Marcel Kittel won stage seven of the Tour de France in what must be one of the closest finishes in race history.
German Kittel (Quick-Step Floor) edged out Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) by the narrowest of margins after making a huge lunge to the line, with Team Sunweb’s Michael Matthews coming home in third.
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Team Sky’s Froome crossed safely in the pack to retain his 12-second lead over team-mate Geraint Thomas in the general classification, with Astana’s Fabio Aru third, 14 seconds down.
Kittel’s sprint train had the dominant position as they barrelled towards the finish line in Nuits-Saint-Georges, but veteran Mark Renshaw guided Boasson Hagen to the front.
Kittel risked finding himself boxed in behind Katusha-Alpecin’s Alexander Kristoff, but found the burst of power he needed to take his third victory of this Tour, and 12th of his career in the race.
The 29-year-old took victory on stage two into Liege and Thursday’s stage six to Troyes.