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“My goal now is to still have some highlights to come in 2016. The biggest driving force is having a new team and trying to prove myself after 2015, and trying to show the world my talent and how good I can be."

Photo: ANSA - PERI / Dal Zennaro

ALEX DOWSETT

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ANDREA GUARDINI

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BRANISLAU SAMOILAU

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CCC DEVELOPMENT TEAM

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DAVIDE REBELLIN

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DECEUNINCK - QUICK-STEP

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DUBAI TOUR

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ELIA VIVIANI

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GIACOMO NIZZOLO

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JUAN JOSE LOBATO

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KOEN DE KORT

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MARCEL KITTEL

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MARK CAVENDISH

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM

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ONE PRO CYCLING

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PHILIPPE GILBERT

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ROY CURVERS

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SACHA MODOLO

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SILVAN DILLIER

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TEAM NOVO NORDISK

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TEAM SKY

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TEAM SUNWEB

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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06.02.2016 @ 20:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Marcel Kittel got the start to his Etixx-QuickStep career that he had dreamed of as he took overall victory at his first race with the Belgian team by winning the final stage of the Dubai Tour. After another textbook lead-out by his teammates, he seemed to be at easy when he held off Elia Viviani (Sky) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) in the final dash to the line and that was enough to take the overall win with a 4-second advantage over Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) who could only manage sixth in the final sprint.

 

We have gathered several reactions.

 

Marcel Kittel: I want to show the world how good I can be

Marcel Kittel was a man on a mission on Saturday. Starting the fourth and final day of the Dubai Tour only 6 seconds behind overall leader Giacomo Nizzolo, the 27-year-old rider of Etixx – Quick-Step knew everything was still possible at the finish, where the victory and 10 potentially decisive bonus seconds were on the line.

 

That’s why his teammates came to the front inside the last 30 kilometers and took control of the bunch, in order to catch the six riders in the breakaway: Mark Christian (Team Wiggins), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Roy Curvers (Giant-Alpecin), Sebastian Lander (One Pro Cycling), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data).

 

Inside the final 5 kilometers, it all came down to a duel between Etixx – Quick-Step and Trek Factory-Segafredo for the best line, and thanks to the excellent work of his teammates, Marcel Kittel entered third in the last corner, before opening the sprint with his trademark acceleration and getting the stage victory – his second of the week and fifth in the race – ahead of Elia Viviani (Sky) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).

 

“In the morning, at the technical meeting, we said it’s going to be all or nothing and that we’re going to focus only on the final sprint. During the stage, we stayed calm and moved to the front at the right moment. The key in the Dubai Tour is to have a strong team all the time, and I had one, which gave 100% for me. I was in an ideal position coming to the line and didn’t think at all of my opponents, just focused on doing things right. Now I’m very happy”, said the German, who credited his strong ride on the Hatta Dam climb as being decisive in the final outcome: “That was the most important day of the race. It was a very hard ascent, with a 17% gradient, but I was in form and wanted to show what I can do on such a tough finish.”

 

The bonus seconds he grabbed at the Burj Khalifa finish meant that Kittel also won the general classification of the Dubai Tour, as well as the red jersey, which rewards the best rider in the points standings, and will now leave the Middle East with three victories in the bag: “It’s really awesome, it gives you a fantastic feeling to cap off the week like that. We trained a lot for the Dubai Tour in the winter and we were fully committed, not only because it was my first race of the season, but also because it was an opportunity to see how the train and the lead-out work. I’m more than satisfied with the way things went and I think we can all be proud. Now I’m even more motivated, and I can’t wait for the next races to come.

 

"I'm really, really happy. I was dreaming about this moment. I really wanted this. My team was fantastic all day and we did an incredible job to beat all the other teams, staying calm and attacking at the right moment. It's a great way to finish the Dubai Tour and my first race with Etixx - Quick Step.

