Kittel stands the heat on Tour's sixth stage

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Marcel Kittel withstood punishing heat to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France as leader Chris Froome and his general classification rivals emerged unscathed.

As the Tour made its way on a 216-kilometre route from Vesoul to Troyes in temperatures that slowed the average speed, it was Kittel who had the energy and power to reach the line first.

A gutsy three-man breakaway from Perrig Quemeneur, Vegard Stake Laengen and Frederik Backaert was overhauled late on, with Quick-Step Floors rider Kittel edging out home hope Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and German compatriot Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) to win his second stage of this year's race.