Mark Cavendish victorious in Abu Dhabi Tour opener
Feb 23 2017 02:32 pm CET

Mark Cavendish victorious in Abu Dhabi Tour opener

Mark Cavendish of Team Dimension Data has won the opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour. Andre Greipel and Niccolo Bonifazio completed the top three.

The first of four stages led the riders from the Baynounah Educational Complex to Madinat Zayet with a total distance of 189 kilometers.

David Lozano (Novo Nordisk), Emanuele Mori (UAE), Kazushige Kuboki (Nippo), Artur Ershov (Gazprom), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani) and Artyom Zakharov (Astana) formed the escape group of the day and soon built a lead of around five minutes.

The sprinters' teams weren't going to allow the six escapees too much space however as they wouldn't risk missing out on a mass sprint in a very flat finale. At 40 kilometers from the line, the gap was down to just over one minute as the peloton calmly controlled the situation.

The last remaining members of the breakaway were caught with 16 kilometers to go.

Alberto Contador was involved in a crash at about four kilometers to go. The Trek-Segafredo leaders was succesfully guided back to the peloton by his teammates however, and as such avoided a potentially significant loss of time.

Another crash occurred at the last-kilometer banner. One of those involved was Marcel Kittel who was generally regarded as one of the favorites to win the stage. The QuickStep rider appeared to have suffered some skin injuries but seemed okay to get back on his bike and finish the stage.

In the sprint, heavily affected by the late crash, Mark Cavendish had the better legs and crossed the line ahead of Andre Greipel of Lotto-Soudal and Bahrain-Merida's Niccolo Bonifazio.

As a result, Cavendish is also the first leader in the overall classification.


Abu Dhabi Tour (2.UWT)
Stage 1 Madinat Zayed - Madinat Zayed (2017-02-23)
Pos. Name Team Country Time
1.Mark CAVENDISHDDD 4:37:06
6.Roger KLUGEORS +0
7.Alexander PORSEVGAZ +0
9.Nicola RUFFONIBRD +0
10.Eduard Michael GROSUNIP +0

View full results
Photo of Mark Cavendish by Jens Herrndorff for Team Dimension Data.


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