 

“There wasn't any major tactic to stop Nizzolo – we just said it's all or nothing and fully concentrated on the final sprint. Our entire plan was centred on that goal. We hoped it would happen like this and it's amazing.

 

“My confidence is a thousand times higher than one year ago. I'm incredibly proud to start 2016 like this. This win in Dubai is a perfect base to start the season.

 

“My teammates did a great job, while I had fun hugging Diego Maradona after I won! He really likes the race – he’s been here since the beginning of the Dubai Tour – and it’s great to see him enjoy the event.

 

“2016 is a new chapter for me with a new team and new people. It’s really, really great to start like this. I’m super happy and super thankful for the support from the new team during the winter and from my teammates here. This is a very important victory for me.

 

“I’m happy with my two stage wins and of the course with the GC win. It doesn’t happen often for a sprinter. But we’ve got to keep calm; it’s only the beginning of February and the season runs until October. I can be sure that my form is good and the team fits well but the real challenges are still ahead of us.

 

“My goal now is to still have some highlights to come in 2016. The biggest driving force is having a new team and trying to prove myself after 2015, and trying to show the world my talent and how good I can be.

 

“It [the decision to leave Giant-Alpecin] came late in the season and it wasn’t an easy decision. If I’m very honest, it was hard to leave the riders I had at Giant-Alpecin but yeah, in the end I had that stomach feeling that it would have been hard to stay for both parties and so it was good we reached a mutual agreement to go separate ways.

 

“I’m happy about my choice to go to Etixx-QuickStep. There’s a good atmosphere with the staff and everyone. They have the same focus and same ambitions as I have. I want to perform in sport as good as possible, I want to win races and be as professional as possible. I think we’re a very good fit and the results here show that it is.

 

"You can’t compare the two teams and I don’t want to compare them. I had very, very nice memories and victories with my old team. Of course if you'd told I’d break up my contract at the end of the year, I wouldn’t have believed it but this is what happened.

 

"Now I can look back to a nice experience with them. I turned professional with them, I won on the Champs Elysees twice with them, I got the yellow jersey with them. We had some great victories, especially when you consider how we grew as a team. Now there’s a new challenge ahead and a new chapter. That’s also good to have a fresh wind, if you say it like that.”

 

Elia Viviani: I can confirm that Marcel Kittel is back

Elia Viviani rounded out Dubai Tour with a strong sprint to second place under the shadow of the Burj Khalifa.

 

The stage race came down to a final sprint and Team Sky timed their move to perfection in the final kilometres, with Ben Swift able to drop Viviani off on the wheel of Marcel Kittel after an intense battle for position.

 

The pair opened out a significant gap as they accelerated for the line but Viviani was just unable to come around Kittel (Etixx - Quick-Step), who also claimed overall victory courtesy of bonus seconds on the line.

 

”2nd place in the last stage @dubaitour! I can confirm @marcelkittel is back, congrats! Thanks @TeamSky boys!” he tweeted after the stage.

 

Mark Cavendish: I haven’t put out so much power since 2011

After losing Bernhard Eisel to a broken collarbone sustained during yesterday's stage, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka looked to take a positive approach today and placed Daniel Teklehaimanot in the 6-rider break of the day. Teklehaimanot and his fellow escapees rode their way into a 3'30" lead allowing the rest of the African Team to sit back and conserve some energy in the peloton.

 

While the rival teams were on the front chasing the Eritrean time trial champion, Cavendish would get our remaining 5 riders to position him near the front of the group as the gap and remaining kilometers lessened.

 

As Teklehaimanot and co. were caught at 12km to go, the African Team moved to the front of the peloton, with Natnael Berhane putting in a big 6km turn at the front of the peloton. The solid team work by our boys placed Cavendish and Mark Renshaw in the top 10 places with 2km to go. A technical run in to the line really stretched the peloton out and Cavendish found himself maybe 1 or 2 wheels too far back. Nevertheless, the Manxman was still fast enough to cross the line in a solid 3rd place today.

