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Kittel convinced Kemna deserves a place in professional cycling

By:
Alex Malone
Published:
January 25, 2013, 07:52,
Updated:
January 25, 2013, 07:52
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 25, 2013
Race:
Santos Tour Down Under
Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) reports for duty.

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) reports for duty.

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Plenty to learn from director's story, says sprinter

Argos-Shimano director sportif Rudi Kemna deserves a place in cycling, according to one of his riders,, Marcel Kittel. Kemna recently admitted to using EPO during his career and will serve an agreed six-month suspension before returning to team duties.

Kittel has voiced his opinion in the past regarding supporters of Lance Armstrong however, the sprinter believes Kemna's story is an important one for people to understand. It's this type of experience that Kemna was exposed to, that has the potential to help the sport move forward.

"When they told us the story, of course in the beginning I was disappointed to hear it and also surprised," said Kittel to Cyclingnews.

"But once I heard the full story I could understand it better, why he did it. I think it's a really important story to hear also for other people to understand [why] a lot of riders doped. Not because they wanted but they culture directed them into this drug problem.

"I think it was very important Rudi said what he did and it's important to learn now for young riders how it happened, so they can avoid it in the future. We can learn a lot from it."

Asked whether someone such as Kemna, who has now admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during part of his professional career should be involved in the sport, Kittel says "yes".

"When we talk about Rudi, I know Rudi now and before hearing the story. I know what he really wants for cycling and that was never something bad. He always wants to improve cycling and to develop new ideas within cycling without doping.

"That's how I started to get in contact with Rudi. He showed me a lot. I'm absolutely convinced that people like Rudi deserve a spot in cycling," he told Cyclingnews.

Aiming at the Tour de France in 2013

While Kittel hasn't enjoyed the same success in Australia this year as in 2011 - when he won two stages at the Herald Sun Tour - it's still early in the season and the parcours of this year's Tour Down Under have perhaps been too difficult for his current form.

The main focus of the season will circle around the Tour de France but there is a long way to go before July. Until then, it's all about getting wins on the board.

"I think it's a nice start to the season. The organisation [at the Tour Down Under] is incredible. There's no stress. The stages are nice. Okay sometimes the sprint stages are a bit harder than what I expected, I have to be honest," he said.

"It's no problem, it's still a good preparation. It's all about getting back into the race rhythm and getting used to the intensity, to the kilometres on the bike."

Stage 4 at the Tour Down Under looked to suit Kittel but the frantic run-in to the line, where more than a dozen riders crashed meant the German didn't have the speed to follow the day's winner André Greipel. There's one more chance on Stage 6 for Argos-Shimano to launch Kittel to victory but if he misses out, it's the Tour of Oman where get the opportunity to capture his first race win of the year.

"I will go to Oman, said Kittel. "For me it's all about the sprints so the big classics are not my goal at the moment.

"On the way to the Tour I think there are a lot of good races that suit me, with sprints. My goal was not to have more wins that 2011, so it's the same this year. I want to improve the quality of my wins."

 

epofuel More than 1 year ago
Marcel Kittel just doesn´t get it, does he? Confirmed prior blood treatment as a young racer. Ok, fine, you didn´t know. Rails against Armstrong, but says ok to Kemna? This is why nobody takes cyclists seriously, for the simple fact that...they cannot be taken seriously! I really don´t like this Kittel guy. As I write, I see a headline ¨Kittel Sick of Armstrong supporters"... Really Marcel? Really? We´ll I´m sick of Kemna supporters, but Kemna doped. How do you like that?
Andrew Smith More than 1 year ago
epofuel...to not see the difference between a guy who doped a few times back in the 90's, and a guy who was ruthless in pursuing and perfecting the art of doping for his entire career, is a representation of your inability to think with discernment. I too think Kittel is a bit of a hypocrite, but I think you are in a dream world. The sport IS doomed if the majority of fans are anything like you.
Andrew Smith More than 1 year ago
My bad, he doped in 2003. Supposedly...
epofuel More than 1 year ago
A few times? Who says he only doped a few times? Where´s the proof? Wait, who is living in a dream world? He won the Dutch national championship, he says clean, in 2003? In front of Max Van Heeswijk, who recently admitted doping? That is as bad as Lance´s argument that he was clean in 2009 during the Tour. He was only clean for legal reasons. Kemna doesn´t want his title revoked if he admits, very simple. Actually, even if he doped he still deserves the title because all were doping. And if he didn´t dope, he is a phenom and should have his genetics extracted for all to see. The sport is not doomed because of fans like me. The sport is doomed because the cyclists themselves do not say NO. That is what dooms the sport. Culture this, culture that, blah, blah, blah. A rider makes a human decision, in the moment, to take the drugs. Unless at gunpoint, I have no sympathy. Of course, one the drug-taking starts, do it like a man and don´t pretend like you weren´t the problem or that anyone will believe you if you way you didn´t dope your whole career. Once a doper, always a doper. Forever. Kittel is a HUGE hypocrite, not just a little one. Black light treatment on the blood? Why on earth did he let his blood get into someone else´s hands anyway? Youth? Well, time to grow up Marcel, and this is the first step.
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Oh, just to add a little clarification... Ruthlessness and the PERFECTING of doping are not the problems. The doping is the problem. Nowhere does it say that sportsmen can not be ruthless, nor that they cannot perfect anything. DOPING is the issue. Got it?
Andrew Smith More than 1 year ago
It's very simple. Many doped. Many didn't. I doped once at 18 years old, then quit the sport for 6 years. Came back and broke Omerta immediately, then quit again. I am still a doper? It's funny....most of you stupid fans of this sport defended Armstrong until you were all blue in the face. Now that he's admitted it, you want to blame everyone who ever took a drug to compete as being part of the problem, and use that rationality to indirectly defend Armstrong. There is a HUGE gulf of difference between the Armstrong's of the world and those who just tried to make a living. Unlike you, I actually know that doping is the issue, got it? Who creates a name like epofuel anyway? Jackass
Andrew Smith More than 1 year ago
By the way, I don't like Kittel, and think he should shut up after his little blood experiment. I just didn't like your post even more :)
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Marcel, here´s an idea for you...don´t say stuff like this! Ricco could probably teach you the same, buddy.... Direct quote from Story: "When they told us the story, of course in the beginning I was disappointed to hear it and also surprised," said Kittel to Cyclingnews. "But once I heard the full story I could understand it better, why he did it. I think it's a really important story to hear also for other people to understand [why] a lot of riders doped. Not because they wanted but they culture directed them into this drug problem. "I think it was very important Rudi said what he did and it's important to learn now for young riders how it happened, so they can avoid it in the future. We can learn a lot from it." So which is it, Marcel? The drug culture that made them do it? So, then, doesn´t Lance get a pass because he was just part of the ´culture´? Oh, he doesn´t, because it was his choice! AH, ok! Now we´re on to something. Now we are getting closer... But that makes it Kemna´s choice too, doesn´t it? Which is it, the culture? or a choice? Either way, Marcel, when you spew stuff like this, don´t complain if people ridicule cyclists. After all, the unfortunate destiny of the ridiculous is ridicule...
Strydz More than 1 year ago
This is just more evidence that sports people shouldn't open there mouths