Marcel Kittel beats Groenewegen and Cavendish in Dubai Tour
Jan 31 2017 09:36 pm CET

Marcel Kittel beats Groenewegen and Cavendish in Dubai Tour

Marcel Kittel of Quick-Step Floors has won the opening stage of the Dubai Tour. Dylan Groenewegen and Mark Cavendish complete the podium.

The first stage of the 2.HC race was 181 kilometers long and took the peloton from Dubai to Palm Jumeirah.

A mass sprint was always the most likely outcome of this stage and the expectation came true as the usual suspects prepared for a top level battle with riders like Kittel, Cavendish and John Degenkolb all ready to compete for the win.

At the finish line, it was the Quick-Step sprinter to take the victory with Dutchman Groenewegen of LottoNL-Jumbo coming in second ahead of Cavendish (Dimension Data), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and UAE Abu Dhabi's Sasha Modolo.

"I'm really happy," said Kittel shortly after the stage. "In the last few days I felt already I was very confident about the team. I'm happy to have a winning start, just like last year.

"It was difficult to time it right because there are a lot of strong sprinters here – you need to find the right moment. We were always in a good position, not really in the front but we chose the right distance to go for it. After we passed the last roundabout, we tried to find each other and we went full gas to the finish line. It worked really well.

Runner-up Groenewegen was pleased with the result but saw space for improvement. "It's a good result and I'm ahead of several top sprinters but yet, it's not a win and that's what I was looking for. We could have done better. It gives me hope for the coming days. I’' glad to be the best young rider but I want to win as well."

As a result of this win, Marcel Kittel is also the first leader in the general classification. Bardiani CSF's Nicola Boem follows at three seconds thanks to bonuses earned during the stage.

Stage 2, a 186 route from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah, is equally likely to become a prey for sprinter teams.

Photo of Marcel Kittel (cropped) © BrakeThrough Media



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