The Etixx-Quick Step boss said that only his riders are working at the Giro d'Italia, and their hardwork is paying off

Etixx-Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevere says that he does not understand why rival teams are not doing more to try to win a sprint stage in the Giro d’Italia.

Lefevere’s star cyclist Marcel Kittel won the third stage today in the Dutch city of Arnhem ahead of Team Sky’s Elia Viviani by two bike lengths. He took enough bonus seconds to overpass Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in the general classification and take the leader’s pink jersey.

“We don’t have bad riders and I’m convinced that these guys can do the work, but I don’t understand the other teams,” Lefevere said.

“No one wants to work and they play poker, and they risked losing the stage today. For us it would’ve been enough to be second and third [for the pink jersey], but we want to win. There are many sprinters, but nobody works. And, you are not rewarded if you don’t work.”

Kittel won stages two and three with relative ease. Photo: Graham Watson

Kittel won stages two and three with relative ease. Photo: Graham Watson

Teams like Sky and Orica-GreenEdge are not contributing much for their sprinters Viviani and Caleb Ewan, respectively, because they came with teams for the overall classification.

“So what,” Lefevere said of those riders. “So what. Or you come with a team or you stay home.”

Etixx took control 25 kilometres out in the 190km stage. Lampre-Merida made a brief appearance and LottoNL-Jumbo, too. “Lampre? Yes, that was one team, better than nothing.”

The race caravan travels tomorrow from the Netherlands to the south of Italy, where it will resume with the fourth stage on Tuesday. Lefevere will be at home in Belgium watching on television.

>>> Giro d’Italia 2016 route

He said, “I’m going to be curious how hard the other teams will start to work for us Tuesday.”


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Kittel has around four more chances to win before he could pack his bags and leave the Giro d’Italia behind with eyes on the Tour de France.

Like Mark Cavendish did in previous years, Kittel plans to pull out before Italy’s high Alpine passes in the third week.

“Finish? No because the Tour is also important,” Lefevere said this morning. “Maybe he’ll go one week or 10 days before heading home. He will go to a high-altitude training camp and race the ZLM Tour [June 15-19] to help prepare of the Tour de France.”

  • markholds

    Great manager, but such a whinger. It’s probably a coincidence, but I reckon Cav is whinging a lot less since he left Etixx, as well.

  • Sean

    I think they should contribute more and take the risk. Although you are right about Kittels form, he is the fastest sprinter this year by a clear mile. Its frightening how strong he is. In the back of my mind I am a little bitter, as Cav has always been my favourite sprinter, and he has taken his crown.

  • reece46

    Viviani accepts he has to be an opportunist because Sky are a GC team. Orica however have always been world class workshy.

  • Sutton Atkins

    Why would other sprinters teams contribute when Kittel is such a strong favourite to win? The only small hope they have is that some of the Etixx riders get tired and then the lead out train isn’t quite as effective for Kittel later in the Giro, then he makes a mistake and maybe doesn’t win. (But on current form I doubt it). Lefevere is just pissed because his boys have to live up to their responsibility of having the worlds fastest man on their team, and look after him.