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"Today Kittel was not on a good day. He had stomach problems. So he chose not to insist. He will still do Eurometropole Tour where we aim at one or more stage wins."

Photo: A.S.O.








25.09.2014 @ 16:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Marcel Kittel lined up at the Omloop Het Houtland Lichtervelde as the two time defending champion. However, the German came away from the race empty-handed after he abandoned prematurely on a bad day.


There was no third victory for Marcel Kittel and Team Giant-Shimano at the Omloop van het Houtland today. Tom Veelers was the team’s highest finisher in 11th position.


The team were originally aiming to ride for a bunch sprint but with the two fast men Marcel Kittel and Ramon Sinkeldam but on a bad day plans had to change on the road.


An original break of five riders got clear and gained over four minutes on the chasing bunch before a counter attack bridged across forming a group of 19 at the front with Bert De Backer representing the team.


Conditions became difficult as the rain started to fall harder and harder and Kittel called it a day before the end of the race. At the front, six riders pulled clear from the leading group and were not to be seen again by the peloton. As the main bunch came back together Daan Olivier and Tom Stamsnijder started to pull on the front to try to bring things back but it was not to be today, as the six fought for the race victory, with Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen) fastest to the line.


Behind, Veelers, Olivier and Roy Curvers were in the chasing group fighting for seventh, with Veelers coming over the line fifth fastest behind the break to take 11th.


Team coach Marc Reef said after the race: “The plan today was to go for Marcel and Ramon, but unfortunately they both were not having a good day. A strong break formed at the front of the race and we only had Bert there which was good to be represented but he was quite isolated.


“Six pulled clear from this group and we missed it. Daan and Stammie started to chase behind but couldn’t bring the break back. The guys worked to get Tom V into position for the sprint at the end in the peloton and he came home in 11th. It was good work from the guys at the end but it was not to be for us today.


"Today Kittel was not on a good day. He had stomach problems. So he chose not to insist. He will still do Eurometropole Tour where we aim at one or more stage wins. Today, we had a plan B with Ramon Sinkeldam, but he also didn't have a good day. We still played a role by being constantly on the front.



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