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 GIANT-ALPECIN

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.

RELATED NEWS:

Giant-Alpecin satisfied with 9th for Barguil »

Kwiatkowski leads Etixx-QuickStep in Poland »

Bos returns to racing in London »

Giant-Alpecin celebrate successful Tour de France »

Kittel leads Giant-Alpecin in the Tour de Pologne »

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

Colombia announce line-up for Vuelta a Burgos 01.08.2015 @ 21:54Alaphilippe and Uran in San Sebastian top 10 01.08.2015 @ 21:45Veloso: You never know when you need extra seconds 01.08.2015 @ 21:15Caja Rural showed the colors in San Sebastian 01.08.2015 @ 21:02Kruijswijk: I was simply not good enough today 01.08.2015 @ 20:46Giant-Alpecin satisfied with 9th for Barguil 01.08.2015 @ 20:05Mollema: We looked too much at each other and Valverde 01.08.2015 @ 19:56Lampre played all of their cards in San Sebastian 01.08.2015 @ 19:50Yates: I didn't know I had won the race 01.08.2015 @ 19:40Double Katusha in top 5 in San Sebastian 01.08.2015 @ 19:26Gilbert 2nd, Van Avermaet run down by motorcycle 01.08.2015 @ 19:20Frank didn't have the legs on the final climb 01.08.2015 @ 19:13Vigano ends drought in Portugal 01.08.2015 @ 19:10Tinkoff-Saxo: Kreuziger deserved more than 13th 01.08.2015 @ 19:06Roche in the mix in San Sebastian 01.08.2015 @ 18:59Astana with strong team performance in Spain 01.08.2015 @ 18:52Valverde: We must now rest and prepare for La Vuelta 01.08.2015 @ 18:44Brajkovic leads Unitedhealthcare in Utah 01.08.2015 @ 18:19Guldhammer targets GC in Denmark 01.08.2015 @ 18:06Berhane leads MTN-Qhubeka in Utah 01.08.2015 @ 18:00CCC riders preview the Tour de Pologne 01.08.2015 @ 17:32Young CCC team ready for London Classic 01.08.2015 @ 17:27Adam Yates takes huge win in San Sebastian 01.08.2015 @ 17:23Debusschere leads Lotto Soudal in London 01.08.2015 @ 16:59Lotto Soudal with three GC riders in Poland 01.08.2015 @ 16:50Kwiatkowski leads Etixx-QuickStep in Poland 01.08.2015 @ 16:36Clasica San Sebastian preview 01.08.2015 @ 14:35Tour de Pologne stage 1 preview 01.08.2015 @ 12:39Bahamontes: Valverde has to go for the win at the Tour 01.08.2015 @ 12:31Ryan Mullen to join Cannondale-Garmin? 01.08.2015 @ 11:56Vanendert leads Lotto Soudal in San Sebastian 01.08.2015 @ 11:40Nibali confirms Vuelta ride 01.08.2015 @ 11:38Tom Boonen: I really want to be top 01.08.2015 @ 11:34Quintana still deciding on Vuelta participation 01.08.2015 @ 11:26Carbel targets stage win in Denmark 01.08.2015 @ 09:48Phinney and Stetina return to racing in Utah 01.08.2015 @ 09:46BMC confirm signing of Porte 01.08.2015 @ 09:39Lotto Soudal sign three stagiaires 01.08.2015 @ 09:00Zakarin leads Katusha in Poland 01.08.2015 @ 08:00Colombia sign talented stagiaire 01.08.2015 @ 07:30Gaviria to make Etixx-QuickStep debut in London 01.08.2015 @ 07:00Bouhanni: This is a great comeback for me 31.07.2015 @ 21:55Caja Rural with active role in Circuito de Getxo 31.07.2015 @ 21:34Caja Rural come up short in Portugal 31.07.2015 @ 21:18Veloso: We will see how the other teams react 31.07.2015 @ 21:04Fernandez: It is a great satisfaction for me and the team 31.07.2015 @ 20:49British Ben Swift ready to return 31.07.2015 @ 19:28Joe Dombrowski ready for his first grand tour 31.07.2015 @ 19:20Delio Fernandez scores first blood in Portugal 31.07.2015 @ 19:02Lobato: I would have loved to win here 31.07.2015 @ 18:59Pinot maintains ambitions to win the Tour 31.07.2015 @ 14:51Garzelli joins Nippo Vini Fantini as directeur sportif 31.07.2015 @ 14:42Injuried Bonnet subjected to doping control 31.07.2015 @ 14:36Bouhanni sprints to Circuito de Getxo win 31.07.2015 @ 13:49CCC Sprandi send their stars to the Tour de Pologne 31.07.2015 @ 10:52


  > NEWS
  > LIVE
  > START LIST
 
  PREVIEWS
  > ROUTE
  > THE FAVORITE
  > THE MAIN CHALLENGERS
  > THE POTENTIAL WINNERS
  > THE PODIUM CONTENDERS
  > THE OUTSIDERS
  > GREEN JERSEY
  > POLKA DOT JERSEY
  > WHITE JERSEY
  > TEAMS CLASSIFICATION

  > DAILY PREVIEWS


  RESULTS
  > STAGE RESULTS
  > OVERALL STANDINGS

  COMMUNITY
  > FORUM
  > TWITTER
  > FACEBOOK
 

 

George MASTERS
32 years | today
Eider MERINO
21 years | today
Ji Min JUNG
24 years | today
Jonathan DUFRASNE
28 years | today
Arthur AYERS
38 years | today
ALL BIRTHDAYS

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013