Kittel makes it two on Tour de France stage victory

BMC Racing rode at the front of the peloton in Tour stage 5 while Team Sky waited in the wings

Hot temperatures do not bother the three-time Tour victor, which is a good job given that the mercury moved up to 37 degrees on the road between Vesoul and Troyes, where Marcel Kittel won in a bunch sprint.

According to some insiders, Froome's reign could be under threat by his former Tasmanian teammate Porte.

"It is insane and celebrating three stage wins is incredible".

"It's a tough little finish, you'll have be really on it, vigilant", Thomas reflected.

"I think maybe if I started my sprint a bit earlier, second would have been possible but Kittel is another level".

Missing out on the stage victory in what is surely one of the closest photo finishes ever will be hard to swallow for the Norwegian, but solace can be taken in the experience.

Benefiting from a superb lead-out, Boasson Hagen had looked destined to give his Dimension Data team a lift following the set-back of Mark Cavendish's withdrawal on Tuesday.

Boasson Hagen was happy with his performance despite some agonizing feelings over the narrow margin of finish. It's just insane. I already have three wins in this Tour. The French national champion now has 170 points - 27 more than the German double stage victor. "There is not really one team that is stronger than the others, but Marcel is definitely stronger than everybody else".

Crosswinds were expected to trouble the bunch in the final 80 kilometres as sprint and GC teams like Lotto Soudal, Quickstep, Sky and Movistar were heralded to the front by nervous directors.

So it's easy to see why so many are thinking it will be interesting to see just how the Mont du Chat is raced this time.

"I'm not sure, there's a fair distance to the finish after the climbs so it could be a negative race as well".

"We all know if we can get a good result with the team we have here".

The Slovenian rider was on the tarmac twice today before the fast men even got close to starting their sprints. "It's a huge shame for Eddy, but Marcel Kittel has got a lot of class and to lose to him is not bad".

Kittel's duel with Demare bodes well for a green jersey competition which has been blown wide open following Tuesday's controversial disqualification of the world champion Peter Sagan, the Slovakian who won the points classification for the past five years. "Heading into the weekend, obviously we have some big mountains now, so our focus moves toward that".

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