Marcel Kittel took his first WorldTour win of the season when he outsprinted Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) and Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) on Stage 2 of the Abu Dhabi Tour today. It was the 28 year-old’s fifth victory of the season.
An early break formed consisting of Marco Canola (Nippo – Vini Fantini), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Nicola Boem (Bardiani – CSF), Fabio Calabria (Novo Nordisk), Kristijan Durasek (UAE Team Emirates) and Kirill Sveshnikov (Gazprom–RusVelo) but the sprinters’ teams never allowed their gap get any bigger than two minutes.
When the last of the breakaway riders were pulled back with less than three kilometres remaining, Quick Step Floors helped to ensure that Kittel avoided any trouble.
Following a chaotic sprint, Ewan looked on the verge of nabbing the win, but a fantastic Kittel came from nowhere and pipped the Australian on the line, just as he was preparing to celebrate the victory.
It was Kittel’s fifth victory of 2017, and Quick-Step Floors’ 13th success in less than two months, one which cemented the team’s position as the most winningest of the peloton. The win made up for Thursday’s disappointment, when he couldn’t sprint due to the crash that occurred in the final kilometre.
“Our plan was to leave it late today,” said Kittel. “It was a strange finale and I surfed from wheel to wheel, saving up some energy. I really believed in this victory until the very end and getting it the way I did makes things very nice, just as in Dubai, two weeks ago.”
“On stage 1 I lost the chance to fight for the victory, but also some skin, so today I was keen on making the most out of this opportunity. Thanks to the guys for their help, they did a marvellous job! It feels great to notch a win also here, before my European debut next week, at Paris-Nice.”