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"I knew that I was going well but to win three stages here is more than I expected. It's the best start to a season in my professional career," Kittel says

Photo: Sirotti






08.02.2014 @ 17:27 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) made it a clean sweep of the road stages in the Dubai Tour when he powered to another sprint win on the final stage of the race. Having shown excellent condition this early in the season, he described the start as the best ever but he refuses the suggestion that his form is too good too soon.


Marcel Kittel has won the fourth and final stage of the Dubai Tour, making it three in a row for Team Giant-Shimano. It was another seamless team performance, delivering Kittel to the final 200m in a perfect position to take his third stage of the race.

The race panned out much like the previous two, with a small breakaway moving clear early on before being reeled back in the final 15km. Breakaway killer, Cheng Ji did a lot of work on the front to pull the break back and then in the final few kilometres the lead out train took over and put Kittel into position.


"I'm super happy to win again but it was all down to my team, they did another great job here today," said Kittel following the finish. "I lost the boys with just over two kilometres to go but Tom Veelers (NED) did an amazing job to bring me back to the front and from there they put me in a perfect position.


"It's great to get the season off to such a good start," he added. "I had a really strong winter's training with the team, profiting from the experts and coaches and that has set me up in great shape. I knew that I was going well but to win three stages here is more than I expected. It's the best start to a season in my professional career."


Especially his climbing in yesterday's queen stage was a surprise for many.


"I'm in very good shape already, I can't complain about my legs," he said. "Yesterday was I think one of the tough tests for me personally, for my shape, and I made it. Today we had the fastest sightseeing tour ever. It was a really hard stage, and I think I can be confident now for the rest of the season."


Kittel refused to pinpoint specific targets for the next few months.


"For me as a sprinter, I have several goals during the year," he said. "It's not only one race, like a GC rider. The Dubai Tour was my first goal, now I go home for easy training before thinking about my next goal.


"I'm very pleased with how it has gone here, and I don't think my form is too good too early. I prepared well for this race, I came straight here from Australia, and I rode the stage finishes so that I knew the stage finishes. That's always an advantage. Yesterday I showed that I can, in the worst case, also do it by myself, when my legs are good. I guess that's one of my strengths as a sprinter."


As usual, Kittel also praised the teamwork.


"As well as winning 3 stages, the fact that we worked well as a team here will give me and my team confidence," he said. "It's always difficult at the start of the season, so we can be proud and confident for the coming races."


It was the first ever edition of the Dubai Tour and unsurprisingly Kittel praised the race that had allowed him to take three wins.


"For the first edition of the race, for me as a rider it was a very nice experience," he said. "The stages are good, if you can keep it like that. Perfect for me. May be the time trial could be a little bit shorter! But I'm really the wrong guy for that question, after taking 3 stage wins. I'd like to come back next year if it's the same course."

Coach, Rudi Kemna was happy to see how far Kittel has come in his development


"We wanted to take control at the end to be at the front before the last corner," he said. "The lead out train came back together just as Tom brought Marcel back to the front and from there they did what they had to do and Marcel did a great sprint.


"I was especially impressed by yesterday's stage and Marcel showed that he has made a good step in his development. It was good to see how the team supported him when it was difficult, showing cohesion and confidence. It's been a great race."


The win secures the overall points classification for Kittel, who takes home his first jersey of the season.



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