Marcel Kittel of Argos-Shimano has become the first man to win two stages of this year’s Tour de France, outgunning Lotto-Belisol’s André Greipel in a hard-fought sprint in Saint-Malo at the end of today’s Stage 10. The big talking point though was the crash that sent the German’s leadout man Tom Veelers crashing to the ground as Mark Cavendish looked to come round him – the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider stayed upright and finished third.
There are differences of opinion among both fans and riders about who was to blame for the incident, Veelers appearing to drift slightly to his right as Cavendish looked to come around him to follow Greipel. The race jury decided to take no action against either rider.
Argos Shimano’s Marcel Kittel after winning his second stage of the race
You could say that it is more satisfying today because all the big sprinters were there at the finish. I'm really proud that we won today and that everyone was there for the finale and that I could beat even Greipel in close race to the line.
I have to say a big thank you to my team-mates they did an amazing job and it's just a pity that Tom crashed so bad in the last 100 metres. I really hope that he's okay and that we can concentrate on the next stages.
Apparently Cavendish bumped into Tom and he lost control of his handlebars and crashed... I cannot imagine that Cavendish did that on purpose, it just happens sometimes in a hectic final. Every sprinter wants to come to the front when he comes to the line and I hope that he's okay.
You can see it... Tom Veelers crashed and at that moment I had a bit of a gap to André Greipel; when I started my sprint, I could use his slipstream to get up to his wheel and then to pass him just before the line. It was very close.
You can see that Cavendish really bumped into the handlebar of Tom but it doesn't look like he does it on purpose. Tom swings off to the right and Cavendish to the left – and it's just very unlucky at that moment.
This is a big result for me, for the whole team. It's great that we showed – in a sprint of one-against-one – that I can beat him and I'm very proud of it.
Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma-Quick Step reflects on a frantic finale today, including that crash…
For the sprint we ran out of guys and Gert [Steegmans] went early with just under a kilometer to go.
It would have been too far if I had tried to go with him. I tried to get on another train, and just got beat. We could have done things a little bit differently, but that's bike racing.
The road was bearing left, 150 meters to go the road bears left. I went to come round Veelers as he dropped the wheel, but he moved right.
Unfortunately we touched elbows and with the difference of speed, he crashed. I do not believe there is fault on either side, but I hope he is
About Kittel...he is good… Cavendish said of the stage winner.
I think it's disrespectful to make it out as a big loss for us when he wins. He's an incredible bike rider.
His team rode really well. It would have been nice to win today but he's an incredible sprinter and deserves the credit.
Veelers himself saw things differently.
Mark Cavendish came on me, steering in front of me, and sort of pushed me off my bike.
It is what it is. It happened. I cannot turn it around. The jury has to decide what they do. I lost a lot of skin and have some bruises.
It was Mark Cavendish's fault. I think it was pretty clear from the video as well.
Cavendish’s former HTC Highroad team mate Greg Henderson, now performing leadout duties for Greipel at Lotto Belisol, was clearon Twitter where he thought the blame lay.
Really hope Tom Veelers is ok. Completely knocked off his bike unnecessarily. That's not professional.
Dont get me wrong. @MarkCavendish is not a crazy sprinter. Never has been, never will be. He has speed. Today was a mistake by him IMO.
Cannondale's Peter Sagan, who continues to lead the points classification, now by 83 points from Greipel, and finished fourth today.
I do not remember much of what happened in the last few kilometres, other than that it was fast! Yes, I know there was a strong, favourable wind, narrow roads... and everyone wanted to stay in front – me too, actually.
I chose to sprint behind Mark [Cavendish], but it was slow to start. I was very scared when he got close to a rider from Argos [Tom Veelers] who fell.
I'm really relieved to have avoided this crash. It was not at all the kind of finale for stage that I like, but in the fight for the green jersey, I cannot let go.
I had to do everything not to lose as many points as possible. I lost a little today but not much. I think it's still a good advantage for me.
It is normal that I give a few points in a stage like this. I do not respond to any particular opponent and it's impossible to know if my most dangerous rival is Greipel or Cavendish or another. A fall in the standings could change everything.
Race leader Chris Froome of Team Sky
My guys did a super job today keeping me up front. Ian Stannard is an absolute bear in those kind of conditions and he kept me out of trouble.
All day the guys were just chipping away and doing what was needed to get through the stage without losing any time. Ian is a big guy, there's a lot of slipstream behind him and I enjoy staying on his wheel and he really knows how to ride in the crosswinds and, being one of the Classics guys, he's really good at positioning in the peloton.
We saw Saxo Bank come and get onto the front as soon as there was a hint of crosswind in the final. Okay, for them they are obviously looking after their own riders but if the opportunity came up I would expect them to go on the offensive too.
I think as long as we're aware that this isn't going to be an easy ride now and every day that we have in yellow is an absolute honour.
I'm not really going for a stage win [in tomorrow’s Stage 11 individual time trial] but if I can try and extend my lead on the general classification – or at least hold onto my lead – that would be 100 per cent fine by me.
I'm not really looking at my opponents for tomorrow's stage. I'm just going to go out there and try and do the best time trial that I can do on the day.
Tomorrow evening we'll sit down and have a look at the results again and re-evaluate things from there. The course is fast and flat and hopefully a good one for me.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.