Kittel notches the team’s 20th win of 2016

The German shrugged off the disappointment of Wednesday's finish and scored his sixth victory since joining Etixx – Quick-Step.

Riding Driedaagse De Panne for the first time in four years, Marcel Kittel landed that win he was searching for, taking full advantage of the last opportunity the sprinters had and leaving his mark on stage 3a (111 km around De Panne). It wasn't an easy day for the riders, as the final circuit included road furniture, tram tracks and a tricky corner which came with just 300 meters to go. That's where a crash occurred, only 12 riders being left unscathed from that incident which saw the peloton come to a halt.

Well-placed at the front thanks to a fantastic team effort made by his Etixx – Quick-Step teammates – who protected Marcel all day long, before taking him to the first row just as the race was becoming more and more nervous – the 27-year-old German kicked-off his powerful acceleration and comfortably won the stage, ahead of Phil Bauhaus (Bora-Argon 18) and GC leader Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). It was Kittel's 6th success of the season, and the team's 20th, which now see both the rider and Etixx – Quick-Step top the victory rankings.