Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

March 31, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Durbridge narrowly takes TT win ahead of sprinters as Gilbert wins overall at De Panne; Kittel wins third road stage at Three Days of De Panne; Jones wins final stage of Tour de Taiwan, Prades takes overall; Kittel: Absolutely no doubt that disc brakes will play a role in the future of cycling; Flanders race jury president to focus on footpath riding infractions; Greg Daniel crashes at De Panne, revealing existing broken collarbone; Cookson insisted on contributing to report on British Cycling; UCI allows Tour of Turkey to postpone to the fall; Sagan criticised for push on Kemmelberg; Elinor Barker focusing on UCI Time Trial Championship in 2017; Rumours of Tour of Britain stages circulating; Acquisition of Pinarello by LVMH-backed private equity firm complete; Video: Cycling Chile and Bolivia – A wild adventure.

Kittel wins third road stage at Three Days of De Panne

by Mark Zalewski

Marcel Kittel took the win on the third road stage of the Three Days of De Panne, despite a late-stage crash. His team did a heap of work to bring him back into the peloton and he repaid them with a win, beating Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates).

“It was really a miracle that I connected with the head of the pack,” Kittel told Het Laatste Nieuws. “It was really very dangerous, the tram tracks. There were several crashes. Thanks to the work of Martinelli and Sabatini and I was able have a chance in the sprint.”

At 15km to go the race turned onto a road with double tram lines embedded in the road. The TV commentators were in the middle of talking about how dangerous this was when the first crash happened, but it was at the back of the peloton and not involving any big names. However, moments later TV pictures showed the aftermath of another crash, this time near the front and involving both Kittel and Modolo.

It took Kittel a long time to find his bike in the tangled mess, only to discover it was not operable. He then got a spare bike from the team car. The commentators wrote him off for the finish as the peloton was still in chase mode to sweep up the breakaway. Davide Martinelli and Fabio Sabitini were ordered back to help Kittel chase and the three made up a lot of ground in only three kilometres. At that point with the possibility Kittel could rejoin the peloton, two more teammates came back to aid in the effort, while essentially burning up his lead out in the process.

Ironically, the chase group made contact with the peloton on the final lap of the finish circuit as they again turned onto the tram line road — fortunately there was only one crash by a single rider during this pass. A reduced sprint train for Quick-Step Floors meant Kittel was left largely to freelance, but the team did get him up to Kristoff’s wheel inside the final kilometre. Kristoff again led out the sprint from rather far back, and Kittel put in a big effort to move up after the final turn and was in position to be able to come around Kristoff in the final 50 metres.

Stage 3a: De Panne > De Panne - Stage Result

Thursday 30th March 2017

1. de
Quick-Step Floors
2. no
KRISTOFF Alexander
Team Katusha - Alpecin
3. it
UAE Team Emirates