 

“With Daniel in the break we were in a great position today, not having to use our team to ride on the front,” he said. Obviously it was going to be more difficult without Bernie in the final, but the team were incredible. They kept me sheltered and safe near the front of the group.

 

“Actually, I was expecting a fast final 500m as the roadbook showed we did the slip-road. But as we approached, it was clear we did a sharp 100-degree corner. I was where I wanted to be behind Kittel and Viviani, but I entered the corner too sharply and scrubbed off too much speed. I left myself with too much to do in the final 250m against the fastest guys in the world.”

 

“We had the plan, it was to get on Kittel’s wheel in the last kilometre, and then lay off. We knew the last corner was tight, so if we carry more speed and get a run-up I would be alright. In fact, I did the complete opposite,” he told Cyclingnews and Sky Sports News.

 

“[I] ran right up Viviani’s wheel and I started the corner on the inside. If you take a wide angle into it you carry the speed a lot more. Yeah, it was a tactical fuckup. I came in really hot on it, had to lose too much speed.

 

“I couldn’t get it going – without big levers you can’t get it going again out of the corner. I just cooked myself on the acceleration out of the corner. There’s not much I could do. There’s no way, 150 to go…”

 

“I’ve just looked at my power; it’s the highest power I’ve had in the road sprint since before Sky, since 2011.

 

“I know that the form is pretty decent. It just so happens I’m racing against, not really a standard rider, you know. Put Marcel Kittel on his own and he’s going to be difficult, but Marcel Kittel with a year’s holiday and a whole winter’s preparation, he’s very, very difficult to beat. Especially when I’ve been training for track.”

 

“I knew that was going to be the situation when I left Quickstep anyway. I worked with those guys, they always did a superb job for me. If I wanted to carry on sitting there sprinting things might be different. I’m just looking for new challenges here at Dimension Data.

“The guys were actually phenomenal in the final, really came together. Natnael did a turn like guys who had been in a leadout for many years, so I was super super happy with that. In the end, I just let them down, I can’t fault anything on the lads. It was just a tactical fuckup for me in the last quarter.

 

“Overall, we’re really happy with the week. Obviously we had some bad luck, but Team Dimension Data were up at the front and visible the whole race. It’s only February but it is a very positive start for the rest of the year.

 

"I'm looking forward to seeing how I fare up after this [at the Tour of Qatar]. I've only got a day's break. I would like to see how my endurance is going to be. Probably not very good, but hopefully I'll get my endurance out of that [the Tour of Qatar]. And then we can look at my programme for the track worlds after that."

Moroccan surprises by claiming white jersey in star-studded Dubai Tour

Best young rider Soufiane Haddi said: "Being here in Dubai, racing for a team from Dubai, it feels great to win a jersey. Like the previous days, my teammates did a great job in keeping me safe. I had to watch two riders who were threatening me but I was never in trouble.

 

“Soon I’ll have the African Championships in my home country of Morocco to take part in, so it feels great to be in such strong shape at this time of year."

 

Consistent Sacha Modolo with another top 5 in Dubai

Under the never-ending building of Burj Khalifa, the highest skyscreaper in the world, Sacha Modolo obtained 5th place in the final stage of the 3rd edition of the Dubai Tour.

 

The 4th stage gave the sprinters another chance for a victory but Lampre-Merida did not wait until the sprint to make its mark on the race.

 

After 15 km of racing, Rui Costa and Jan Polanc promoted a 6-rider attack which had a maximum advantage of 2’50” on the peloton and stayed away until the finale.

 

In the sprint, the blue-fuchsia-green team relied on Roberto Ferrari in support of Modolo and the winner of two stage in the Giro d’Italia obtained 5th place.

 

"We return from Dubai with a good haul of placings from Modolo, including a second place in stage 2,”sports director Marco Marzano said. “At his first competitive outing, Sacha demonstrated good condition and fought against opponents who are already ahead in the preparation. It is too bad he had cramps in the finale of the stage to Hatta Dam without which he would have tried to fight for the general classification. 
 

