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Quick Step Floors' sprinter tightens grip on competition for green jersey...

Marcel Kittel of Quick Step Floors has taken his fourth stage of the 2017 Tour de France in Bergerac this afternoon,  proving by far the strongest rider among the sprinters left in the race as his seemingly unstoppable progression to victory in this year's points competition continues.

With Peter Sagan, winner of the green jersey for the past five years, and Mark Cavendish both leaving the race last Tuesday and Arnaud Demare missing the time limit in the Jura mountains on Sunday, Kittel is far and away the dominant sprinter left in this year's race and assuming he reaches Paris a week on Sunday, will almost certainly do so in green.

The German rider came from a long way back to overhaul Britain's Dan McLay of Fortuneo-Oscaro, who had launched his sprint perhaps a little too early and finished outisde the top five.

Instead it was Kittel's compatriot, John Degenkolb of Trek-Segafredo, who proved the best of the rest, finishing second, with LottoNL-Jumbo's Dylan Groenewegen third.

Two riders spent the day off the front of the peloton  on the 178 kilometre stage from Perigueuex which passed through the stunning scenery of the Dordogne.

Those were Yoann Offredo of Wanty-Groupe Gobert, in a break for the second time in this year's race, and fellow Frenchman Elie Gesbert of Fortuneo-Oscaro, with the pair swallowed up by the peloton with 7 kilometres remaining.

After the stage, Cofidis rider Nacer Bouhanni was fined 200 Swiss Francs for assaulting a Quick Step Floors rider, with footage showing him striking the other cyclist after an exchange of words.

The French rider was also docked a minute on his overall time - although given he was an hour and a half or so adrift of Chris Froome, it's an emblematic penalty more than anything else.

Following the weekend's exertions in the mountains, today's stage saw the overall contenders take a back seat with no change on GC and Chris Froome retaining the yellow jersey.

It should be a similar scenario on tomorrow's Stage 11 into Pau, the gateway to the Pyrenees, making it one of the most used stage towns in the race's history.

Reaction

Stage winner Marcel Kittel

​Four stage wins in 10 days is impressive! Once again it's because of the great work of my team.

What Julien Vermote does at the head of the peloton is absolutely incredible. It shows how strong he is as a rider, physically and mentally. It looks simple but very few riders are able to be as disciplined as him to set the pace according to the speed of the breakaway.

I'm not thinking that I've won the green jersey yet. Even in stage 20 something can go wrong.

Arnaud Démare is the best example of how the good work done before can be destroyed quickly. Anything can happen at the Tour. But I think I'm in the best shape I've ever had since my very first Tour de France.

Overall leader, Chris Froome

Today was quite a relaxed day as far as Tour de France stages go.

It's certainly a different feeling in the bunch this week compared to last week. Everyone calmed down. It was not the same kind of stress we had in the first week.

This is the part of the race I was really looking forward to. The scenery was enjoyable as well. To equal Jacques Anquetil with 50 yellow jerseys is a huge honour.

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.