Marcel Kittel Wins His Third Straight GP de l’Escaut


SCHOTEN, Belgique, April 09, 2014 (AFP) – German rider Marcel Kittel
claimed a record equalling third consecutive Grand Prix de l’Escaut title on

Kittel was favourite in the absence of Britain’s Mark Cavendish (flu) and
Germany’s Andre Greipel (broken collarbone) in a race held on a flat course in
the Flanders countryside and ideal for sprinters.

The Giant rider finished ahead of American Tyler Farrar and Dutchman Danny
van Poppel at Schoten, to equal previous treble winners Cavendish and Belgian
Petrus Oellibrandt.

“Marcel is on another planet,” said van Poppel. “When I saw him accelerate,
I knew straight away I wasn’t sprinting to victory. He’s unstoppable, so I’m
satisfied with my third place.”

Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi had tried to outwit the German by starting the
sprint some 400 metres from the line but ran out of energy and slumped to

“Everything was perfectly clear in my head — I had to take the lead 250m
from the line,” said Kittel after his fifth win of the season. “I knew that by
taking a lead of several metres I couldn’t be caught.”

Swiss Fabian Cancellara, winner of the Tour of Flanders last weekend and
favourite for Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, failed to feature while his Belgian
rival Tom Boonen worked mainly for Petacchi in the final kilometres.

File Photo: Corvos