PARIS (AFP) — Sprint ace Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) said he will target the green points jersey in the future after winning on the Champs-Élysées for the second year in a row.
The burly German exactly matched his achievement from last year, winning both the opening and final stages among four in total, and he wore the yellow jersey for a day.
And although he hadn’t tried to win the sprinters’ green jersey this year, the 26-year-old said he would challenge for it one day. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) claimed that honor for a third year in a row despite not winning a single stage.
“To think now already about the future is for me personally too much. I would like to enjoy this moment,” said the Giant-Shimano rider. “My goals won’t change regarding my future, especially in the Tour de France. I’d like to go for stage wins. I’m not focusing on records.
“Also, I said many times before the green jersey can be an option for me in the future.”
What the present brought, though, was one record as Kittel’s fourth stage win took the total won by German riders in this Tour to a new high of seven.
Tony Martin added two, including Saturday’s time trial, and Andre Greipel also won a sprint finish on stage 6.
Kittel said that those results sent a message to German public television, which pulled out of live coverage of the 2007 Tour due to doping scandals — including that of 1997 German Tour winner Jan Ullrich — and have not changed their stance since.
“I think that’s a big signal to all fans at home in Germany and a big signal to the media, without going into too many details,” said Kittel.
“Everyone can be proud of it, it’s great to see so many German riders here. You can talk about the seven victories, but don’t forget the two second places of John Degenkolb. With seven plus two that’s half the Tour in which Germans were in front. It shows German cycling is part of the top of the cycling world and that’s awesome.”