”All our other runners have shown themselves in line with expectations. It was a ​​special pleasure to see Rui Costa riding with ease and move proactively. I was also a good debut of Petilli, definitely an interesting guy.”

 

Disappointed Nizzolo: Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it goes wrong

It was not the ending the team envisioned. After three stages of impeccable team work and flawless lead outs, it all fell apart in the final kilometers of stage four of the Tour of Dubai Saturday.

 

"We did a great job all day, and then we missed each other in the finale," explained an extremely disappointed Nizzolo immediately after the race. "That's why I could not be in a good position for the sprint. It's also part of the game when you work with your teammates - sometimes it goes well like yesterday, sometimes it goes wrong like today. I don't know if I am 7th in GC, or…?"

 

The way the finish unfolded with gaps appearing everywhere in the final 500 meters, and Nizzolo trying desperately to claw his way forward, it felt like he had lost everything. 

 

However, after Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step) powered his way to the stage and overall victory, it was Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) - two riders who lost valuable time in stage three - sprinting to second and third respectively. Nizzolo, who finished in 6th, still lay claim to the second podium step. The seemingly eternal second place.

 

“It's also part of the game when you work with your teammates - sometimes it goes well like yesterday, sometimes it goes wrong like today. We knew it would be hard against Kittel, and if he won we needed to be second," explained director Dirk Demol. "So we had our work cut out, but it is disappointing not even to have the chance to sprint for the win after the team again did such an excellent job all race.”

 

"At the start the team was perfect in creating a situation to let a break go and take the sprint bonifications, and with [Rui] Costa there at only 37 seconds down they had to keep the gap to 2-3mins. Stijn [Devolder], Popo [Popovych], and Greggy [Rast] were really strong; they did a fantastic job.”

 

"Movistar and Etixx helped at the end and the gap fell so we saved our energy for the finale. I have to say we were great in the lead out again, and it's just too bad that Giaco lost their wheels. Fabian was pulling until 1km to go, and then Marco [Coledan] did a perfect job, but Giaco wasn't on the train – he lost the wheels somewhere, 2.5kms to go, I don't know exactly. That's a shame because it was looking very good. Giacomo is super disappointed as is the rest of the team because we were so close to the win, and we go home again with a second place."

 

It is a bittersweet pill to swallow: the overall victory so close that Nizzolo and the rest of the team could taste it, but alas, the apparently inescapable yet notable second place reared its head again.

 

"I have to say that if we look back to the start, our intention was to try for a stage and have someone finish top 5 in GC," philosophized Demol. "With all the sprinters that are here – it was really a top field – if you said we would be on the podium at the end…

 

"I am extremely satisfied with the team's performance and fitness this week, all of them. Everyone did their job; it was a very good week, so yes, it's hard not to be disappointed to be so close, but on the other hand, it's a second in a top field."

 

Nizzolo's second place in the GC solidified the team's goal of top five, and standing on a final podium step is, after all, a magnificent endeavor. Just ask the guy in fourth.

 

Slovakian neo-pro gets his chance to lead Tinkoff in Dubai

Erik Baška, the Slovak young rider in his first race as a pro, grabbed 9th place in the bunch sprint of the final stage in Dubai. Overall, a positive assessment and performance according to the team's Sport Directors

 

The third edition of the Dubai Tour came to a conclusion with a 132km-long stage, a street circuit with the finish line set in the shadow of the spectacular Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world, the perfect finish for the strongest sprinters of the world.

 

As expected, it was a very tight and fast race, marked by a breakaway formed by 6 riders in the initial kilometers and which gained a maximum advantage of three minutes on the peloton. With 35 km to go, the peloton started working to catch the escapees, and the breakaway was done and dusted with 11 km to go.

 

Tinkoff, along with other teams, remained in the top positions of the peloton for the whole race, and at about 4 kilometers from the finish line, the squad took the lead with Manuele Boaro doing a great job at pulling out.

