Ster ZLM Toer: Marcel Kittel sprints into the lead on hilly stage three
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Ster ZLM Toer: Marcel Kittel sprints into the lead on hilly stage three

by Ben Atkins at 1:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Ster Elektrotoer
German takes his turn to beat Greipel and Cavendish over hilly Limburg course

marcel kittelMarcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) took his eleventh victory of the 2013 season as he sprinted to the third stage of the Ster ZLM Toer, in Buchten, in the Limburg province of the Netherlands, as the race finished in a ‘sprint royale’ for the second straight day. After Theo Bos (Blanco) the day before, it was Kittel’s turn to beat supersprinters André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) into second and third places, with Bos finishing fourth this time.

Time bonuses on the line saw Kittel take over the race leader’s yellow jersey from stage one time trial winner Robert Wagner (Blanco).

“It was a controlled race today as we had one of our engines on the front with Albert Timmer,” said Kittel after the race. “It was a quite difficult last lap after bringing the break back, being really technical, so we had to take care to stay in the right position, but it was not easy.
“We stayed calm with a good plan and came to the front at just the right time, just avoiding a crash in the bunch. We only lost Luka Mezgec by a crash but he is ok.
“It was up to Ramon Sinkeldam and Tom Veelers in the finale and they did a great lead out. I knew Greipel was on my wheel but he wasn’t able to get past me. It’s nice to know that my sprint is where it should be at the right moment.”

The 188km stage was dominated by a breakaway from Jay McCarthy (Saxo-Tinkoff), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM), Reinier Honig (Crelan-Euphony), Yves Lampaert (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Adrian Kurek (CCC Polsat-Polkowice), Ronan van Zandbeek (De Rijke-Shanks), Sjors Roosen (Jo Piels) and Luc Hagenaars (Metec-TKH), who escaped early as the course took on the hills of the Limburg region.

Keizer managed to escape the over the second climb of the Bemelerberg with his lead reaching a maximum of 7’45” before he was recaptured by the group. The sprinters’ teams, meanwhile, were closing the gap to the escapees, and they were caught just before they could begin the second of two 7.8km finishing circuits.

There was a small crash in the peloton in the closing stages, but the sprinters were largely unaffected, and Kittel managed to take the stage by a comfortable margin.

Result stage 3
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
3. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
4. Theo Bos (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling
5. Kenny van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling
7. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
8. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
10. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise

Standings after stage 3
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos-Shimano
2. Robert Wagner (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling @ 6s
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling @ 7s
4. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
5. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 16s
6. Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 17s
7. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto-Belisol @ 19s
8. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM @ 30s
9. Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 31s
10. Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin-Sharp @ 34s


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