German sprinter Marcel Kittel made history Monday, giving his Argos-Shimano squad its first win as a WorldTour team. Kittel came out firing on all cylinders in the opening stage of the weeklong Tour of Oman, nailing the final sprint on the team’s new Felt F Series FRD team bike.
“It’s the first victory of the season and I think it’s very, very important,” Kittel told Cyclingnews.com after his win. “For me and for the team too.”
After an early two-man breakaway escaped on the 162km stage from Al Musannah to Sultan Qaboos University, Kittel’s teammates helped chase it down to set up a bunch sprint at the end. Kittel timed his sprint perfectly on the long, straight finishing stretch, powering past Italian Davide Appollonio (AG2R La Mondiale) and Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), second and third respectively, to take the win.
With the win, Kittel pulled on the overall leader’s jersey to wear in Stage 2 on Tuesday, which includes two climbs with one coming late in the 146km stage.