Marcel Kittel leaves the Giro d’Italia
Winner of two stages and maglia rosa wearer, the German has put an end on Saturday to his Italian campaign.
Today's stage, which finished in the beautiful Arezzo, has been the last one for Marcel Kittel at the Giro, after a week I which he fought for pink and glory on the roads of Italy. Racing the prestigious Corsa Rosa for the second time in his career, the Etixx – Quick-Step sprinter left a heavy mark on the competition, as he scored back-to back victories in Nijmegen and Arnhem, confirming that he is back to his very best. These impressive and commanding wins helped Marcel don the maglia rosa for the first time in his career, thus becoming only the fifth German rider to wear the iconic jersey.
"I'm sad to leave the Giro. I really like the atmosphere I have found here in Italy and I love the support of the Italian fans, but now I feel like I need to recover after a long first part of the season. This year I kicked-off my campaign very early in order to come back after a very difficult 2015 and the season will be even longer than usual for me because of the Worlds in Qatar. It's not every year that the sprinters get such an opportunity", said Marcel Kittel, the World Tour rider with the most wins to his name in 2016.
The 28-year-old German continued: "Considering from where I came it's very important for me to pay attention to my fitness level. The Giro has been a tough and demanding race so far, even in the stages bookmarked for the sprinters. Now I feel that I need to rest before the future goals of the season. I leave from here with a brace of wins and with many great memories, two of which are wearing the pink jersey for the first time in my career and the great ride of Gianluca Brambilla on Saturday. Besides my teammates and the entire staff of Etixx – Quick-Step, I want to thank the organizers and the fans for making this race great and I want to assure them that in the future I will come back at the start with the goal of trying to get a victory on Italian soil, something which I'm still missing."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele