Marcel Kittel told Cyclingnews that he would celebrate his three stage victories at the Dubai Tour with a beer with his Giant-Shimano teammates before returning to Europe. He thanked them for their excellent lead outs and celebrate an excellent start to the 2014 season.
The German dominated the sprints, with a local newspaper dubbing him the "Giant of Dubai". Kittel won stage 2 after cross winds caused havoc, survived some late climbs and attacks before winning stage 3 and then benefited from a perfect lead out on stage four in downtown Dubai to complete his hat trick in stage 4 and win the points jersey.
"It's incredible. I didn't expect it. The Tour of Dubai was a first goal for me in 2014 and I'm super proud of how we rode here," said Kittel. "However, we really worked for our goal. I have to say a big, big thank you to the team. They did an amazing job and I'm very happy I could give them back three wins."
The sprint was fast and furious. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was taken out of the action after being hit from behind, while Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) hit a bollard with his hand and rear gear, lost his chain and so was unable to fight for victory. Kittel revealed that he also had problems before trusted lead out man Tom Veelers got him back on board the Giant-Shimano express.
"It was difficult for us, too. Two and half kilometres before the finish, I lost my lead-out train," Kittel revealed to Cyclingnews in an exclusive video interview.
"I only had (Tom) Veelers. He did an incredible job. he brought me back to the front and to Fabian Cancellara's wheel. Then just before the final right corner, I was back with my boys and they did a really good lead out again."
"They did huge pulls, and I could sit there and wait for the final and then give it everything. But I was empty at the line but also super relieved."
Kittel will head home for some well deserved rest after starting his season in at the Tour Down Under and then staying in Dubai on the way back from Australia.
"First of all, I think I can take it a bit easy," he said after taking four sprint wins in his two opening races of the season.
"I think my form is good and hopefully not too good for this time of year. I'm looking forward to Andalucía (the Ruta del Sol) in one and half weeks. From there we'll have a pretty intensive spring and we'll soon decide the exact races."
After the Ruta del Sol (February 19-23), Kittel will then ride Tirreno-Adriatico on March 12-18. However, he will not tackle Milan-San Remo, admitting it is too tough for him.
It is highly likely that he will also return to Italy in May to target the sprint stages at the Giro d'Italia and lay down the foundations for another successful Tour de France.
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