Dubai Tour – Stage 2: Phinney Keeps his leader’s jersey

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BMC’s Taylor Phinney was third in the bunch sprint at the Dubai Tour to increase his overall lead by one second over teammate Steve Cummings with two days to go.

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Phinney earned a one-second time bonus for finishing behind stage winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) and runner-up Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team). Phinney said his main goal was to stay safe and let the BMC Racing Team control the pace in the 122-kilometer race.

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Marcel Kittel celebrates a sprint victory whilst Taylor Phinney (left) gets third and keeps his leader’s jersey. Photo:  dubaitour.com

“The team rode really, really well as a unit,” he said. “Rick Zabel and Sebastian Lander rode the whole day on the front and controlled everything and Yannick Eijssen, Steve Cummings and Klaas Lodewyck looked after me in the final.”

Phinney said he was not aiming to win a second straight stage, but saw an opportunity 500 meters before the finish and decided to go for it. “Some guys were pulling off and with a tail crosswind like that, you can gain a lot of speed from behind,” he said. “I just started to pass everybody and did my own sprint. I started really early – maybe 300 meters out – but unfortunately started to die a bit with 75 meters to go.”

In the overall standings, Phinney leads Cummings by 15 seconds, with Lasse Norman Hansen (Garmin-Sharp) in third at 17 seconds. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Max Sciandri said he liked what he saw from the BMC Racing Team after three riders (Francisco Mancebo, Diogo Nunes and Willie Smit) escaped the clutches of the peloton.

The trio enjoyed a nearly three-minute lead before being reeled in with 10 km to go. “The team was really good,” Sciandri said. “We have Thor Hushovd, who is an experienced guy, always looking after us. He’s kind of the road captain. Taylor finished it off with a great sprint. But you never know what to expect when you look at these maps, especially with the wind and finishing on an island.” Friday’s penultimate stage contains some undulating terrain near the end of the 162-km route.

No Show for Cavendish

The stage’s expected show down between Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish never eventuated despite Omega Pharma Quickstep leading the peloton as they approached one kilometre to go. The team dropped back a few places, Cavendish got boxed in and it was all over for the British champion. It was then a one man show as Kittel hit the front to win the stage. That final kilometre saw the two trains, Kittel’s and Cavendish’s and whilst neither really look dominant, the one from Giant Shimano certainly kept their man Kittel in the box seat.

“The team did a great job today and we can all be proud of how we worked together and pulled it off,” said Marcel after the finish. “The stage never really split up but there was some wind and also sand to deal which which made things interesting.”

“At the end, the guys dropped me off in a good position but I got swamped a bit in the final kilometre so I had to find my own way while through to the front. The legs were good though and it’s great to get the win here in Dubai.”

Cavendish meanwhile explained what happened to him… “It was a nervous stage, the wind wasn’t strong enough to break it,” Cavendish said. “Everyone was nervous because it was the first stage and only a short stage. We did a good of staying in the front. The team rode well as a unit, and it was a good final. We fought and had good position. But then we just got swamped in the last 2km. At 300m to go I was in 15th position, so the best I can get from that is about 8th position. But, we’re trying every day.”

STAGE
1. KITTEL Marcel Team Giant-Shimano 2:50:30
2. SAGAN Peter Cannondale @ st
3. PHINNEY Taylor BMC Racing Team @ st
4. LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose Movistar Team @ st
5. NIZZOLO Giacomo Trek Factory Racing @ st
6. FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida @ st
7. TRUSOV Nikolay Tinkoff-Saxo @ st
8. HAEDO Lucas Sebastian Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team @ st
9. GUARNIERI Jacopo Astana Pro Team @ st
10. KREDER Raymond Garmin Sharp @ st
11. NORMAN HANSEN Lasse Garmin Sharp @ st
12. FARRAR Tyler Garmin Sharp @ st
13. MALORI Adriano Movistar Team @ st
14. VIOLA Antonio Vini-Fantini-Nippo @ st
15. MIYAZAWA Takashi Vini-Fantini-Nippo @ st
16. VAN BAARLE Dylan Garmin Sharp @ st
17. RENSHAW Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team @ st
18. DE NEGRI Pier Paolo Vini-Fantini-Nippo @ st
19. HONDO Danilo Trek Factory Racing @ st
20. HADDI Soufiane Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team @ st
28. HUSHOVD Thor BMC Racing Team @ st
30. CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team @ st
39. CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team @ st
52. COSTA Rui Lampre – Merida @ st
71. VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team @ st
86. DOWSETT Alex Movistar Team @ st
115. COUTTS Alex RTS-Santic Racing Team 1:19

OVERALL
1. PHINNEY Taylor BMC Racing Team 3:02:32
2. CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team 0:15
3. NORMAN HANSEN Lasse Garmin Sharp 0:17
4. MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:23
5. CANCELLARA Fabian Trek Factory Racing 0:26
6. SAGAN Peter Cannondale 0:30
7. MALORI Adriano Movistar Team 0:33
8. BODNAR Maciej Cannondale 0:36
9. PORSEV Alexander Team Katusha
10. KITTEL Marcel Team Giant-Shimano

 


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