Tour de France: Marcel Kittel wins stage three on The Mall as Vincenzo Nibali retains lead
By Matt Westby in London
Last Updated: 08/07/14 12:12pm
Marcel Kittel claimed his second win in three days at the Tour de France by sprinting to a dominant victory on stage three in London.
The Giant-Shimano rider produced a peerless burst of pace in the final 250m to comfortably beat Peter Sagan into second and Mark Renshaw into third in front of thousands of fans on The Mall.
Vincenzo Nibali crossed the finish line in the peloton to retain his two-second lead at the top of the general classification, while defending champion Chris Froome also finished in the main bunch to remain fifth overall.
The stage was the race’s final day in England and, in a repeat of the scenes seen in Yorkshire over the weekend, tens of thousands of supporters crammed the roadsides all along the 155km route from Cambridge.
Kittel said afterwards: "I am really happy I could win in front of Buckingham Palace and these amazing crowds. I love the atmosphere.
“A sprint finish in front of Buckingham Palace was awesome. It was a really wide road, a little bit downhill, and that was perfect for me."
The stage was almost entirely flat but came alive when the riders entered London just as rain began to fall on the capital.
Despite wet roads, the sprint teams drove a fierce pace to sweep up the last of day's breakaway with 6km remaining and then fought each other for position in a winding final 3km.
Giant-Shimano took up station on the front of the bunch and Kittel still had one team-mate in front of him when they turned the final corner on to the finishing straight.
Sagan was ideally placed in the German's slipstream, but when Kittel kicked he blew the Slovakian off of his wheel and a sixth career stage win at the Tour never looked in doubt.
Stage three result
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Shimano, 3:38:30
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale, same time
3 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, st
4 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar, st
5 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, st
6 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing, st
7 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling, st
8 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar, st
9 Romain Feillu (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnment, st
10 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing, st
28 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st
29 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, st
35 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo, st
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, 13:31:13
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale, +2secs
3 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge, st
4 Greg van Avermaet (Bel) BMC, st
5 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin, st
7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo, st
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, st
9 Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol, st
10 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, st