 

“It was a stage around Dubai City,” commented Tristan Hoffman, “six guys were in front and other teams took responsibility to go ahead and take them back. For the final sprint we set up a train, with 5 km to go we wanted to position Erik Baška for the sprint. Our boys took the lead to stay out of trouble, maybe it was a bit too early but we tried, many teams were behind us, then they came out.”

 

“We tried to put Baška in a good position and he finished ninth. We wanted to give him a chance. It's not simple to sprint against the best sprinters of the world, but it's a good experience for him and for the team that did a good work together", added Hoffman.

 

“I was really happy that the team put me as a leader for this stage today”, confirmed Erik Baška “It was a big race for me, the first one in a pro team. I wanted to be in the top 5, but in the end I wasn't on the right corner and everyone was on that corner but it was a good experience for me. I thank the team for doing a very good job for me.”

 

“In general we hoped to do a little bit better”, added Hoffman “but it was a bit difficult already since we started with one rider less. Then Michael Rogers went home, but in general I'm pretty happy, also for some riders it was the first race, they got some kilometers in their legs. We were very focused as a team, and it was a good experience being in Dubai".

 

“It was a very fast-paced tour as we mostly dealt with a flat course and even the riders said it was a bit less demanding than in previous years,” added Sport Director Bruno Cenghialta. “On the whole, they were all very happy, and they come out well, so in the coming races they'll have a better form which will allow them to do better. We also worked hard to bond our team together even better by including some young new riders. So in the end, our final outcome for the Dubai Tour is a positive one.”

 

Strong Marcin Bialoblocki wins sprints jersey in Dubai

It was an exciting finale in Dubai for ONE Pro Cycling as the team secured another Top 10 and Marcin Bialoblocki was confirmed as the overall winner of the UAE Intermediate Sprint Jersey.

 

The plan for the day was to get a man in the break, secure the Intermediate Sprint Jersey for Marcin Bialoblocki and set up Chris Opie for the sprint to the finish. From the flag there were a number of failed attacks at the front of the peloton and nothing stayed away until approximately 10km in when Sebastian Lander pulled away in a group of six riders.

 

Working well together the breakaway managed a maximum gap of 3 minutes 45 seconds on the peloton and stayed away until the last 15km. Sebastian Lander rolled through both Intermediate Sprints but the team made sure there was no threat to the jersey up the road. After the second Intermediate Sprint it was confirmed that Marcin Bialoblocki would be the overall winner of the UAE Intermediate Sprint Jersey when he safely crossed the finish line of the days stage.

 

A fast flat stage, the pace was intense averaging 47.4km per hour and with 15km to go the break was caught. ONE Pro Cycling began to organise themselves to lead out and position Chris Opie for the sprint with 5km to go, but in the chaos of the closing stages the effort was swamped. Yanto Barker was the first across the line securing another top 10 for the team while Chris Opie finished closely after in 11th position.

 

Before stepping onto the podium Marcin Bialoblocki commented; “It’s a very good feeling to win a jersey on my first big race with the team. We were all working hard for it, not only this week but in our preparation. Our Coach Steve Benton has prepared us well and I am looking forward to my next race with the team already.

 

“Like yesterday, I had a teammate [Sebastian Lander] at the front, while I watched the riders who threatened my classification victory. After the first intermediate sprint, I felt safe. My team looked after me very well. It feels great to win here in front of Burj Khalifa with my new team. We worked together all week. I secured the jersey. Everything went well."

 

Modest results for Giant-Alpecin at the Dubai Tour

Roy Curvers made the day’s break on stage 4 of the Dubai Tour while Koen de Kort was the first rider for Team Giant-Alpecin to cross the line in 12th place.

 

Team Giant-Alpecin’s highest ranked rider in the general classification is Koen de Kort in 17th position, followed by Roy Curvers in 22nd position.

