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Kittel is also a decent time triallist, so will be looking not to lose too much time to the specialists in the first stage’s 9.8km to maintain a hope of wearing the pink jersey at some point in the first week.
The time bonuses on offer for the first three riders across the line could allow Kittel to take the overall lead on stage two or three if he can limit his losses on stage one.
Kittel may not make it all the way to Turin, especially with a gruelling third week in the mountains, but the German will be a favourite to wear the red sprinter’s jersey in the first two weeks.