Dubai Tour Stage 1 – Cavendish Wins


Britain’s Mark Cavendish of Etixx – Quick-Step made it two wins in 2015 after victory on stage 1 of the Tour of Dubai

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Dubai Tour Stage 1 – Cavendish Wins!

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Etixx – Quick-Step rider Mark Cavendish won by less than the depth of a tire against Andrea Guardini (Astana) on stage 1 of the Dubai Tour on Wednesday.

Cavendish launched from long way out following a strong leadout by Mark Renshaw on the front of the peloton. Etixx – Quick-Step spent much of the day chasing down a five-rider breakaway, which was brought back with 20km to go in the stage.


Pic: Etixx – Quick-Step/Tim De Waele

The rest of the stage was teams exchanging control on the front. But it was Etixx – Quick-Step who established firm control with 4.7km to go, with all of the team doing a fantastic job setting up Mark Cavendish for his sprint. It was then up to Renshaw to guide Cavendish to the line, and he put him into position on the very front in the final few hundred meters. Despite Cavendish launching from a longer distance than usual, his power could not be matched and he won his second race of the season. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) was 3rd.

“We planned our leadout to go in the last few kilometers, but it was so windy there we had to use everyone to stay in the front even in the last 20 kilometers,” Cavendish said. “The other teams were coming strong as always. There was only ourselves and Giant Alpecin riding on the front. As always my team rode incredibly well, and they showed confidence together.”

“To follow Mark Renshaw is so nice. He’s so patient, he’s able to go. Ideally, I wanted to leave it late because it was a cross headwind in the finish, and Sky went on the left early. Renshaw just stayed calm, used them to pick up some speed in the slipstream. Then he overtook and he started the leadout and I felt Swift go on the left. I had to go then. So I went earlier than I liked, but I know I’ve good form and I was able to hold it”.

“So, I knew it was OK when I went. I knew I was on top of the sprint, but I felt Andrea Guardini coming faster than me. I was happy to just hold on until the line. It’s nice to win, but it’s hard to explain the feeling unless you feel it for yourself”.

“I like winning, there’s no secret with that. I’m happy to wear the Leader’s Jersey here at Dubai Tour. My friend Sir Paul Smith designed the jerseys. I saw him a week or so ago and I said I was going to bring him back one of his jerseys. I’ll dedicate my win to him today. Now we will try to get another win in the next days.”

Etixx – Quick-Step looks next to another anticipated sprint stage, 187km Stage 2, on Thursday. “I’m super happy with my form and with the cohesion within Etixx – Quick-Step,” Cavendish said. “We really rode strong as a team in Argentina and we rode really well as a team in Dubai today”.

“All winter I was happy. At training camp it was such a strong ambiance. We knew we’d start off on a good note this season. We won more than 60 races last year, and we want to try and or better than this year. It’s not going to be a big ask I don’t think, because we can feel the desire and motivation to go out as a unit and win.”

Stage 1
1 Mark Cavendish, Etixx – Quick-Step
2 Andrea Guardini,  Astana
3 Elia Viviani, Team Sky
4 Alexander Porsev,Team Katusha
5 Juan Jose Lobato ,Movistar Team
6 Luka Mezgec, Team Giant-Alpecin
7 Andrea Palini,Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling
8 Paolo Simion, Bardiani CSF
9 Daniel Oss,  BMC
10 Martijn Verschoor,Team Novo Nordisk

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