Kittel Ties German Record for Tour de France Stage Wins

Cycling- The 104th Tour de France cycling race- The 213.5-km Stage 7 from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges France

The German made his move almost too late and edged Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway by six millimeters to win his third stage of the race, and second in two days.

The Belgian did very well to follow the GC riders and after an impressive effort, Pauwels crossed the line in 18th place, just over a minute after Aru, who soloed to victory.

Race leader Chris Froome finished safely in the pack.

So Aru's achievement was even more impressive as it was gleaned against all the best climbers in the world.

"Or in the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles in the Tour this year", said Eusebio Unzué, manager at team Movistar.

"It was so close, like a year ago with Bryan Coquard", he said.

"But I learnt a lot from it and promised myself I'd come back as soon as possible to the Tour because I love the Tour". And if the town like Troyes wants to pay for the finish and then the start, then you have to race the distance to do it.

Tour de France 2017, Stage 7 takes action on July 7th, 2017 8:00 AM EST.

Time and again, Aru kicked on with great determination to consolidate his advantage, also riding into the polkadot king of the mountains jersey.

The last climb on Saturday "could shake things up a bit", Froome said. The 29-year-old took victory on stage two into Liege and Thursday's stage six to Troyes. "I wanted to test my rivals".

"That allowed Fabio to open up a gap".

"Fabio s going to have to be one of the guys we keep an eye on in the next couple of weeks".

Nairo Quintana was the biggest loser of the day, coming in 14sec behind Froome, leaving him ninth overall at 54sec.

But the first big rendezvous between the top guns is expected on Sunday, when the peloton goes up the Col de la Biche (10.5km at an average gradient of 9 percent), the Col du Grand Colombier (8.5km at 9.9 percent) and the Mont du Chat (8.7km at 10.3 percent) before a unsafe descent into Chambery.

With three flat stages on the menu in the opening six days of racing, sprinters' teams have been controlling the breakaways while Richie Porte's BMC Racing team pulled in front of the peloton in the first mountain stage looking to set up their leader for the win.

It was a largely uneventful day for the riders chasing the overall win and they were all credited with the same time.

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