News: DubaiTour Stage 3

John Degenkolb (Trek Segafredo) sprints to first win in Dubai stage 3, Kittel punched sees Grivko DQ’d …

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News: DubaiTour Stage 3

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Third time’s the charm, and John Degenkolb timed his jump perfectly and sprinted to the win in stage three of the Dubai Tour Thursday. After two stages to get it right, finishing fourth both times, Degenkolb – positioned perfectly again by the Trek-Segafredo leadout – nailed the finale: this time waiting before jumping around Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) in the final meters to grab a huge victory.

“I am very happy with this victory,” gushed Degenkolb soon after the finish. “I really wanted to get this win for the teammates, for the whole team. They did such a tremendous job, and they really deserve the win.”

“It was pretty hard the last two kilometers,” he continued. “We had to come from pretty far back, but we as a team kept really calm and waited for the moment. It was most important we stayed together and helped each other and in the end. We had a super good leadout, and I could jump on Kiel’s (Reijnen) wheel and then luckily I could overtake in the last few meters. It was just perfect; the timing was right.”

The wind finally reared its head in the 200-kilometer stage three, first as a blistering tailwind, then in a crazy sand-blown crosswind that caused echelons and splits in the peloton. In one moment, John Degenkolb was caught in the second group with Marcel Kittel (Quick Step-Floors), but eventually, the two groups rejoined.

“It was truly amazing, crazy, an epic stage I think,” said Degenkolb. “I was at the limit all day. In the crosswinds, I wasn’t immediately in the first group, but I fought hard to rejoin them. During the stage, I thought that we are crazy to do this! We spoke to the officials to find a solution we all could be happy with, but by the time we did this, it was clear it would be better in a few moments.

“Races like these are also mental games. It is great to get such great support from your teammates. For me, that’s crucial because these races you also win them in the head. The team kept believing in me even if I didn’t feel super great after the sandstorm.”

With his win, Degenkolb grabbed a 10-second bonus and moved into third place in the overall. Kittel maintained the leader’s jersey over Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) in second.

Degenkolb: “In the end, it was amazing to see the team working this hard and to be able to give them the victory.” When we asked him how does it feel for you, Degenkolb replied: “For me, it was more important to give the team the victory. I am really happy to get the trust from them – this feeling is just amazing.”

Race leader Kittel Attacked

For race leader Marcel Kittel, whilst he held onto his leader’s jersey it was the fight with Astana’s Grivko that dominates the headlines. “I won’t accept an apology for this. That has nothing to do with cycling. What Grivko did is a shame for our beautiful sport.” Grivko has been disqualified for the punch thrown at Kittel which result in blood flowing down from a cut above the eye.

“Today’s race was confusing because of the sandstorm and a lot of teams had to sacrifice many guys in the kilometers before the finish because of this. I think everyone felt how hard it was today, and many guys were on the limit at one point. That made the stage really tough”, said Marcel Kittel right after the finish in Al Aqah.

The German then went on to explain the incident in which he was involved with Grivko, who eventually was expelled from the race by the jury: “When we passed a construction site, the sand began blowing and as soon as we went into the crosswinds we were fighting for position, which is always stressful, and Andriy Grivko punched me.”

“I really can’t understand how he can do something like that. I get that riding in the crosswinds is always tense, but it gives him no right to act like that. He could have hurt my eye. It’s a real shame what happened. In the finale, my mind wasn’t 100% on the sprint, but I am happy I have no big injuries and I kept the lead.”

Dowsett & Christian in the break
The Essex rider Alex Dowsett, along with Mark Christian, spents more than 160km at the front in the days break whilst there was chaos behind them in the cross winds. Dowsett sits in 7th overall after incredibly fast (50kph average) stage. Alex Dowsett (Movistar Team) showed courage by pushing hard at the front and fighting for bonus seconds, his wins in both intermediate sprints leading to a provisional 7th overall, 14 seconds behind Marcel Kittel (QST).

Alex said after on Twitter “tough day, happy with how it went! Gutted I dropped my Garmin mid stage after some big numbers were laid down today. I’ll just guess them instead!”
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Stage 3
1. John DegenkolbJohnTrek – Segafredo
2. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Dimension Data
3. Sonny Colbrelli, Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
4. José Lobato Juan Team LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Riccardo Minali Astana Pro Team
6. Jean-Pierre DruckerBMC Racing Team
7. Elia Viviani, Team Sky
8. Dylan Groenewegen, Team LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Adam Blythe, Aqua Blue Sport
10. Daniele Bennati, Movistar Team

11. Marcel Kittel, Quick-Step Floors
13. Steele Von Hoff, One Pro Cycling
16. Jon Dibben, Team Sky
20. Andy Fenn, Aqua Blue Sport
21. Karol Domagalski, One Pro Cycling
34. Dan Pearson, Aqua Blue Sport
39. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data
45. Alex Dowsett, Movistar Team
53. Tom Stewart, One Pro Cycling
55. Joshua Hunt, One Pro Cycling
66. Sam Williams, One Pro Cycling
94. Matt Brammeier, Aqua Blue Sport
95. Mark Christian, Aqua Blue Sport
101. Scott Thwaites, Dimension Data 1:16
108. Kristian House, One Pro Cycling 1:44
122. tao Geoghegan Hart, Team Sky

1. Marcel Kittel, Quick-Step Floors
2. Dylan Groenewegen, Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08
3. John Degenkolb, Trek – Segafredo 0:10
4. Nicola Boem, Bardiani – CSF 0:13
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker, BMC Racing Team 0:14
6. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Dimension Data
7. Alex Dowsett, Movistar Team
8. Tom Stewart, One Pro Cycling
9. Jakub Mareczko, Wilier Triestina 0:16
10. Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data



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