Kittel sprints to 6th stage victory, Kwiatkowski keeps lead

FANO, Italy — Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory at the end of the sixth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race on Monday, and Michal Kwiatkowski remained in the overall lead ahead of the closing time trial.

Kittel edged Peter Sagan, who had been held up by a crash with about seven kilometers left of the 153-kilometer (95-mile) route from Numana to Fano. Maximiliano Richeze was third.

One of the favorites, Fernando Gaviria, touched the wheel of another cyclist and went down, bringing a number of others with him. Sagan was just behind Gaviria and somehow managed to stay upright, but the world champion was forced to use a lot of energy to get back up to the front of the peloton.

It was Kittel's second victory of the race. The German rider won the other stage for the sprinters on Thursday.

"When there was the crash with Fernando Gaviria, I was just on the left side of the Quick-Step riders. Seconds later I heard it was Gaviria. I feel sorry for him, but we remained focused on our goal," Kittel said. "I'm very proud of the team today. There's nothing to complain about. We controlled the race.

"We always said that we'd decide after Tirreno-Adriatico if I'd go to Milan-Sanremo but things are now looking good after two stage wins."

Kwiatkowski remained three seconds ahead of Damiano Caruso, with Mikel Landa 20 seconds further back.

"I didn't want to lose Tirreno-Adriatico by a few seconds without trying to get the time bonus in the intermediate sprint," Kwiatkowski said. "I didn't make it but, at the end of the day, we have to be very happy with the stage today and keep focus on tomorrow's time trial for a perfect end."

Tuesday's final stage is a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

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