Marcel Kittel wins his second stage in the Tour of Turkey
Marcel Kittel won stage 7 of the Tour of Turkey in convincing fashion, taking Team Argos-Shimano’s second stage of the race
Today’s stage was a flat, fast affair perfect for the sprinters to have another bite at victory over 124.5km from Kusadasi to Izmir.
The team helped to control the race well, playing a big part in bringing back the days breakaway of six riders in the closing stages, teeing the stage up perfectly for a big bunch finish, Kittel’s favourite stomping ground. The final rider of the six who had spent the day out in the wind was Michael Hepburn (Orica GreenEDGE) who fought valiantly to hold a small gap but only lasted until 4km to go.
A crash threatened to derail the sprint train on a tight right-hand turn in the final kilometre but Marcel made it through without mishap to take the stage in convincing fashion, outsprinting Andrea Guardini (Astana) and Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre) by over a bike length.
Since winning the first stage, Kittel hasn’t had another chance to unleash his power, coming down in the large pile-up on stage 2 and the conceding time on the following stages, so he was ready for today.
It is yet another good result for Team Argos-Shimano in this year’s Tour of Turkey with Nikias Arndt also sprinting to two podium places earlier in the week. The team’s best GC rider, Warren Barguil, also finished safely in amongst the bunch to conserve his top 20 placing overall.
“We knew that we had to sit 3km on the left side before the finish, said sports manager Marc Reef just after the finish. Some riders didn’t know this so the first selection was made there already, but we were in a good position. When it became tricky, Bert De Backer brought Marcel to the front just at the right moment.
“Koen de Kort did the final lead-out for Marcel and brought him into 5th position and Marcel was able to outsprint the rest. Everybody once again did a fantastic job, taking responsibility early in the race and delivering with the victory at the end. Tomorrow is another chance for Marcel so we can hopefully end this tour perfectly.”
“It’s always great to win, but especially after some difficult stages and after my crash in stage 2,” said Marcel after the stage. “It was a nervous final but we got through it and from there it was up to me. The team once again did a fantastic job today.”