Analytics in Action – Stage 7Blog
Kittel gets a third win by a matter of millimetres
Marcel Kittel’s (QST) dominance of bunch sprints at the 2017 Tour de France was seriously challenged by Edvald Boasson Hagen (DDD) on stage 7. But the German always seems to have the edge in the end.
After 213.5km of racing, it was only a matter of millimetres that decided the winner of stage 7. Marcel Kittel (QST) was challenged by a strong push from Edvald Boasson Hagen (DDD) during the sprint. But once again, the German powerhouse hit 70.49km/h only 32m from the finish and inched ahead right on the line. He averaged 68km/h in the last 500m, while his main rival, Arnaud Démare (FDJ), faded.
The day followed a pattern clearly established during the first week of racing. A group of four riders attacked as soon as the flag dropped, while the peloton took it very easy for the first 15km of the stage. At a speed of 30km/h, your local Sunday rider would’ve been able to stay on their wheels quite easily … that is, until the sprinter teams picked up the pace to stabilise the gap at two to four minutes.
The peloton then waited until the last part of the stage to activate full horsepower and set the scene for a bunch sprint. So far, sprinter teams worked well together. It will be interesting to see if that gentleman’s agreement stays in place if Kittel (QST) keeps snatching the wins and he doesn’t go down in a crash. But this will be next week’s story, as some gruelling climbs await the peloton this weekend. These are sure to create challenges of a different kind altogether.
Key data highlights:
1.) A 12th stage victory on the Tour makes Marcel Kittel (QST) the most successful German rider in the history of the race.
2.) Riding 207.5km with the break today, Dylan Van Baarle (CDT) has now spent 357.5km at the front of the race since the Tour began. Frederik Backaert (WGG) did 391km across stages 3 and 6.
3.) Seven days into the Tour, the riders have covered 34.7% of this year's 3,540km.
4.) The average speed of Chris Froome (SKY) so far is 42.62km/h. Last year, he averaged 39.57km/h over the whole race. However, the main challenges of this year's route still lie ahead for him.
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