 

Coach Morten Bennekou explained: “Roy was in the breakaway of 6 riders. It was a good break away, but of course too many teams wanted the sprint, so the break was caught in the final 10km.  In the sprint I think we got the best possible result with Koen in 12th place”.

 

Juan Jose Lobato: I am not disappointed

Marcel Kittel (EQS) won the 3rd Dubai Tour after conquering a final stage - 137km finishing right next to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building - which Movistar Team tried to take advantage from to improve Juan Lobato’s chances for the overall win. The Spaniard, supported at their very best by all his seven team-mates, couldn’t be at the top into the decisive sprint, yet secured a third place overall which equals the Trebujena-born rider’s final result twelve months ago.

 

With all two intermediate sprints out of the bunch’s reach as a six-man breakaway battled for their own glory, the squad directed by Chente García Acosta focused on chasing for the final kick, with Giovanni Visconti and Marc Soler taking impressive efforts at the front.

 

In the closing stages,  Oliveira, Dowsett, Castroviejo and Sütterlin tried to keep Lobato close to the best; they succeeded until the last kilometer, where the late charge by Etixx and the swerving typical in such finishes prevented Lobato (14th) and Gorka Izagirre (20th, just behind Sütterlin) from progressing further.

 

Movistar Team still improved their performance from 2015 by winning a stage - the prodigious sprint by Lobato in Hatta on Friday -, the GC podium, Izagirre’s  fifth overall and the teams’ classification, just in the same style they won it in Abu Dhabi last October. A good end to the team's great commitment towards their top sprinter all over the four days of racing.

 

“The stage went well and the team was perfect, but there was a lot of stress and some touch between riders with a kilometer to go made me lost all chances to contest the day’s win. Kittel unbeatable? Most probably yes, though I was feeling great today and I think we could have been closer to him than we were,” Juan Jose Lobato said.

 

“I’m not disappointed about finishing just third - we came here with a GC podium as goal and it happened. Actually, I’m really happy about the work my team-mates delivered all race. Being all of us together on the podium as the winning team makes me happier than that 3rd spot. This week was a confirmation of the whole squad’s efforts early this season and also a proof of our great atmosphere, in racing and also outside.

 

“I think I’m building a good form - let’s hope to keep progressing and be 100% for that crucial month in the spring. This week also made me see that finishes like Hatta’s suit me better, as I’m a good sprinter yet less heavy than many rivals. I’m getting closer and closer to the top guys in the world in all finishes, though.”

 

"At Movistar, we’re all good,” Dowsett said. “I’m joking but we’re always challenging for the teams classification. We’ve won it this time because we were trying to get Lobato to win the stage yesterday. He showed he’s extremely good at uphill sprints. But when it comes to the fast flat sprints, he’s lacking a bit of horse power against Kittel and the pure sprinters. However it’s great to have won the queen stage here.

 

“It’s an honour to attend the presentation with the whole team on stage. We’ll bring excellent memories of Dubai back home. Personally, the prologue of the Giro will be my next big goal."

 

Silvan Dillier and Philippe Gilbert make it a good race for BMC in Dubai

BMC Racing Team finished with two riders in the top ten on the General Classification in the third edition of the Dubai Tour. It was a fast and furious final stage of 137 kilometers in Dubai’s CBD won by Marcel Kittel in a sprint finish, which secured him the overall victory.

 

Silvan Dillier finished fourth in the General Classification, 16 seconds behind Kittel, with Philippe Gilbert 25 seconds back in sixth place. For Dillier, his fourth place was a sign of things to come for the 2016 season.

 

“It’s my first time racing in Dubai and my first race this year, so it’s a good result. The shape is good and we did some good team work together throughout the race. I took it day by day to see how my shape was. I go back to the track now for the Track World Championships and then I’ll be at Pais Vasco with the team, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” he said.

 

It is the second consecutive top ten finish for Gilbert, having finished 10th in 2015.

