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by Mark Zalewski
February 25, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel wins with bike throw at Abu Dhabi Tour, stage 2; Mareczko wins third stage of Tour de Langkawi; Molano wins Volta ao Alentejo, stage 3; Van Avermaet lukewarm about Flanders route changes; talks Gilbert tensions and Liège; Rivals take note: After breakout year, Lepistö enters Spring Classics with confidence; Phinney out of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with knee injury; Zwift Academy winner Leah Thorvilson to begin racing in Belgium this weekend; Kittel chooses rim brake for second stage at Abu Dhabi Tour; ‘Protest’ over asphalting of Eikenberg cobbles; British Cycling perplexed by UK Sport allegations; Bicycle industry reacting to Utah Governor’s push to strip federal protection for public lands; New world record set for cycling length of New Zealand; Pedal power in sailing; Abu Dhabi Tour, stage 2 highlights; Video: On-board highlights – Abu Dhabi Tour, stage 1; Video: 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Chantal Blaak; Video: Vintage cycling day.
Marcel Kittel gave his Quick Step Floors team its first WorldTour win of the season on the second stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, beating Caleb Ewan (ORICA-Scott) with a bike throw. Stage one winner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) took third.
“Our plan was to leave it late today,” said Kittel. “It was a strange finale and I surfed from wheel to wheel, saving up some energy. I really believed in this victory until the very end and getting it the way I did makes things very nice, just as in Dubai, two weeks ago.”
Kittel and Ewan were both not in the running for the win on Thursday’s opening stage after being caught in a crash approaching 1km to go, but the pair bounced back today. While Ewan looked to take the win, beginning his celebration before the line, Kittel had enough speed to pip the Australian on the line.
“I’m usually pretty good at sprinting all the way to the line,” Ewan said. “Kittel was coming with a fair bit of speed and I didn’t see him coming. It was a massive rookie error on my part. Obviously, I learned to sprint all the way to the line and even throw on the line even if I think I have it comfortably.”
“On stage one I lost the chance to fight for the victory, but also some skin, so today I was keen on making the most out of this opportunity,” said Kittel. “Thanks to the guys for their help, they did a marvelous job! It feels great to notch a win also here, before my European debut next week, at Paris-Nice.”