Holland – After back-to-back fourth place finishes in Stages 1 and 2 of the UCI (2.1) Ster ZLM Toer GP, Marcel Kittel burst though with a monster win in today’s Stage 3 sprint finish.
Behind the clock-like teamwork of Argos-Shimano, a team who is has become known for its lead-out strength and precision, Marcel was able to finish a full bike length clear of two of the world’s best sprinters–Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish–aboard his F-Series FRD. In taking the win, Marcel also moved into the overall leader’s jersey with two days remaining.
“It was a controlled race today as we had one of our engines on the front with Albert (Timmer),” said Marcel after the race. “It was a quite difficult last lap after bringing the break back, being really technical, so we had to take care to stay in the right position, but it was not easy. We stayed calm with a good plan and came to the front at just the right time, just avoiding a crash in the bunch. We only lost Luka (Mezgec) by a crash–but he is OK.
“It was up to Ramon (Sinkeldam) and Tom (Veelers) in the finale and they did a great lead-out. I knew Greipel was on my wheel but he wasn’t able to get past me. It’s nice to know that my sprint is where it should be at the right moment.”
In addition to the stand-alone prestige which comes with this highly contested Dutch event, it also acts as one of the final tune-ups for the Tour de France which begins in two weeks.