It is also one that will likely define the contenders for the race leader's yellow jersey by the time the cycling circus reaches Paris two weeks later. "Maybe it was a worse result than yesterday but I was coming fast".
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"Today, he and Dimension Data timed it right to go in the good moment".
"Before the finish, I knew it was going to be close. It's a huge shame for Eddy, but Marcel Kittel has got a lot of class and to lose to him is not bad". "They sure are long days". "Being back here in the Tour and to already have three stage wins - it's incredible, I'm just so happy".
Demare's leadout man Jacopo Guarnieri, meanwhile, was furious with French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni.
"It's a pity I couldn't finish it off", the Norwegian said.
"People always rub shoulders in the sprint finish, it's competitive".
Kittel leapfrogged Arnaud Demare in the green jersey competition after receiving maximum points through victory, the Frenchman finishing well back in 11th (6 points).
Kittel was the dominant sprinter on the 2013 and 2014 Tours before missing the 2015 edition due to illness and injury, when his fellow German Andre Greipel proved the master. "There's so many sprints and there's so many big sprinters here".
"There was a bit of wind and the parasol took off and ended up in the road", said Froome, who had to veer out of the way.
They held on for nearly 2km more but with 4km to ride, it was over and now all down to the overall contenders.
"It's going to be an interesting day tomorrow", Orica-Scott general classification hopeful Simon Yates said.
On such days, Porte said, "there's nothing to gain but there's so much to lose".
Kittel's sprint train had the dominant position as they barrelled towards the finish line in Nuits-Saint-Georges, but veteran Mark Renshaw guided Boasson Hagen to the front.