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by Mark Zalewski
February 4, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Rowe solos to stage 2 Sun Tour win, Howson retains yellow despite late puncture; Magnus Cort Nielsen wins sprint finish at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; Calmejane wins Etoile de Bessèges stage, takes over lead; Two sides to every story: Grivko shares account of Dubai skirmish with Kittel that led to expulsion; Organisers shorten then cancel Dubai Tour stage over high winds; Brailsford responds to Cooke’s allegations; Cholet Pays de Loire race cancelled for 2017; Citing lack of team participation, Tour of Turkey seeks to postpone to fall; Is cycling globalisation spreading teams too thin?; Van der Poel eyeing mountain bike races again for 2017; Rossignol acquires Felt Bicycles; Die-in demonstration planned for British Treasury; Routes announced for 2018 Commonwealth Games road events; Backstage Pass: Jayco Herald Sun Tour, stages 1-3.
He’s not as well known as Marcel Kittel. He wasn’t bloodied like the German rider was after their mid-race spat at the Dubai Tour. And he was kicked out of the race, while Kittel was not. But in a Facebook post Thursday, Ukrainian rider Andriy Grivko insisted there are two sides to every story, and that Kittel was far from innocent in the exchange that took place that left Kittel bleeding from his left eye.
“In fighting for position, and as it was confirmed by Kittel himself, he has roughly pushed with his shoulder [first] my teammate Dmitriy Gruzdev, and then me, creating a very tense and dangerous situation that could cause not only my fall, but a big crash in the peloton,” Grivko wrote. “Perhaps I got emotional, and it has nothing to do with cycling, but in extreme situations, when exists a question of safety, it is difficult to stay calm.”
Strong crosswinds caused tempers to flare and boil over, as Grivko (Astana) and Kittel (Quick Step Floors) got into a heated quarrel, with Grivko throwing a punch that landed on Kittel’s face. Grivko was subsequently kicked out of the race, and the Astana team issued an apology. However, Kittel was not satisfied and is calling for a six-month ban for the 33-year-old Ukrainian.
“Today’s race was confusing because of the sandstorm and a lot of teams had to sacrifice many guys in the kilometers before the finish because of this,” said Kittel. “I think everyone felt how hard it was today, and many guys were on the limit at one point. That made the stage really tough,” said Kittel.
“When we passed a construction site, the sand began blowing, and as soon as we went into the crosswinds we were fighting for position, which is always stressful, and Andriy Grivko punched me. I really can’t understand how he can do something like that. I get that riding in the crosswinds is always tense, but it gives him no right to act like that. He could have hurt my eye. It’s a real shame what happened. In the finale, my mind wasn’t 100% on the sprint.
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