SHARECOMMENTMORE

JEROME PUGMIRE
AP Sports Writer

TOURS, France (AP) - Germany's Marcel Kittel overtook Mark Cavendish at the line Thursday to win the 12th stage of the Tour de France, and Chris Froome stayed safely in the main pack to preserve his big lead.

Cavendish moved in front but Kittel gained ground and just beat him to the line to earn his second stage win in three days and third of this race.

About 20 riders were caught in a crash near the end, with some stuck under the bikes of others as wheels and frames jutted out at all angles.

Froome still leads Alejandro Valverde by 3 minutes, 25 seconds. The British rider is 3:54 ahead of two-time former champion Alberto Contador.

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