 

“It’s not a bad result. Our start wasn’t so good, losing five seconds on day one. But in the end we were improving as a team, working together more. It’s a really young team and we still have to learn how to race together, but it was a good week. I think we’ve done a lot as a team.

 

"I think it’s always better racing in Europe for me as it’s more technical. Here is pretty much a sprint everyday and it’s more controlled. It’s not easy to make a difference in this kind of race, but the next races for me in Spain will be more technical, and that’s what I like."

 

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Max Sciandri said it was a race of mixed results for the team.

 

“We came here for the GC. Stage 3 was an important one and unfortunately Gilbert fell a bit short and Dillier wasn’t in the best position. When you see that the top three in the GC are sprinters, I think we can be happy with two riders in the top ten considering we didn’t come to the race with a pure sprinter,” Sciandri said.

 

Astana pleased despite modest results in Dubai

“The team showed to be always competitive,” commented Astana sports director Dmitri Sedoun,” and the riders finished the race with a growing condition. A good sign for the future.”

 

Astana was one of the most aggressive team and Andrea Guardini was twice in the top six.

 

Six of the eight riders who have raced in Dubai - Boom, Guardini, Gruzdev, Tleubayev, Smukulis and Westra - will be at the start of the Tour of Qatar which begins next Monday.

 

No success for Team Novo Nordisk on final day in Dubai

Saturday’s final stage of the 2016 Dubai Tour began at a blistering pace, forcing the peloton to string out straightaway. After 7km, six riders managed to get clear, but no Team Novo Nordisk was able to get in the break.

 

At 67km, a CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider went down taking Team Novo Nordisk’s Nicolas Lefrançois down with him. Lefrançois was transported to the local hospital where X-rays confirmed he suffered no broken bones, and he was able to return to the race hotel a few hours later.

 

“Our goal today was to get a rider in the breakaway,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics, Vassili Davidenko said, “but we missed our chance. Fortunately, in the last few kilometers Andrea Peron was able to lead out Martijn Verschoor for the final sprint, and Martijn finished in 22nd position. Overall, it was great a experience to race against best sprinters in the World. Our riders showed great teamwork at Dubai Tour, and I’m confident that results will come.”

 

Branislau Samoilau crashes out in Dubai, Rebellin in the top 10

Davide Rebellin has kicked of the 2016 season with 9th place in the general classification of Dubai Tour. He defended his top 10 spot on the last stage of racing which was taken by the overall winner Marcel Kittel. CCC Sprandi Polkowice completes the race with a bitter-sweet feeling since Branislau Samoilau was involved in a crash which forced him to abandon.

 

At the 64 kilometer mark there was a crash in the bunch in which CCC Sprandi Polkowice was involved. The one who sustained the most serious injuries was Branislau Samoilau. He was taken to the hospital with a suspected broken collarbone and ribs.

 

This time CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders finished outside the top 20 but Davide Rebellin kept his 9th place in the GC.

 

Organizers pleased with third edition of Dubai Tour

The press conference was opened by H.E. Saeed Hareb, Dubai Sports Council General Secretary, who said: "I thank everyone who attended the Dubai Tour, especially the champions. I don’t know if it’s good for Marcel Kittel to win the Dubai Tour or for the Dubai Tour to have Marcel Kittel as a winner. We’re all happy, I guess.

 

“It’s been a great event this year. I’m glad to see that the TV coverage has increased by 58%. The race has been broadcast in 177 countries and the Dubai Tour has become a very serious affair. We want to build this race on a long-term basis. Dubai is a busy city but our teams and the police have done a great job of keeping the streets safe for the riders."

 

Mr Lorenzo Giorgetti, CEO RCS Sports and Events DMCC, said at the press conference: "We have to thank all the teams from Dubai who have put together this great third edition. We had six world champions competing at the Dubai Tour. We need to grow again. We see the public is growing. The Tour village was full of people. We’ve had a very safe race and it all looks positive for a great future."

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