• Marcel Kittel outsprinted Peter Sagan to victory on stage 2 of the 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico (Getty)Source: Getty
After countless efforts so far this season, Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) finally opened his account for 2018 on stage 2 of the Tirreno-Adriatico in Follonica, Italy. Patrick Bevin's (BMC) fifth place finish earned him the race lead, the first time a New Zealander has ever worn the leader's jersey in the race's history.
Cycling Central

9 Mar 2018 - 7:58 AM  UPDATED 9 Mar 2018 - 6:37 PM

Kittel's bunch sprint victory over Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) was also his first ever victory in Italy as a pro. 

The German was understandably relieved and ecstatic to finally get a w beside his name in 2018. 

"My last victory at the Tour de France in Pau was eight months, that’s a long time. 

"I felt very hungry and it’s wonderful to have won.”

"This season, things weren’t going perfect straight away. We had to deal with defeat, which was part of building the team. Today’s victory brings a lot of confidence to the guys who work for me. We really believed we’d do it."

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Despite being caught behind the crash that came with around eight kilometres to go, Bevin was able to make his way back on and finish fifth. 

"We got back on with three kilometres to go but it spread out the bunch," the New Zealander said. "It changes a sprint when you have a crash like that.

"It’s a real privilege for me to lead such a big race. It wasn’t planned within the team this morning but some team-mates of mine came up to me and said let’s have a crack at the sprint.

"I’m new to this team but it shows the camaraderie. It’s weird to take the jersey from a team-mate but I guess it’s part of bike racing. It changes nothing for tomorrow, though. I’ll do my work for the team the same way I usually do it.”

Earlier, Alexandr Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Guy Sagiv (Israel Cycling Academy), Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) broke away early on the only bump of the 167 kilometre stage and reached a maximum gap of six minutes, the catch guaranteed - and made with 10 kilometres to go - as the sprint trains hunted victory.

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