Marcel Kittel hat die 10. Etappe der 100. Tour de France, mit einem super Sprint für sich entschieden. Der 25-Jährige vom Team Argos-Shimano setzte sich am Dienstag nach 197 km zwischen Saint-Gildas-des-Bois und Saint-Malo in der Bretagne im Massensprint vor André Greipel (Rostock/Lotto) und Mark Cavendish (Großbritannien/Quick Step) durch und feierte seinen zweiten Etappensieg bei der Jubiläumsausgabe. Christopher Froome (Großbritannien/Sky) trägt auch beim Einzel-Zeitfahren am Mittwoch das Gelbe Trikot des in der Gesamtwertung Führenden vor dem Spanier Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spanien/Movistar) und dem Holländer Bauke Mollema/Belkin Pro Cycling.
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Marcel Kittel took his second Tour victory in the 10th stage after a very chaotic and hectic sprint.
The team took control early in the race, and the train was visible at the front of the race during the final 20km. After hiding briefly in the bunch, the train reappeared for the final 3km to position Marcel Kittel. The sprint was not without any problems, as lead-out man Veelers crashed after a clash with Mark Cavendish. But Kittel stayed relaxed and accelerated and outsprinted Andre Greipel to take the win.
As expected, a break rode out in front of the bunch during most of the stage. As the race progressed, some Team Argos-Shimano riders joined several other sprinters’ and GC riders’ teams to control the bunch and keep the gap to the break in check. The riders in the break were caught by the chasing peloton which had aimed for a bunch sprint right from the start.
“I am thrilled that I won this stage today, but when I crossed the finish line I was also very worried about my teammate Tom Veelers. Luckily he his OK, so now I can really enjoy this victory,” said Marcel Kittel.
“This was a very good win for the team after amazing and strong teamwork. The guys worked very hard throughout the whole day to keep me in front and out of the wind. When the finale started, we were really well positioned as a team. These finishes are very hectic and chaotic, so it is really impressive work that the guys did. In the end I didn’t have to waste any energy and was able to start my sprint fresh.
“It is just as special as the first one, but mostly because this time none of the other sprinters were involved in a crash and we could really battle against each other. That I was the fastest today gives me a lot of confidence and a very satisfying feeling.
“This tour is successful already, with two stage wins and having the yellow, green and white jerseys. It’s a dream come true, and I’m happy that I can experience this with this team. Now we will concentrate on the other stages and see how they go. We don’t have any pressure anymore.”
“That was a pretty hectic sprint and a rough fall, but aside from some missing skin I am OK,” said Veelers about his crash. “Marcel’s win will definitely help, and hopefully I’ll get a good night’s sleep as well.”
“It’s fantastic to see how strong teamwork led to the win by Marcel”, said Rudi Kemna, “we had some problems in the last meters with Tom’s crash, but the preparation before that went perfectly to plan, and seeing how relaxed and focused Marcel stayed shows how good and experienced he is.
“Last week we saw already that the train was working quite well, but there were still some points to improve. So during the rest day we sat down with all the team’s experts and the riders to analyze the sprint to see what exactly we needed to improve. We changed the positions of John Degenkolb and Koen de Kort, and we were very careful to get the timing optimized with this change. This, together with the final adjustments and the fact that we have a balanced team where every rider is developed in his own specialty, has made today’s success possible. Again, it’s a great reward after many years of work and belief in our way of working,” said coach Rudi Kemna.
“To win the first stage was already amazing, but taking a second stage victory is incredible. I am really proud of this win, but even prouder of the way we achieved it. This is a reward after hard teamwork, not only with the riders but also the coaches, experts and staff. It has been great to see Marcel develop through the years, with the guidance of our experts and coaches. After tests and training, our coaches discovered his sprinting talent and decided to give him the opportunity to develop as a sprinter. Step-by-step he became better, and it didn’t take long until he won his first race. This is Marcel’s story, but with all the riders of Team Argos-Shimano we have gone through this process and developed them in their specialty, and optimized the tactical co-operation between the riders in the race, which makes our train so strong,” said a delighted team manager Iwan Spekenbrink.