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GIA Team’s Marcel Kittel fastest, bags Red jersey
By Rajesh D’silva February 07, 2014
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DUBAI: The GIA Team’s Marcel Kittel raced to the finish line in 2:50:30 with an average speed of 42.971km/h in the 122km Sport Stage, the second stage of the Dubai Tour’s inaugural edition on Thursday.

Kittel bagged the Red jersey while the overall leader Taylor Phinney retained the Blue jersey.

“I am thrilled to win this stage. I decided to sprint earlier as I was apprehensive after coming out of the tunnel and the cross wind bothered me. But I like to finish a race like this, which is a photo finish,” said Kittel.

Kittel, from Germany is into professional racing since 2011 and has 13 wins to his name in 2012 and 15 wins in 2013. “I was looking to overcome Mark Cavendish, who I think is the man to beat in the Dubai Tour and I am glad I won this crucial stage,” said a visibly happy Kittel.

The world class riders, part of the UCI Asia Tour, got off to an exciting start from the World Trade Centre racing through Dubai’s iconic areas like the Hippodrome, the Olympic pool, the Al Qudra cycling path, the Autodrome ,Golf Club making a dash towards the finish line at the Palm Jumeirah.

Francisco Mancebo, of the Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team along with South African rider Jakobus Smit of the VFN Team were ahead of the pack along the Meydan Racecourse maintaining a steady fight winding through the 24km stretch along Dubai International Academic City.

The South African rider Jakobus tailed him right through Hamdan Sports Complex, along the 42km mark, keeping the pack out of sight at all time.

The SKD rider Francisco looked in command and UAE fans hotly cheered their rider with Jakobus managing to outmatch him at Dubai Marina. On completion of 92km the duo riders steered clear from the main group widening their lead till 98km at JLT. But as Jakobus closed in on the Jumeirah Islands along with Francisco the GIA Team riders with the rest of the pack gather speed closing in on the top two riders.

The peloton riding at a fast pace sprinted at the Jumeirah Island bridging the gap to catch up with Jakobus with 16km to go and then overtook Francisco nearing the 10km mark.

The whole peloton made a dash from Palm Jumeirah to Atlantis with Kittel, Phinney, Lobato del valle, Nizzolo and Ferrari riding neck to neck but Kittel just managed to out run his rival Peter Sagan and overall leader Phinney to emerge the winner of the Sport Stage.

The Sport Stage was divided into two parts, the first one outside the metropolis and the second one in the heart of Dubai Marina, finishing at Palm Jumeirah.

The first part was raced on wide— upto 6-lanes— well surfaced boulevards. Turns and counter turns and short bottle necks were the challenged the riders dealt with in the second stage.

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