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Tour de France for Dummies, Stage 10: Kittle makes it f...

South Africa

South Africa

Tour de France for Dummies, Stage 10: Kittle makes it four

Passively interested in cycling? Nothing more than a passing patriotic interest in how the South Africans are getting on in the Tour de France? Our daily wrap is for people just like you. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.

Remember that question about how much cheese you can eat if you’ve done all that cycling? We have sort of an answer. The commentators explained that riders burn about 30,000 calories for about 14 hours of riding. There’s about 386 calories in about 100g of Cantal. So the answer is: lots of cheese.

Of course, athletes aren’t on a mission to clog up their arteries in one sitting. They much prefer gels and “easily digestible” foods to make up their energy. But at least now you know if you needed to avoid suicide by fermented milk product, just hop on your bike for half a day.

But don’t do it on a day like Tuesday. After the manic weekend and an off day, Stage 10 was utterly benign.

What happened on Stage 10?

Watching teams when they start to organise towards the end of stages is incredible. Teams in the peloton are all going faster. They move in unison with military precision, like swans on a lake. And then, on the final few metres, when somebody wriggles their way out of the front group to sprint across, it becomes even more magical. The view from the aerial cameras is mesmerising and Marcel Kittel’s sprint to the finish on Tuesday was exactly that. It’s like a game of chess on wheels. Speaking of wheels, Kittel was going at 63km/h on somebody’s wheel when he slipped through and clinched the stage. The win meant that he now holds the record for Tour stage wins by a German rider.

How are the South Africans doing?

Louis Meintjes slotted in at 46th overall and ninth in the youth classification, Daryl Impey in 41st, Reinhard Janse van Rensburg finished 18th and Jaco Venter in 136th. Team Dimension Data finished the day in 19th, but remain last over all.

What can we expect tomorrow?

Wednesday should be a breeze compared to what is to come. It’s flattish as we ride for 203.5km from Eymet to Pau. And when we say “we”, we obviously mean the people who do this for a living. A good stage for the sprinters.

Quote, unquote

In the end it was super hectic. When I was going in the last kilometre, I thought the sprint was already over, but then a miracle happened and Marcel overtook me. I did a full sprint to stay on his slipstream and that took me to second place. Today he was unbeatable, that’s for sure. But at the tour anything can happen.” – Stage 11 runner up, John Degenkolb, takes losing in his stride.

Who is the current yellow jersey wearer?

Chris Froome remains in front. Fabio Aru is 18 seconds behind him. DM

Photo: Quick Step Floors team rider Marcel Kittel of Germany (C) celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 10th stage of the104th edition of the Tour de France cycling race over 178 km between Perigueux and Bergerac, France, 11 July 2017. EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT


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