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“There was a small climb in the last kilometre which together with the high pace from an attack proved too much for Marcel’s sprint.

Photo: A.S.O.

ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS

MARCEL KITTEL

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

TEAM SUNWEB

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NEWS
15.08.2014 @ 22:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Marcel Kittel was beaten by Alexander Kristoff in the first bunch sprint in the Arctic Race of Norway despite being in a perfect position for the sprint. However, a late attack and an uphill finishing straight were costly in the end.

 

Marcel Kittel has sprinted to fourth place on the second stage of the Arctic Race of Norway, the first sprinter’s opportunity of the race.

 

Team Giant-Shimano were one of the main teams involved in controlling the gap to the leaders over the course of the stage and positioned Kittel for the finish but he lacked the final kick to make the difference at the end, eventually finishing out of the podium places.

 

The main talking point during the stage was the punishing headwind that battered the riders rather than the four escapees up the road. These four riders pushed on against he conditions but once the chase from behind was ramped up there chances soon diminished.

 

With just over 10km to go the peloton was all back together and the team were looking in a strong position in formation at the front. They avoided a large crash near the front of the peloton in the final five kilometres and then Jonas Ahlstrand started the lead out for Kittel at the end, putting him in position.

 

Kittel started his sprint in the wheel of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) but never really looked like having the power to come round even though he lacked space to pull through. Kristoff took the stage while behind Kittel eased back and came over the line in fourth.

 

Team Giant-Shimano coach Aike Visbeek said after the stage: “There was a small climb in the last kilometre which together with the high pace from an attack proved too much for Marcel’s sprint.

 

“The attack just before the finish meant the team had to go that bit harder to come back to the front and that cost them.

 

“The team worked well though and everyone played their part. Fredrik [Ludvigsson] was strong on the front today which was nice to see. Then at the end they rode well for Marcel and stuck to the plan.”

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