VeloClub is CyclingTips’ membership program which brings us closer to our members, and connects likeminded cycling enthusiasts.
by Shane Stokes
March 9, 2018
Kittel takes first win of season on stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico; Cousin snags victory on stage 5 of Paris-Nice; Rib fracture diagnosed for Cavendish; How Wiggins’ reputation could be stabilised; Living legend: A chat with 106-year-old record-breaking rider Robert Marchand; Triathete suffers bad cuts to legs after being attacked with a chainsaw; Australian bike and frame tariff application withdrawn, 5% e-bike tariff still stands; Giro della Donna adds women’s and men’s NRS race in 2018; Video: Nils Politt – post-race interview – Stage 5 – Paris-Nice 2018; Video: This Was Hard But So Beautiful. | Strade Bianche. – Ep.3
He’s gone close in recent weeks, netting third on a stage in the Dubai Tour and then a runner-up slot on another in the Abu Dhabi Tour. On Thursday, Marcel Kittel finally landed his first victory in Katusha-Alpecin colours, taking stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico.
Kittel avoided the crashes in the finale and then powered in ahead of world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing Team) and the rest of the bunch.
“For us it’s a big relief to finally get this victory,” said Kittel. “This sprint finish was perfect for me. I knew it when I saw it. I had such a big will to go for the win today. I pushed as hard as I could and I am very happy I could show my power. It was a great thing to experience today. And seven years as a professional and never a victory in Italy before this. Now I can say winning in Italy is checked off the bucket list.”
The 167 kilometre stage began in Camaiore and followed a fairly flat route to three finishing circuits in Follonica. The day’s break went on the sole climb of note, that of Montemagno, and together Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia), Alexandr Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Guy Sagiv (Israel Cycling Academy) and Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) built a lead of over six minutes. The latter went back to the bunch, while the other three were finally caught on the finishing circuits.
Bevin now leads overall, overtaking his teammate Damiano Caruso who occupied the top of the GC after Wednesday’s opening team time trial. The duo, Greg Van Avermaet and Rohan Dennis all remain on the same time. Friday’s stage is much lumpier and has an uphill finish in Trevi.