Team Giant Shimano’s Marcel Kittel book ended the Friends Life Tour of Britain with stage wins in Liverpool and London, the latter coming after a tight battle with Mark Cavendish.

In the thrilling sprint encounter many fans had been looking forward to seeing all week it was the German eight-time Tour de France stage winner who came out on top, narrowly, on Whitehall.

"The lead-out was great today and that made the win possible,” said Marcel Kittel, who won the Tour de France stage in London this summer, afterwards.  “To start and finish the race with a win is really nice, especially here in London again. It has been a good week, hard racing but as a team we have raced well and it should set us up well for the races still to come at the end of the season.

"It worked out really well for us at the end today. We waited late to move up to the front on the right as planned and then Tom took me round the top corner before dropping me off in a perfect position. It was a hard sprint but I had enough to come back at the end and hold on. It's a nice was to end the week here."

Team Giant Shimano’s team manager Marc Reef reflected on the week’s racing, which saw the team take two victories thanks to Kittel, as well as going close in Bristol with Albert Timmer, who won Stage Four’s Rouleur Combativity Award.

""“We came here for the sprint opportunities and also for the breakaways and with today's win that completes a successful week with two victories and a second place for Albert,” said the Dutchman.

"Today worked out really well. The guys stuck to the plan we made before the stage, waiting till late, moving up on the right and then Tom V taking Marcel up round the top corner. Then Marcel finished it off nicely.

"We knew that it would be hard with three riders who were coming back from sickness or injury so for these guys it was also a case of building up again but in the end we won both sprint stages with great teamwork and Marcel finishing it off.

"Albert coming second was really close and that was too bad. But if you look to the whole week it was a hard race, and it will prepare the guys well for the coming weeks."

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