Bauhaus wins stage 3 of the Abu Dhabi Tour; Bastinelli wins stage 2 of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana; Kittel: ‘I was just one 1000th of a second too late’; Report: Astana in danger of folding due to financial issues; Viviani believes defence of race lead is unlikely; Brailsford takes up permanent role at Team Sky; Lobato signs for Nippo-Vini Fantini; New 100 mile closed-road event confirmed for UK; Video: Flanders Classics’ theme; Video: 360 degree cameras in the peloton
Bauhaus wins in Abu Dhabi, Bastinelli in Valencia: Daily News Digest
Scything through the centre of the bunch and then veering left in search of a clear passage, Marcel Kittel took a circuitous route to the line on Friday’s third stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour. The extra metres travelled may well have made the difference; although he’d little choice due to the riders ahead of him, the German will think of that longer distance when reflecting on the millimetres between first and second.
Kittel goes through the field like a Bangkok a tuk tuk driver through rush hour traffic pic.twitter.com/lkLXlux6tQ
— the Inner Ring (@inrng) February 23, 2018
Crossing the line, Kittel celebrated, believing he had won. However the photo finish showed a different story. Team Sunweb sprinter Phil Bauhaus had – just – held on, denying his compatriot his first win of the year.
“This was the same as last year, so very hectic,” said Kittel. “It’s very disappointing but today was the first day I felt normal. These last two days I struggled a bit with myself. I’m not sure why, maybe it has been the heat. But I’m very optimistic and this is the first very good opportunity for us where we could smell the victory.”
Kittel moved from QuickStep Floors to Katusha-Alpecin over the winter months and, thus far, things haven’t quite worked out. Third and sixth on stages of the Dubai Tour were as close as he got to a win there; missing out on the first two days of the Abu Dhabi Tour had some questioning his form and his leadout train. However Friday’s stage shows their pessimism was premature.
“I knew there was a little headwind and that I had to find a gap through the bunch,” said Kittel. “I managed to do that. But I was just one-1000th of a second too late apparently. Nobody has celebrated second place like I did today. Especially with the Tour of Dubai and the first two days here, I wanted to do well, and today was the first day I felt I had good legs. I had to go for it.”