Der 25-jährige Arnstädter sicherte sich im Sprint seinen ersten Tagessieg und eroberte das erste Gelbe Trikot der 100. Tour de France. Marcel Kittel (GER) got Team Argos-Shimano off to a perfect start at the 100th edition of the Tour de France by winning stage 1.
Kittel and the team successfully negotiated a confusing and technical finale but finished off the job to perfection after keeping cool heads throughout the chaos.
As expected, the stage featured a small breakaway. Team Argos-Shimano joined a several other sprinters’ teams to control the bunch and monitor the gap to the five riders. The break was brought back comfortably before the finale.
Kittel will now wear the coveted yellow jersey on tomorrow¹s second stage, and he also leads the green jersey competition.
“Today is a dream come true,” said Kittel after the finish. We’ve been very eager to win a stage in this Tour de France. Starting in the winter, we prepared ourselves for this, and to win the first stage today and wear the yellow jersey tomorrow is just unbelievable.
“I am really proud of all my teammates, who did an amazing job today. They worked throughout the whole day to keep me in good position and to protect me. The finale was very hectic, but the guys stayed calm and they knew exactly what to do — just like we trained for. They reorganized after the crash and took responsibility. We trained mentally and physically for this kind of situation and together with the knowledge we had of the course this helped us stay relaxed and we followed our plan.
“I am so happy that we achieved this victory for the team as well. They gave me the chance to become a professional cyclist and developed me into the sprinter that I am today. I couldn¹t hope for a better thank-you.”
“This is just unbelievable! Winning the first stage in the Tour de France and taking the yellow jersey is amazing,” said coach Rudi Kemna (NED). “We rode the race the way we wanted, and everything fell right into place.”
Team manager Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) said: ³I will never forget this day; this is the reward after all the hard work. This morning we didn¹t dare think much about winning the stage, but when it gets closer and closer you secretly start thinking it will come true.
When Marcel crossed the finish line first it was just incredible. Winning a stage in the Tour de France and wearing the yellow jersey is such a huge symbol in cycling. This is a major milestone for our team.
Since sponsor Argos joined us we have progressed as a team. First we won five stages in the Vuelta, then a stage in the Giro, and now a stage and the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. It’s a great reward for the way we work. Of course the riders are key, but the team gives a lot of input into this.
Coaches help build the team, with teamwork being one of the most important aspects, and of course the knowledge and expertise of our experts, who are always analyzing data and looking for innovative ways to improve every individual in our team, as we know that each component is a critical part of the whole. Today I saw a well-oiled Team Argos-Shimano built from science, experience and the talent of our riders.