Kittel Wins Dubai Tour
Marcel Kittel has won this year's Dubai Tour
Following yesterday's unexpected rest day caused by strong winds and sandstorms that led to the cancellation of stage 4, today's stage 5 of the 2017 Dubai Tour was a fast 124 kilometer ride around Dubai City that was contested at an average speed of 48.25 km/h.
Marcel Kittel (QuickStep Floors Pro Cycling Team) proved the strongest man in the final stage of the race when he took his third stage victory of the race in a finish line sprint, which was contested near the Dubai City Walk. Kittel managed to take the win despite lacking his final leadout man who was delayed when the chain came off his bike.
Kittel crossed the finish line in the same time as second place finisher Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and third place finisher Riccardo Minali of Team Astana. Mark Cavendish finished fourth for his Dimension Data team. As Kittel made his final acceleration, Cavendish was in perfect position behind Kittel to come off his wheel with 150 meters to go. Unfortunately, misfortune had struck upon the Manxman again and a rear mechanical failure cut his sprint short. Visibly frustrated, Cavendish freewheeled across the line.
"I'm extremely proud of what I achieved today. My second Dubai Tour overall victory in a row and my 75th career victory," Kittel told Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium.
"When I came back to Dubai I thought this is a nice race, it's a goal for me, but I didn't think it would go so well for me. It's a very nice way to start the season. It was a short stage after the cancellation of stage 4 and we tried to control the race from the very beginning."
"The breakaway group today wasn't too big, so it went very well for us. At the end it didn't go exactly according to the plan because Fabio Sabatini's chain fell off in the final kilometers. He was supposed to be my last lead out man, so I had to go by myself but at the end I was well positioned, so I could do my sprint as I wanted to," Kittel explained.
Thursday's stage winner John Degenkolb (Germany) completed the stage in fifth position, thereby failing to take the overall race victory for Team Trek-Segafredo. He did, however, secure a podium spot, finishing behind Kittel and Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL).
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