Report – Kittel is Back and How


A thousand times more motivated, Marcel Kittel is back to his best after two stage wins and the overall in DubaiTour

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Report – Kittel is Back and How

Marcel Kittel was a man on a mission on Saturday. Starting the fourth and final day of the Dubai Tour only six seconds behind overall leader Giacomo Nizzolo, the 27-year-old rider of Etixx – Quick-Step knew everything was still possible at the finish, where the victory and 10 potentially decisive bonus seconds were on the line.


©Tim De Waele

That’s why his teammates came to the front inside the last 30 kilometers and took control of the bunch, in order to catch the six riders in the breakaway: Mark Christian (Team Wiggins), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Roy Curvers (Giant-Alpecin), Sebastian Lander (One Pro Cycling), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data).

Inside the final 5 kilometers, it all came down to a duel between Etixx – Quick-Step and Trek Factory-Segafredo for the best line, and thanks to the excellent work of his teammates, Marcel Kittel entered third into the last corner, before opening the sprint with his trademark acceleration and getting the stage victory – his second of the week and fifth in the race – ahead of Elia Viviani (Sky) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).

“In the morning, at the technical meeting, we said it’s going to be all or nothing and that we’re going to focus only on the final sprint” Kittel explained. “During the stage, we stayed calm and moved to the front at the right moment. The key in the Dubai Tour is to have a strong team all the time, and I had one, which gave 100% for me”.


©Tim De Waele

“I was in an ideal position coming to the line and didn’t think at all of my opponents, just focused on doing things right. Now I’m very happy”, said the German, who credited his strong ride on the Hatta Dam climb as being decisive in the final outcome: “That was the most important day of the race. It was a very hard ascent, with a 17% gradient, but I was in form and wanted to show what I can do on such a tough finish.”

The bonus seconds he grabbed at the Burj Khalifa finish meant that Marcel also won the General Classification of the Dubai Tour, as well as the red jersey, which rewards the best rider in the points standings, and will now leave the Middle East with three victories in the bag:

“It’s really awesome, it gives you a fantastic feeling to cap off the week like that. We trained a lot for the Dubai Tour in the winter and we were fully committed, not only because it was my first race of the season, but also because it was an opportunity to see how the train and the lead-out work. I’m more than satisfied with the way things went and I think we can all be proud. Now I’m even more motivated, and I can’t wait for the next races to come.”


Nizzolo  Disappointed to lose race
After three stages of impeccable team work and flawless lead outs, it all fell apart in the final kilometers of stage four of the Tour of Dubai Saturday for Trek-Segafredo. “We did a great job all day, and then we missed each other in the finale,” explained an extremely disappointed Nizzolo immediately after the race.

“That’s why I could not be in a good position for the sprint. It’s also part of the game when you work with your teammates – sometimes it goes well like yesterday, sometimes it goes wrong like today.” Nizzolo, who finished in 6th on the stage, still lay claim to the second podium step. The seemingly eternal second place.

“We knew it would be hard against Kittel, and if he won we needed to be second,” explained director Dirk Demol. “So we had our work cut out, but it is disappointing not even to have the chance to sprint for the win after the team again did such an excellent job all race.”

Juanjo Lobato (3rd Overall):
“The stage went well and the team was perfect, but there was a lot of stress and some touch between riders with a kilometer to go made me lost all chances to contest the day’s win. Kittel unbeatable? Most probably yes, though I was feeling great today and I think we could have been closer to him than we were.

“I’m not disappointed about finishing just third – we came here with a GC podium as goal and it happened. Actually, I’m really happy about the work my team-mates delivered all race. Being all of us together on the podium as the winning team makes me happier than that 3rd spot. This week was a confirmation of the whole squad’s efforts early this season and also a proof of our great atmosphere, into racing and also outside.”

“I think I’m building a good form – let’s hope to keep progressing and be 100% for that crucial month in the spring. This week also made me see that finishes like Hatta’s suit me better, as I’m a good sprinter yet less heavy than many rivals. I’m getting closer and closer to the top guys in the world in all finishes, though.”

Mark Cavendish – It’s only February
“With Daniel in the break we were in a great position today, not having to use our team to ride on the front. Obviously it was going to be more difficult without Bernie in the final, but the team were incredible. They kept me sheltered and safe near the front of the group. Actually, I was expecting a fast final 500m as the roadbook showed we did the slip-road”.

“But as we approached, it was clear we did a sharp 100-degree corner. I was where I wanted to be behind Kittel and Viviani, but I entered the corner too sharply and scrubbed off too much speed. I left myself with too much to do in the final 250m against the fastest guys in the world. Overall, we’re really happy with the week. Obviously we had some bad luck, but Team Dimension Data were up at the front and visible the whole race. It’s only February but it is a very positive start for the rest of the year.

Blue Jersey, (General individual classification by time) – Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick Step)
Red Jersey, – Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick Step)
White Jersey, (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1991) – Soufiane Haddi (Skydive Dubai)
UAE Flag Jersey, (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) – Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro Cycling)

1. Marcel Kittel, Etixx-QuickStep 02:50:47
2. Elia Viviani, Team Sky
3. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data
4. Andrea Palini, Skydive Dubai
5. Sacha Modolo, Lampre-Merida
6. Giacomo Nizzolo, Trek-Segafredo
7. Fabio Sabatini, Etixx-QuickStep
8. Jasper Stuyven, Trek-Segafredo
9. Erik Baska, Tinkoff
10. Yanto Barker, ONE Pro Cycling

11. Chris Opie, One Pro
13. Jon Dibben, Wiggins
16. Ben Swift, Sky
31. Daniel Patten, Wiggins
42. Andy Fenn, Sky
64. Pete Williams, One Pro
70. Chris Latham, Wiggins
77. Bradley Wiggins, Team Wiggins
85. Liam Holohan, WIggins
91. Owain Doull, Team WIggins
102. Mark Christian, Wiggins
110. Andy Tennant, Wiggins
120. Alex Dowsett, Movistar

1. Marcel Kittel, Etixx-QuickStep 14:46:54
2. Giacomo Nizzolo, Trek-Segafredo 00:00:04
3. Juan José Lobato, Movistar 00:00:06
4. Silvan Dillier, BMC 00:00:16
5. Gorka Izaguirre, Movistar 00:00:23
6. Philippe Gilbert, BMC 00:00:25
7. Fabian Cancellara, Trek-Segafredo
8. Daniele Bennati, Tinkoff 00:00:28
9. Davide Rebellin, CCC Sprandi Polkowice
10. Soufiane Haddi, Skydive Dubai 00:00:29

Points: Marcel Kittel


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