It was a sprint from distance for Marcel Kittel, but the strong German rider held his power to the finish line in Follonica to take his first win in team colors, as well as his first professional victory on Italian soil.
“For us it’s a big relief to finally get this victory. This sprint finish was perfect for me. I knew it when I saw it. I had such a big will to go for the win today. I pushed as hard as I could and I am very happy I could show my power. It was a great thing to experience today. And seven years as a professional and never a victory in Italy before this. Now I can say winning in Italy is checked off the bucket list,” said Marcel Kittel.
The second stage of the 53rd Tirreno-Adriatico marked the first chance for the sprinters in the 7-day stage race after yesterday’s opening team time trial. At 167km, the stage began in Camaiore and looked good on paper to the powerhouse Kittel.
“The finish was very complicated. There were a lot of turns, some speed bumps in the road and gravel and holes. It wasn’t easy. But I have to say the last 2 kilometers were a sprinter’s dream and I was feeling great today on the bike. I was trying to sprint as hard as I could to get this victory,” said Kittel.
Joining Kittel on the podium in second and third place were world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek-Segafredo. The race lead belongs to Patrick Bevin of BMC.
Although it took a few races before seeing his first team win, Marcel Kittel was never in doubt about his chances for victory.
“We were trying very hard and of course it’s always a challenge to put a new group together. We were very close, even two times on the podium already but never the victory. Of course every race you are hungry again and you want to go and go and go, and then it doesn’t happen. This is such a relief. I’m also very happy that the team worked so well. They did a great job and we really deserved to finally get this win,” concluded Marcel Kittel.
Text: KATUSHA MEDIA SERVICE
Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer @plomiphotos
Und beinahe hätte es an diesem Tag einen weiteren Sieg für Katusha-Alpecin gegeben, aber der im Foto im Hintergrund zu erkennende Nils Politt wurde für seine harte Arbeit in einer Fluchtgruppe bei Paris-Nizza nur mit dem hervorragenden 2. Platz belohnt, seine Leistung war weit mehr wert.
1st win for Team Katusha-Alpecin in 2018!
Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Nathan Haas (28) took the victory at the end of a demanding stage two of the 2018 Tour of Oman. The Australian rider outsprinted a select group of riders at the finish in Al Bustan in front of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) who finished second and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) in third. Thanks to the time bonuses, Haas now moves into the overall lead ahead of Van Avermaet (4 seconds) and Lutsenko (6 seconds).
On the last climb of Al Jissah, the final survivor of an early break of four riders was caught. The climbs had whittled down the peloton to 16 riders and Haas sprinted into the overall lead.
Today my team KATUSHA ALPECIN was just amazing. It was the first time in a long time that I just had to sit and not to think. They guided me to where I got to do my thing, said Nathan Haas. Last year I was already fifth in this stage when we finished at the top. Today there was a different kind of speed. I decided to lock onto the wheels and just forget about the next part, which was the sprint. So there were two finish lines: the top and then down the hill. I did some research to watch the race. I’ve realized I’m not one of the phenomenons of cycling, so I have to be a little bit smarter or to be just more prepared. I knew I actually had to come a little bit from the back in the sprint. I’ve put a little bit of Fabian Cancellara’s earlier work (2015) into what I did today.
The 2018 Tour of Oman continues on Thursday with stage three, from German University of Technology to Wadi Dayqah Dam covering 179.5 kilometres – the longest 2018 stage. On Friday the race finishes on Green Mountain. The race concludes on Sunday.
I think I am climbing a bit better than I was last year. I am a little bit lighter and my Canyon bike is awesome. I’m gonna fight till the end, whether or not I can hold the red jersey or maybe even get on the podium. This is cycling. You can do pretty special things when you are in front, concluded Nathan Haas.
Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer DFJ e.V. Photojournalist
Alpecin baut sein internationales Engagement im Radsport weiter aus und wird in der Saison 2017 Titelsponsor der Equipe Katusha-Alpecin. Zu den Top-Fahrern zählen Tony Martin (GER), Alexander Kristoff (NOR) und Ilnur Zakarin (RUS).
Bielefeld. Durch die Partnerschaft mit dem neu ausgerichteten WorldTour-Team Katusha-Alpecin setzt das deutsche Unternehmen seine internationale Strategie des Radsportsponsorings konsequent fort.
„Der Einstieg bei Katusha-Alpecin, welches zukünftig ein internationales Cycling-Project mit Sitz in der Schweiz sein wird, eröffnet uns große Chancen bei der Umsetzung unserer globalen Markenkommunikation“, erklärt Eduard R. Dörrenberg, geschäftsführender Gesellschafter beim familiengeführten Hersteller des erfolgreichen Männershampoos Alpecin. Mit der 2014 veröffentlichten Radsport-Strategie und mit Stars wie Marcel Kittel und John Degenkolb hat Alpecin für einen Aufschwung der gesamten Sportart in Deutschland gesorgt. Auch das öffentliche Interesse stieg messbar und zeigte sich unter anderem im Wiedereinstieg der ARD im Rahmen der Live-Übertragung der Tour de France.