Marcel Kittel got his first win of the season during stage 2 at Tirreno-Adriatico. Katusha-Alpecin gave him a perfect lead out in the crash-marred final circuit and set him up to take the bunch-sprint victory in Follonica ahead of world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this victory now,” Kittel said. “Since the beginning of the season not everything has always worked perfect, and we tried very hard, and finally we got this victory as a reward. I’m very happy. The team did a very good job today. I have to say a big, big thank you to everyone for helping me. I think this is a big boost for the whole group.”
The blue leader’s jersey transferred from BMC Racing’s Damiano Caruso to his teammate Patrick Bevin, who finished fifth on the day. Caruso is now in second overall, Greg Van Avermaet is third and Rohan Dennis fourth. All four have same time after the previous day’s team time trial.
“It just came about,” said a surprised Bevin. “It’s a stage where we didn’t have to work; my teammates set me up to have a sprint. We don’t have a guy to sprint, and they were keen to have me have a go in the final.
“I got caught behind that crash on the final lap and only just got back on but had a pretty good go through the bunch as it was spread out. It’s a weird feeling to take a jersey off a teammate, but the plan for the week doesn’t change.
“It’s a nice feeling. Like I said, it’s a really weird feeling to take a jersey off a teammate, especially one that’s here to lead the race. I don’t mind babysitting it for a day, but as we hit tomorrow nothing changes.”
How it unfolded
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com