CyclingQuotes.com uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.
ACCEPT COOKIES » MORE INFO »

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

Kittel wins his first sprint since his premature withdrawal from the Giro in the highly anticipated battle with Greipel in the Ster ZLM Toer; the German also takes the leader’s jersey off Gilbert’s shoulders

Photo: Sirotti

GIANNI MEERSMAN

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

MARCEL KITTEL

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

STER ZLM TOUR

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS

TEAM SUNWEB

TEAM PROFILE
|
NEWS

TYLER FARRAR

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS
19.06.2014 @ 17:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) proved that he is on track for another successful Tour de France when he won the first big sprint battle with André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) at the Ster ZLM Toer. While Greipel was never in contention and finished back in 27th, Kittel held off Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) to take both the stage win and the leader’s jersey in the five-day race.

 

Going into today’s first stage of the Ster ZLM Toer, Marcel Kittel hadn’t done a bunch sprint since he won stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia in Dublin. However, the German proved that he is definitely ready for his upcoming battles at the Tour de France when he won today’s highly anticipated battle with key rival André Greipel in the flat Dutch race.

 

With very little wind, all was set for a big bunch sprint and the sprint teams made sure to keep things under control all day. With a little more than 10km to go, the early break was caught and it was Lotto Belisol who dominated proceedings in a quest to set up Greipel for the win.

 

Giant-Shimano and Omega Pharma-Quick Step were also up there in a fierce battle between some of the strongest lead-out trains in the world but the sprinters had a brief scare when a rider from Garmin-Sharp and one from Omega Pharma-Quick Step escaped in the finale. However, they quickly got back in control and set such a hard pace that the bunch split in two, leaving just 40 riders to contest the sprint.

 

With 2km to go, Belkin took control in a quest to set up last year’s winner of the stage Theo Bos but the Dutch team lost the battle to Giant-Shimano who again showed that they are some of the strongest in the business. Kittel’s team kept control all the way to the finish before launching their German sprinter off the front to take another sprint victory.

 

Behind, Greipel soon realized that he was not in a position to do the sprint and he rolled across the line in 27th. Instead, Kittel’s nearest rivals were Tyler Farrar and Gianni Meersman who completed the podium.

 

As Kittel had finished fifth in yesterday’s prologue, the 10 bonus seconds were enough to elevate him into the race while Meersman moved into second ahead of previous leader Philippe Gilbert (BMC). Kittel takes a 10-second lead over Meersman into tomorrow’s second stage which is a lot harder than today’s. At the midpoint the riders will go up several climbs known from the Amstel Gold Race but as the final half is flat or descending, another bunch sprint is expected.

 

One for the sprinters

After the opening prologue, the Ster ZLM Toer continued with a stage that very much characterizes the sprint-friendly race. The stage brought them over 183.9 completely flat kilometres from Ruchpen to St. Willibrord which consisted of 50 opening kilometres, two laps of a 56km circuit and one lap of a 21.2km circuit around the finishing city.

 

All riders that finished yesterday’s stage took the start under relatively pleasant weather conditions. Most notably Kenneth Vanbilsen (Topsport Vlaanderen) who collided with a spectator in yesterday’s prologue and was transported from the scene in an ambulance, was allowed to continue in the race, starting the stage as the last rider in the standings with a time deficit of 49 minutes.

 

An early break

With most riders expecting the stage to be controlled by the sprint teams, it took some time for the first attacks to be launched and pretty early a 4-rider break was created. Nicola Testi (Androni), Alphonse Vermote (Vastgodservice), Timo Roosen (Rabobank) and Jan-Willem van het Schip (Koga) decided to try to defy the odds and very soon had a 4-minute gap.

 

Vermote had to battle his way back to the group after a puncture while a small crash disrupted the progress of the peloton but the bunch always kept the escapees tightly under control. They allowed the gap to grow to 5 minutes before the BMC team of race leader Gilbert took control.

 

Bol abandons

A crash brought down four riders, including Jetse Bol who was forced to abandon the race. Meanwhile, BMC kept the gap stable between the 4- and 5-minute marks.

 

Van het Schip beat Testi and Roosen in the first intermediate sprint after 50km of racing while Lasse Norman (Garmin) became the next rider to abandon the race. With 80km to go, the peloton upped the pace slightly and brought the gap down to 3.30 where they again stabilized the situation

 

Lotto start to chase

Lotto Belisol had now taken control and they started to bring down the gap. With 50km to go, it was only 2 minutes and with 30km to go, it was only 1.10.

 

The escapees reacted well and still had 45 seconds in hand when they crossed the line for the penultimate time. Roosen beat Testi and van het Schip in the final intermediate sprint before the quartet again started to collaborate.

 

The break is caught

With 20km to go, the gap was 30 seconds and it had now started to rain, making the roads very slippery. Just before the 10km to go mark, the front group was caught which opened the door for an attack from a Rabobank rider.

 

Lotto Belisol were still in control and brought the young rider back before Giant-Shimano and OPQS took over. Moments later, a rider from OPQS and one from Garmin attacked but with 5km to go, it was back together.

 

The peloton split in two and so only 40 riders were left to contest the sprint. Belkin tried to dominate the finale but in the end it was Giant-Shimano that delivered Kittel to another victory.

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10List of CyclingQuotes previews 13.10.2017 @ 13:20Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13Lampre leave the peloton 04.01.2017 @ 17:03Nibali to skip the classics 04.01.2017 @ 16:58Kolobnev announces retirement 04.01.2017 @ 15:08Young Dimension Data team targets third consecutive win... 04.01.2017 @ 14:01Vakoc leads Quick-Step at Tour Down Under 04.01.2017 @ 13:58Puncheur course for 2017 Arctic Race of Norway 04.01.2017 @ 13:55Ewan makes it itwo in row at Criterium Championships 04.01.2017 @ 13:53Track world champion wins Australian U23 criterium title 04.01.2017 @ 13:50Orica-Scott target numerous Australian titles 04.01.2017 @ 13:472017 team analysis: Movistar Team 03.01.2017 @ 17:30Wilier-Selle Italia confirm signing of Italian talent 03.01.2017 @ 17:21Novo Nordisk under pressure to secure new sponsorship 03.01.2017 @ 17:15Report: Dumoulin to focus on the Giro 03.01.2017 @ 17:06U23 World Champion forced to turn down Quick-Step 03.01.2017 @ 17:03Ag2r veteran announces retirement 03.01.2017 @ 16:59Thurau finds new team in Kuwait 03.01.2017 @ 16:55

Currently no news in this list

Pavel PADALIAK
25 years | today
Francesco REDA
35 years | today
Daniel KREUTZFELDT
30 years | today
Gianni VERMEERSCH
25 years | today
Mickaƫl ROLY
35 years | today

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013