Marcel Kittel is keeping his power output to himself but said that he hopes it helps improve cycling coverage at home Germany. This afternoon in the third stage of the Giro d’Italia, he surged from far back to zip by Ben Swift for the win.
“Of course, I know my power numbers,” he said, “but I don’t want to give them away.”
Kittel lost the wheel of his white and black Giant-Shimano train when the road narrowed in Dublin’s city centre. Rival teams squeezed him out, and left him to ease off or crash.
Sky took control in the S-bends and positioned Swift for the win. He looked ready to take his first Grand Tour win until his German rival powered up the right seemingly by magic.
Kittel had sat 10 or 15 positions back, but took rival Nacer Bouhanni’s wheel and worked his way up. He said that his sprint was more of an attack than anything and that because of the effort he had to lie down and rest on the road. He put on a show of strength and power, one that he would not put a number on.
“We have a team who analyses training and race power output. It’s a big science, I’d like to compare it to motor sports. We are working very hard and I see a lot of improvements, but also moments when you are not at your best shape,” Kittel said.
“I’d like to keep it to myself. When a team or someone knows my thresholds and power, they can create a strategy around it. They could ride two kilometres an hour faster and maybe I’d be dropped. That’s why I want to keep it to myself.”
Using that power, Kittel won the opening two road stages: one in Belfast yesterday and one today, on his birthday, in Dublin. His hope, he said, is that it turns German television back on to cycling. Since the T-Mobile doping scandal with Jan Ullrich and Erik Zabel, the national broadcasters do not air the Grand Tours.
“It’s a bit of sad now because we are a big country, we have young German riders who are working hard to get people back into cycling,” he said.
“I’m 100% sure that people are at home and want to watch despite all the doping stories in the past. I’m sure if we keep on working like we’ve been doing, we’ll be coming back.”
German sprinter Marcel Kittel has now won stages in the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France
German sprinter Marcel Kittel edges out Ben Swift to take his second consecutive stage win