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Tour de France: Marcel KIttel wins Stage 4 in photo finish

By The Sports Xchange
Tour de France: Marcel KIttel wins Stage 4 in photo finish
Marcel Kittel of Germany. UPI/David Silpa | License Photo

Marcel Kittel edged out Bryan Coquard in a photo finish to win Stage 4 of the Tour de France on Tuesday.

Kittel and Coquard brushed shoulders during the frantic final stretch at Limoges, France but the German held off the Frenchman to record his ninth career stage win at the Tour de France.

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"I feel very emotional right now, it feels like my first stage win again," Kittel said afterward. "I'm mega, mega happy. I'm very proud, because the team was really fighting for this win. Things went wrong in the last (few) days, and I'm so happy to be back in the Tour and to win a stage like this."

Slovakian Peter Sagan finished third to retain the yellow jersey. Sagan increased his lead over second-place Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe to 12 seconds while Spaniard Alejandro Valverde is 14 seconds behind in third place.

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"It was a very fast sprint, I started too early today, the same time as Marcel started," Sagan said. "Coquard made a very nice sprint. He was patient and almost won."

Coquard was encouraged with his push down the stretch, which came on a slightly uphill incline to end the 147.3-mile stage. The front tire of Kittel narrowly reached the line first as displayed in the photos of the dramatic finish.

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"I think I belong with the greats now," Coquard said. "There is no mistake in the sprints, the stronger wins. I was never as close to victory, but I haven't won yet. I'm young, but I'm a winner ... and I want to win this year on the Tour."

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