Sprinters up to speed and not.
It’s early in the season but we’ve already seen some high quality fast.
Marcel Kittel rides for Giant-Shimano and the Giant tag applies both to his race bike and the size of his thighs. Already the German has three wins in the inaugural Tour of Dubai, that petro-dollar duel in the desert.
Kittel exploded into fame in last year’s Tour de France, winning four stages and accomplishing something no other sprinter had done in years: make Mark Cavendish appear like an old sprinter whose legs had decided on early retirement.
Kittel went head to head and train to train in Dubai with Cavendish and the end score was Kittel 3, Cav zero. That’s Cav with new train and return of good friend, lead-out master Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi, who the Manxman calls the smartest tactical sprinter he ever raced against.
So far Kittel and crew are flying while Cav’s boys work the timing and kinks out in the Omega Pharma Quickstep train. Cavendish has a photographic memory for race finishes so he can remember in vivid detail everything that’s going wrong so far.
Who else is fast?
Well, Peter Sagan is fast but not yet in the win column. The Fastvakian just lost to Andre Greipel once again in Oman. The other German with the massive thighs already has five victories this season and beat Sagan in the uphill finish.
While Cavendish can justifiably claim he’s just getting warmed up for bigger objectives later in the season, Sagan is so talented that he’s pretty much amazing all year. However, Cannondale is still waiting for him to deliver that first win.
Who else is fast while we’re still waiting for Sagan and Cavendish to hit full gas?
Well, Sacha Modolo of Lampre has blown out of the starting gate — including wins in the Tour de San Luis and Volta ao Algarve. The man is already up to speed but we’re waiting for him to do something important against somebody famous — see Kittel and Greipel above.
Modolo looks great against second rate guys. Let’s wait to see what he can accomplish against the boss men of the sprint.
Who is fast? Hell, even Tom Boonen is feeling a little frisky. The classics superstar and former sprinter chalked up two wins in the Big Q, the Tour of Qatar. He has a smile on his face, he’s mixing it up, re-discovered his kick and looks forward to delivering that kick to Fabian Cancellara’s rear end in Flanders and Roubaix.
All that to say, Pete, Mark, pick things up a bit, will ya?