The German sprinter came from about seventh lengths back to be in the contest and then won by about two at the end of the 178km stage from Perigueux to Bergerac Tuesday.
The triumph solidified his standing in the maillot vert standings, which he leads 102 points clear of Australian Michael Matthews, who was devastated past the finish line as teammates offered consolation.
Kittel can’t match Matthews in the intermediate primes across all terrain – like the run to Chambery on Sunday in which the latter in a spectacular display survived hors categorie climbs to lessen his deficit.
However, he is proving unbeatable in the flat stages that for the first time since 2011 are significantly counting toward the competition, especially with defending green jersey champion Peter Sagan out of the race.
“I’ve never felt better. I think I’m in very good condition and that’s something that is for me also a big achievement. That gives me confidence to know the planning worked,” the now 13-time Tour de France stage winner said.
Kittel despite his dominance and the devastated reaction of his rivals is not claiming the prize as his own just yet, citing what has so far been an unpredictable Tour that has taken names and casualties.
“I personally prefer to act like I don’t have the green jersey on my shoulders at the moment because you saw also two days ago for the GC guys the race can be very quickly over,” he said.
“One missed chance, getting sick, can destroy everything that happened before. Of course, Michael is going to be my main opponent. Andre [Greipel] and Alexander Kristoff are still fighting for points.”
Matthews said he will think overnight whether to continue his pursuit after his lead-out faltered in today's bunch kick.
“That’s something we have to discuss – whether we keep going for it or we give it a miss and stop going for the intermediates and just focus on stages,” Matthews said.
Greipel (Lotto Soudal) is yet to chalk a win on the board here while Kristoff (Katusha) has been around the marked but not punched through, settling for fifth today