Marcel Kittel’s come-from-behind strategy seems to be paying off as he notched his fourth stage victory of the 2017 Tour de France in Bergerac.
The powerful German also fought his way from behind when he won in Liège and Troyes. Kittel also managed to avoid any of the cutthroat fighting for the line, however it doesn’t always pay off especially on the day of the infamous scuffle between Sagan and Cavendish.
“I won now so many stages in the Tour. I never expected it when I was starting my career.I never really expected to be even in the Tour. I was hoping maybe at one point to become a professional, but that I would be at this level with these wins, it’s hard for me to imagine.” said Kittel.
“I think I had a pretty good spot because it was still relatively far with 500m to go at the last left corner. I saw that McLay started to sprint very early to come to the front, and that was my lead-out. From then on, I hit the front at 220 and I think it’s no surprise that I feel really good at the moment in the sprint.” Kittel describing the final meters before reaping the win.
Admittedly, not everyone can capitalise on a late sprint, as LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen mentioned.
“I did my sprint in the final kilometre OK, but before the last turn I was too far back, maybe in 14th place, and that was not ideal. But Kittel was also too far back and he got the win,” Groenewegen said.
Kittel has yet to confirm if he will stay at Quick-Step Floors, as Lefevere continues to try to close on a sponsorship deal that will secure the long-term future of his team. However, the experienced Belgian manager is keen to keep Kittel and Fernando Gaviria.
Having two of the best sprinters in the world could be problematic for any team, but Kittel has now done more than enough to secure his role as the team’s main sprinter for the Tour de France and to earn a lucrative contract for 2018.
Source: Cycling News