Kittel makes it two from two
Roelandts retains race lead heading into final day
Last Updated: 30/09/12 4:21pm
Kittel: Second Circuit Franco-Belge Success
Marcel Kittel made it two wins from two on the penultimate stage of the Circuit Franco-Belge by outsprinting Nacer Bouhanni and Andrea Guardini in Ichtegem.
Kittel had been thrust into contention by his Argos-Shimano team-mates once again as the 173.7km trek from Peruwelz reached its conclusion and then produced one of his trademark kicks along the closing straight to seal his 12th win of the season.
Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) meanwhile, rolled home in the same group as Kittel which ensured he retained his 11-second lead over Rabobank’s Maarten Wynants in the General Classification.
The action had got off to a pulsating start with an average speed of over 50km/h during the first 30km of racing until four riders eventually worked themselves clear.
A calm immediately settled in the bunch once Sebastian Stamegna (Farnese Vini), Justin Van Hoecke (Wallonie), Alexey Tsatevich (Katyusha) and Morgan Kneisky (Roubaix) had made it up the road, and the quartet saw their advantage stretch to over five minutes before BMC began to marshal the troops behind.
The foursome’s lead was gradually reduced as they traversed the lumpy terrain, and when they were swept up inside the final hour, Jasper Hamelink (Vacansoleil) and Pierre Drancourt (Roubaix) immediately tried their hand.
Their attack was to prove short-lived however, and Team Sky’s Ian Stannard featured in an eight-man counter move soon after, but even they couldn’t evade the advances of a marauding chase bunch.
The peloton was back together as they flashed under the flamme rouge, and Kittel’s team-mates sheltered him perfectly before the big German dug deep to deny Bouhanni (FDJ-BigMat) and Guardini (Farnese Vini) at the line.