Cavendish Wins Dubai Tour
Earlier this afternoon Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory in the final stage of Dubai Tour 2015 and secured the overall race victory.
Before the start of the 128 kilometer fourth and final stage of this year's Dubai Tour, Team Etixx - QuickStep sprint ace Mark Cavendish was just four seconds behind general classification leader John Degenkolb of Team Giant - Alpecin because of a pack finish on a steep Hatta Dam finale in yesterday's stage 3. This minor time difference was key, because it meant that a stage victory in today's final stage would also result in a top spot on the general classification podium.
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A five-man group of breakaway hopefuls animated the final stage, but were caught in the final ten kilometers as spectators watched sprinter teams such as Team Etixx-QuickStep, Team Astana and Team Giant-Alpecin work hard to reel in the front group and position their respective leaders perfectly for the final sprint across the finish line.
In the preparation for the final sprint Cavendish had five Etixx - QuickStep teammates in front of him. Etixx - Quick-Step took over the lead in the second-to-last kilometer and secured Cavendish an advantageous position for the sprint. Cavendish did what he said he wanted to do after stage 3. Finish the job of his teammates and wrap up the 2015 Dubai Tour with an additional stage victory, which would also get him the blue general classification leader jersey, designed by Paul Smith in cooperation with Castelli.
Cavendish also took home the red jersey as winner of the points competition.
"I didn't really have to do much, the team did everything," a happy Cavendish told Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium in Dubai. "We were really motivated today. It was a tough breakaway, but we did a great job controlling it with the help of Giant-Alpecin."
"The leadout was absolutely phenomenal. It was so fast there was a gap before I started to sprint. I looked and I saw the gap, and I went a little bit early so I could keep the gap and it all worked out perfectly. This was a win by the whole Etixx - Quick-Step team today. The guys were fantastic. That was really something special. I'm so proud of them and proud to get the blue jersey at the end as well. I'm really happy."
"This is my third stage win and I'm also super thrilled that this is the third general classification victory of my career. Here at Dubai Tour it's not exactly a sprinter's race, but it can favor people who can sprint. I know for sure last year I wasn't looking for the general classification. This year I came here in good form, but it wasn't really something I was expecting. This also shows I am on target for my next goals in my 2015 racing calendar. It's super encouraging for what's up next for me," Cavendish explained.
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