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Tour de France: Emotional Kittel claims stage six win

For the second time in this year's Tour, Marcel Kittel has claimed a stage victory in the Tour de France. Kittel needs only one more stage win to equal the mark of 12 set by Erik Zabel, the most by a German.

Marcel Kittel won his second stage of this year's Tour de France on Thursday, sprinting to victory in the sixth stage before again breaking down in tears.

The German, who now has 11 Tour stage wins in total, had also won the second stage on Sunday.

Frenchman Arnaud Demare was second with Andre Greipel of Germany third on the 216km sixth stage as reigning champion Chris Froome retained his race lead.

But unlike the previous two stages that ended in bunch sprints, this time there was no crash.

As the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected an appeal by world champion Peter Sagan against his disqualification for elbowing Mark Cavendish into the metal safety railings, and out of the Tour, on Tuesday, this dash to the line passed off without incident.

Tour de France 6. Etappe Sprint Demare Greipel Kittel (picture-alliance/Belga/dpa/D. Waem)

Sagan: "It's nice for me that I can say now that I've won 11 stages on the Tour"

Kittel, as he had done on Sunday, proved too strong for his rivals, reaching a maximum speed of 71.17 kmph (44.22 mph) at one stage, according to official Tour data, as he surged from well down the field to breeze past all challengers and win.

"I took the right wheel and then attacked with 250 metres to go," said Kittel.

"I knew in finale if I had good legs, in the final kilometre I would be able to find a gap, and I found it with 250 metres left."

That show of force suggested Kittel, 29, is back to form he showed in 2013 and 2014 when he won four Tour stages in each year.

His victory took him level on stage wins with compatriot Greipel and only one behind the German record of 12 taken by Erik Zabel, who won six consecutive green jerseys from 1996-2001 - itself a record.

mds/dv (AFP, AP)

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