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The next big thing was finally just the big thing, physically and on the results sheets.
In 2013, German Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) made good on all the hype and on his physical gifts, taking four Tour de France stages from the best sprinters in the world — including Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), who had a full compliment of riders at his disposal.
But it was Kittel who was the sprint class of the Tour, even wearing the yellow jersey for a day after winning stage 1 in Corsica. It came in sharp relief to just a year prior when, at the Amgen Tour of California, the strapping German (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) couldn’t haul himself over the climbs to contend for a sprint. All told, he racked up 16 victories (including stages at the Tour of Oman and Paris-Nice). The Tour, though, has captivated him, like sprint greats who came before. His goals are the same, but his expectations are pragmatic.
“It’s the same like in 2013. I’ll just try to have a good year again. It sounds simple,” he told VeloNews. “I just want to have a good start in the new season, and I’m looking forward to the Tour as a highlight again. Which races I will do on my way to the Tour is not sure yet. We of course talked already about it, but I think I can say I’m open to new experiences also when it comes to other races.”
Kittel said he hopes to race at the tours of Qatar and Oman, but wasn’t sure of his pre-Tour plans just yet.
It was clear the 25-year-old enjoyed his Tour, winning both the first and last stages in addition to stages 10 and 12. And while the dream is to go back to France for another victory lap, that’s something Kittel doesn’t think he should plan on.
“I think it was a very special year and to expect directly that you can repeat it like that the next year, I think that’s a bit over the top. And it also gives you pressure, which is not necessary,” Kittel said. “My personal goal for next year is just to go again for a stage win at the Tour de France, and to finish the Tour.”
He showed last season he has ample finishing power — there’s really no other way to describe his sprint — and his tactical acumen was progressing, along with the strength of his team, which seems to ride with something of a Musketeer mentality as it fights for one another at every turn. So while he says one stage may be enough for him, the expectations around him are gaining weight. Will he have to be better than this year to achieve the same results? Maybe. But his manager Iwan Spekenbrink believes Kittel can be.
“I believe Marcel can continue to improve. You have to remember that he was being developed as a time trial specialist as a junior and U-23. He was not a pure sprinter, but he’s a gifted athlete,” Spekenbrink said. “When he came to us, we made some tests, and we saw his biggest potential was to do well in the sprints. He hasn’t been focusing for so long in sprints, but you can see how far he has come. We believe he can be even better with more experience.”
That’s a scary thought, no? The thought that Kittel hasn’t peaked. Cavendish will certainly be looking over his shoulder after last year’s Tour, — or perhaps he will have to look in front of him — but Kittel is watching Cav as well. The Manxman is assured to come back stronger after what only Cavendish could consider a bit of a down season, given his past dominance in July.
“He will be busy during the winter to prepare for the new season and maybe to change something. If he just looks to the new teammates that he gets — Mark Renshaw. That’s a good step,” Kittel said of his rival. “They showed already once that they are a good team, and we, other sprinter teams, definitely have to take care for that new, new/old combination next season. I’m curious what will happen next year.”
The post Potential realized, Kittel again looks to Tour de France appeared first on VeloNews.com.
- For sale is nearly mint condition 54cm Cannondale Supersix Red EVO.
Full SRAM Red, 10spd
Black and Red paint job
Full geo and specs here: http://www.cannondale.com/2013/bikes/road/elite-road/supersix-evo/super-six-sm-evo-red-compact-crankset
There are 4 major upgrades to the stock bike:
1. Cranks: Quarq ELSA 10R power meter, 170mm crank arms, 50/34 chainrings
2. Wheels/tires: Stan's Alpha 340 tubeless wheels, currently set-up tubeless w/ Specialized roubaix tires. These are excellent race wheels.
3. Seat: Ergon SR3 carbon rail road saddle
4. Stem: Zipp service course (aluminum) -17, 120mm
This bike was built as a dream bike. Unfortunately I'm unable to ride it to the extent to which I hoped, so it needs a new home!
Reasonable offers will be considered.
- Cyclocross in the (Mainstream) Press: Men’s Journal, Cacti, Sandpoint Spirals, Boulder Beer, and More – December 6, 2013
Though she has sat out nearly the entire domestic cyclocross season, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Georgia Gould will return to race the U.S. national cyclocross championship, held January 12 in Boulder, Colorado.
A three-time silver medalist behind nine-time champion Katie Compton, Gould (Luna) will bookend her ’cross season with the last major race on North American soil; in September, she placed ninth at Cross Vegas, held during the Interbike trade show.
Gould, who lives an hour’s drive from Boulder in Fort Collins, took a year off from racing cyclocross after a disappointing 2013 mountain bike season. She will kick start her 2014 mountain bike season by taking the start in Boulder, though she’ll have no UCI points to speak of and will start at the back of the field.
“You can’t have a national championship an hour from your house and not race,” said Gould. “I haven’t raced all year, but hey, if I won nationals, no one would remember I didn’t race all season.”
Though she was never won a national cyclocross championship, Gould is a four-time overall series winner of the former U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross.
- Was built up in march and has 1053 miles on it and is in great shap just some very minor scuffs from normal use.
Wheels Brand new never used Easton EA70 XCT Tubless
Tires are Geax Saguaro TNT 2.20 brand new never used,set up tubeless with stans.
Xt brakes new in July with Formula rotors.
Bars-Niner RDO uncut
Seat-Fizik Gobie xm
Esi chunky grips
XTR cranks 4 years old with ethirteen 34t chainring.
20t niner cog
Bike weighs 17.5 LBS and hauls ass.
Pics will be added hear in a few minutes
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