the General Classification. On stage 12, he'll move past French legend Jacques Anquetil, who won the race five times in the 1950s and ’60s. Only Eddy Merckx (97 Yellow Jerseys), Bernard Hinault (75 Yellow Jerseys), and Miguel Indurain (60 Yellow Jerseys) are still ahead of him.
The three early attackers of the day easily created a 3'30" lead, with the peloton covering the first 10km of the stage at a pace that was 13.5 km/h slower than Marco Marcato (UAD), Maciej Bodnar (BOH), and Frederik Backaert (WGG). Their lead never got more than 5’. This was far from being enough to prevent Kittel's (QST) fifth win on this Tour de France, although Bodnar (BOH) was only reeled in 300m from the finish line.
It's hard to say what could derail the German sprinter from his hot streak on flat stages now. The only sure thing is that he won't enjoy Thursday much, as the race heads back into the mountains.
Key data highlights:
1.) Marcel Kittel (QST) has won 46.67% of the bunch sprints on the Tour stages he’s completed since his first participation in 2012: 14 out of 30.
2.) Maciej Bodnar (BOH) covered 99.5% of the 203.5km of stage 11 at the front of the race before the sprinters stormed past him.
3.) Frederik Backaert (WGG) is the rider we've seen the most at the front of Tour since the race began: 571km of riding in breakaways.
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