"First of all I'm going to enjoy this moment because I had a great spring and won the Italian title but before that I had a tough time", said Aru, who had to pull out of May's Giro due to injury.
But the commissaires fortunately pored over a super high resolution pic and proclaimed Kittel the victor of stage 7 after 213.5 kilometres raced from Troyes to Nuits-Saint-Georges.
The previous pile-ups will mean it promises to be a nervy stage, and even more so in the run-in to the finish as riders jostle for position and the pace increases and tension intensifies.
They soldiered on, though, with a maximum lead of over three and a half minutes at one stage, but were caught 3km from the finish.
Team Sky race leader Chris Froome said: "Today some teams wanted the [race leader's] yellow jersey... we couldn't let them go". Boasson Hagen went early, which is the best option with a tailwind of this kind, as the first rider to jump will always have the advantage; it took the form sprinter of the Tour to beat him, by an infinitesimal margin, and it came down to Kittel's final throw of his bike.
Froome took over the race lead from Thomas, with Aru now third and Porte fifth, although the entire top 10 are separated by just one minute. You can take on the full race or shorter sections - either way you'll have VIP access along the course.
The German let out a cry off emotion after rocketing over the line in first place in Troyes
The GC (general classification) contenders will return to proper action on Sunday for a stage featuring three out-of-category climbs and a unsafe descent into Chambery.
"They took me all the way to the line with a flawless lead out", Boasson Hagen said.
There has already been some devastating consequences in this year's Tour de France and we are only finished five stages.
Two days ago, there was a crash in the final kilometre of the stage even before Sagan's elbow on Cavendish, a victor of 30 Tour stages.
Tomorrow we have a first-category climb to the summit finish at the ski station of La Rousse. There is always the possibility, however, that Froome will hammer his rivals with one big blow like he did in the ascent to La Pierre Saint Martin in 2015.
However, seven years ago, the Welshman faded badly on the climb, dropping to 31st.
Dan is now fourth overall at 25 seconds, so there is the possibility we could have an Irishman in yellow by Sunday. Kettel owns the green jersey now.