Dubai Tour – Round 1 to Kittel


The Etixx – Quick-Step rider got his season off to a rolling start, out-sprinting his opponents on the inaugural day of the Middle East race.

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Dubai Tour – Round 1 to Kittel

First race of the year for the big German and first win for Marcel Kittel, who enjoyed a perfect start to his spell in the Etixx – Quick-Step jersey!


Racing the Dubai Tour for the first time since 2014, when he scored three victories, the 27-year-old German won in dominating fashion stage 1 of the competition (Dubai – Fujairah, 173 km), on Wednesday.

Following a textbook lead-out by the team at the end of a day in which Etixx – Quick-Step’s riders pulled hard together with Team Wiggins, Dimension Data and Trek Factory-Segafredo to bring the six-man break back, Marcel Kittel hit the front from far out and launched a devastating sprint, finishing comfortably ahead of Mark Cavendish and Giacomo Nizzolo.

“We stayed calm in the last kilometres. Our plan was to come to the front after the last roundabout and we did it. The boys rode smart taking advantage of the tailwaind, they brought me in an excellent position, and I just took the opportunity. It’s the best possible start”, said Marcel Kittel, who had words of praise for his teammates at the end of the stage.

“I’m really happy for today’s victory. I’m extremely satisfied with the job and the lead-out of my teammates, they were perfect, had a great timing and gave it all for me. I want to thank them for that, this is their victory as well. We showed we are really strong and I’m happy that I’ve won also for them. It feels so good to win again! And everything that happened in 2015 makes me appreciate it even more. This win is for all my true supporters!”

Britain’s Mark Cavendish meanwhile says of the defeat: “I’m obviously disappointed not to win today, but I’ve taken a lot of positives from the race. The Team Dimension Data boys took control and rode brilliant all day to set up a sprint finish. When I saw Etixx had a lot of guys in the final, I wanted Kittel’s wheel, but so did the other sprinters”.

“In the end I started from too far behind Marcel in the sprint but to close 1.5 bike lengths on him in the final, I’m pretty happy with my condition and with the work the boys did for me today. I’m sorry I couldn’t pay them back with the win, but we’ll keep trying.”



The Stage
Dubai – Fujairah was a stage which brought Kittel not only joy and a huge degree of satisfaction, but also the blue jersey, the victory and the overall lead coming as confirmation of the strong preparation and hard work he put on during the winter: “It’s nice to have the leader’s jersey, but it won’t change our plans for the next days, because with Dubai being a sprinter’s race, we would have been at the front regardless of wearing or not the blue jersey.”

“We are relieved, because we got the win we wanted, but we will continue to work and improve. I will give everything for that, and I’m not talking only of Dubai here. My focus is to be at my best and make steps forward all season-long.”

The third edition of the Dubai Tour will go ahead on Thursday with another flat stage, between Dimc and Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest artificial island. On the course there are three intermediate sprints, the last one coming 31 kilometers before the expected sprint finish.

1. Marcel Kittel, Etixx-QuickStep 3:35:21
2. Mark Cavendish, Team Dimension Data
3. Giacomo Nizzolo, Trek-Segafredo
4. Sacha Modolo, Lampre-Merida
5. Andrea Palini, SkyDive Dubai
6. Andrea Guardini, Astana
7. Chris Opie, One Pro Cycling
8. Elia Viviani, Team Sky
9. Michal Kolar, Tinkoff
10. Tomas Vaitkus, Al Nasr Pro Cycling Team

21. Chris Latham, Team Wiggins
38. Ben Swift, Sky
52. Pete Williams, One Pro
63. Liam Holohan, Team Wiggins
67. Jon Dibben, Team Wiggins
69. Yanto Barker, One Pro
70. Marcin Bialoblocki, One Pro
76. Dan Patten, Team Wiggins
78. Alex Dowsett, Movistar
89. Mark Christian, Team Wiggins
112. Andy Fenn, Sky
121. Bradley Wiggins, Team Wiggins
122. Owain Doull, Team Wiggins
123. Andy Tennant, Team Wiggins



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