Kittel triumphs in first stage of tour

Marcel Kittel. Picture: PA.
Marcel Kittel. Picture: PA.
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Rotherham’s Ben Swift finished fifth as Marcel Kittel emerged triumphant from a thrilling sprint finish to the first stage of the Tour of Britain yesterday with Mark Cavendish crossing the line in third place.

Germany’s Kittel (Giant-Shimano) completed the Liverpool stage in two hours, 16 minutes and 35 seconds, just ahead of second-placed Italian Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) and Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who is still recovering from shoulder surgery following his Tour de France-ending crash.

Sheffield’s Adam Blythe of NFTO almost caught the pack by surprise as he sprinted clear but was caught before the line and finished outside the top 10.

Swift’s compatriot, Team Sky colleague and defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, was safely within the peloton, finishing 74th.