DubaiTour: Kittel wins second stage, Phinney still leads


With one of the most exciting finishes to a bike race in 2014 so far, Marcel Kittel sprinted to victory whilst Taylor Phinney retained his leader’s jersey in the Dubai Tour

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With one day to go in the Dubai Tour, BMC’s Taylor Phinney remains overall leader by 15 seconds over his teammate Steve Cummings whilst the sprintfest honours go to Marcel Kittel.



For the second day in a row, Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) won the bunch sprint ahead of Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Movistar Team) with Peter Sagan showing good early season form in 3rd.

After the longest stage (162-km) of the Dubai Tour, Phinney was very grateful to his team. “Today was a hard stage, the hardest stage of the race. My team did an amazing job of controlling it,” he said. “Klaas Lodewyck, Sebastian Lander, Rick Zabel, they were in control the entire day.”

Video Report from GCN

At the end of the race, Phinney said was feeling strong: “I did my best to follow the moves, to follow the guys that I needed to follow and I felt really strong. I’m very happy to cross the line safely and still having the jersey at the end of the day.”

In the overall standings, Phinney leads his teammate Stephen Cummings by 15 seconds, with Lasse Norman Hansen (Garmin Sharp) in third 17 seconds behind. BMC Racing Team Sports Director Max Sciandri was happy with the way the team controlled the race after six riders (Evan Huffman, Ruslan Karimov, Diogo Nunes, Valter Pereira, Alexandr Pliuschin and Willem Jakobus Smit) attacked earlier in the stage.

Last 3k of the Stage

The group of six enjoyed a lead of more than six minutes before being pulled back. “The guys did really well, they controlled it,” Sciandri said. “Especially the younger guys Rick (Zabel), Sebastian (Lander) and Klaas (Lodewyck), they worked really well.”

“Steve (Cummings) did a good job closing it down here at the end. Taylor was super on the climbs and everybody did what they had to do.”

Kittel on top Dubai
Whilst the expected battles between the two big foes in the Tour de France sprints, Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish, have not materialised, the big German from Giant-Shimano has got his season off to a winning spree with two stages from three.

“What can I say! I felt great today and the guys did a really good job in helping me get to the climb in a good position,” said a very happy Marcel. “It was tough to stay with the front group but having finished a Grand Tour and having a strong winter’s training in the legs had really helped me. I have to say thanks again to Giant as when I’m sprinting, the bike feels amazing, so stiff. It’s great to have them as a main partner.”

Thanks to his win, Marcel also now leads the sprints competition going into tomorrow’s final stage. It was a good for Movistar as well as they went on the attack. With Alex Dowsett doing his job giving shelter to leader Valverde before the Spanish rider went on the attack in the closing kilometres in the hills, it was Movistar’s sprinter Joan Lobato Del Valle who powered to the line in his Endura clothing to finish second to Kittel.

One rider not present in the mellee at the sharp end was British champion Mark Cavendish who said afterwards “Despite not sprinting, I’m happy with my form after finishing with the front group today”. Kittel, whilst admitting he’s there following his own goals, does appear to miss the opportunity to sprint against Cavendish.

“I can’t deny that this race is important because it is an opportunity to sprint against him” says Kittel. ““At 1.5k (yesterday) we moved up next to his team and Cavendish was still there. I didn’t see what happened — I don’t have eyes in the back of my head — but personally for me it’s much more satisfying if you can beat a sprinter next to each other, when you fight it out and you can see them.”

Saturday is the last stage (123-km) in the city center of Dubai with the finish in front of the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa.

1 KITTEL Marcel Team Giant-Shimano 03:47:52
2 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose Movistar Team @ st
3 SAGAN Peter Cannondale @ st
4 VAN BAARLE Dylan Garmin Sharp @ st
5 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt Team Giant-Shimano @ st
6 POELS Wout Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team @ st
7 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team @ st
8 NAVARDAUSKAS Ramunas Garmin Sharp @ st
9 TRUSOV Nikolay Tinkoff-Saxo @ st
10 HERRADA LóPEZ Jesús Movistar Team @ st

11 PHINNEY Taylor BMC Racing Team @ st
12 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team @ st
17 CANCELLARA Fabian Trek Factory Racing @ st
21 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team @ st
25 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team @ st
34 COSTA Rui Lampre – Merida @ st
35 RENSHAW Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team @ st
36 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:07
80 COUTTS Alex RTS-Santic Racing Team @ 1.39
113 DOWSETT Alex Movistar Team 05:48

1 PHINNEY Taylor BMC Racing Team 06:50:24
2 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team 00:15
3 NORMAN HANSEN Lasse Garmin Sharp 00:17
4 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team 00:23
5 CANCELLARA Fabian Trek Factory Racing 00:26
6 SAGAN Peter Cannondale 00:29
7 KITTEL Marcel Team Giant-Shimano 00:33
8 MALORI Adriano Movistar Team @ st
9 BODNAR Maciej Cannondale 00:36
10 VELITS Peter BMC Racing Team 00:38



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