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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Sports
Kittel wins 11th Tour stage
    2017-July-14  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

AHEAD of two grueling days filled with some truly punishing ascents, the main contenders on the Tour de France were all hoping that Wednesday would be a nice, relaxed day on the bike.

That didn’t happen.

Instead of what riders call a “transition” day, with a comfortable run to the gateway to the Pyrenees mountains, the 11th stage proved to be a brutal experience for some of the top riders after a series of crashes left them nursing cuts and bruises.

When crosswinds started making the bunch nervous toward the end of the stage from Eymet to Pau, the stress became palpable and led to several crashes at the back of the peloton.

German sprinter Marcel Kittel steered clear of trouble and claimed the stage in a sprint finish, taking his tally to five stage wins since the race started.

Frenchman Romain Bardet, who is third overall behind race leader Chris Froome, was not so fortunate. He hit the deck and slightly hurt his knee, but the AG2R La Mondiale rider was able to continue after changing bikes and did not lose any time.

Two-time champion Alberto Contador went down twice. Second-place Fabio Aru lost one of his Astana teammates when Dario Cataldo was forced to retire with a broken wrist after a crash in the feed zone midway through the stage.

Fifth-place Jakob Fuglsang, another Astana rider expected to play a key role alongside Aru in the mountains, was caught in the same crash. He was able to reach the finish, but Astana sports director Dmitry Fofonov said Fuglsang also had a wrist injury.

“It was a nervous day,” Froome said of the crashes.

Froome kept his overall lead intact ahead of the big battle in the Pyrenees. The British rider has an 18 second-lead over Aru, with Bardet 51 seconds off the pace. (SD-Agencies)

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