A day on the Tour de France

Fabio Aru claimed his maiden Tour de France win in Paris

They either don't meet in the middle, have gaps at the sides or are nearly see-through which means the light gets in as soon as it gets bright.

"As we say, there is nothing to gain but so much to lose".

"I'm happy with my ride for the first mountain stage". "But for me the objective is to get more victories".

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.

An eight-man breakaway took off early in the stage and built up a maximum lead of three and a half minutes.

"Obviously he's going better than he was in the last race we saw him in".

But with Sky reluctant to chase them down, BMC chose to take over pace-setting duties, in the hope of setting up Porte for the stage win and the time bonus that would offer.

After another long neutral section, the flag dropped and four riders jumped clear immediately.

"I want to improve on the last few years, I want to be in the thick of the action with Froomey and that would mean I'd keep my position or stay up there which'd be a nice bonus".

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Kittel leapfrogged Arnaud Demare in the green jersey competition after receiving maximum points through victory, the Frenchman finishing well back in 11th (6 points).

FACT OF THE DAY: For the first time since 2011, Alberto Contador wrapped the opening week of racing on the Tour de France.

Morning. So, after a couple of pleasurable flat stages for the GC riders in which the sprinters have come to the fore, we're off to the Jura mountains today where pleasure-riding will be nonexistent. "The level that we have here for the sprints is still very, very high".

Kittel was not quite sure about his stage win after he nearly crossed the finish line head-to-head with Norweigen Edvald Boasson Hagen, before that was confimed by the photo finish.

Race leader Chris Froome finished safely in the pack to retain the yellow jersey, 12 seconds ahead of his Sky team mate Geraint Thomas with Italian Fabio Aru (Astana).

Nairo Quintana was the biggest loser of the day, coming in 14sec behind Froome, leaving him ninth overall at 54sec. "There is a fair distance to the finish after the climb on Sunday so it could be a negative race".

'One minute you're cruising along and the next there's a massive parasol rolling in front of you, ' said the three-times Tour champion.

However, seven years ago, the Welshman faded badly on the climb, dropping to 31st.

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