Marcel Kittel and his Giant-Shimano train may have gotten the better of Mark Cavendish last year, but now that Omega Pharma-QuickStep has beefed up its lead-out train with Cavendish's former right-hand man, Mark Renshaw, and Italian Alessandro Petacchi, many pundits expect the balance to be flipped in 2014.
The two trains will face off for the first time in this week's Dubai Tour, but Kittel is not worried. In this interview, he shows he is confident in his well-drilled team.
"I think our lead-out team is very strong, if you look back to the Tour or other races. We have the experience and the power to do that. I'm not scared of another team. Omega Pharma is a strong team when it comes to the lead-out, and we are too. Then we will see how far we have come as sprinters."
Kittel's team has not been resting on its laurels, and has been working to further hone their technique. The result was a win in the People's Choice Classic criterium over André Greipel, but the team was shut out at the Tour Down Under.
"Of course we should always try to improve and look for details we can maybe change. I think we are at a very high level already. You always want to do the lead-out yourself, but there are situations where you can only follow. I think we can do both."
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