A strong performace of the German saw him time trial his way to 9th place in the general classification.
Boxed in during yesterday's stage finale and unable to contest the sprint, Marcel Kittel was determined to prove his strong condition on the second day of the Eneco Tour, which scheduled a 9.6km in Breda, the Dutch town that previously hosted a race against the clock at the 2014 edition. Tuesday's menu consisted of a flat course, with long straight roads and just a few corners, favouring the powerful specialists of the discipline, and Rohan Dennis (BMC) proved to be the strongest, beating Jos Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar) on his way to victory.
A focused and motivated Marcel Kittel was among the last riders to leave the start house and found the short distance of the ITT very much to his liking, putting in an impressive ride in the company of a world class field, which included many of the contenders for next month's World Championships in Qatar. At the end of the day, the 28-year-old crossed the line in 11:07, less than 20 seconds down on the stage winner, and made a significant jump in the overall standings, going up to 9th place.
"I am happy, because I got a good result today and felt strong on the bike. Before the start, I thought of the Giro d'Italia time trial in the Netherlands and wanted to give it my all and do my best. It wasn't easy, as I'm no time trial specialists, but things worked well today. Not coming too far from the very best shows that I have good legs and gives me even more motivation for tomorrow", said Marcel – a former Junior ITT World Champion – who will be one of the favourites in stage 3 of the Eneco Tour, which is set to take the peloton over 182 kilometers, from Blanenberge to Ardooie, in Belgium.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele