Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) quickly played down his chances of being a contender for the green points jersey at the Tour de France after surviving on the climbs and winning the third stage at the Dubai Tour, claiming that going for the points jersey in July is 'another league.
Kittel won four stages at the 2013 Tour de France, including on the Champs Elysees in Paris but was fourth in the points classification, almost 200 hundred points down on winner Peter Sagan. He is almost two metres tall and weighs close to 85kg but proved he can handle some climbing and go on to win sprints in Hatta. He has now set up a possible hat-trick of stage victories in Dubai.
"I think today was the personal limit of what I can do on the climbs. I'm just happy I could make it and achieve the win I wanted. Now I'm looking to the last stage," Kittle told Cyclingnews in an exclusive video interview.
He insisted it is far too early to start thinking of July
"Ha… First of all it's the beginning of January (sic). What happens in July I have no idea, it's still very far away for me. I think this is (challenging for the green jersey) another league."
Kittel crossed the summit of the final climb with several other sprinters but took some huge risks on the descent to get back to the front of the race before the finish.
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was the natural favourite for victory on the rising finish after his teammates had split the peloton on the final climb. However the Slovakian did not have the speed to stop Kittel from taking a second consecutive victory.
"I'm super happy. My legs are very good. I knew that after the time trial and so I just wanted to have a go today and see how far I could go on the climb," Kittel said.
"The team brought me to a super good position and kept me out of the wind the whole day. Then I just had to go as hard as I could and see where I came out of the climb. I came over the top with Mark Cavendish and then we tried to come to the front. I was looking for Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg to make a plan for the finale and it worked out. I'm super happy."
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