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Phinney wins Dubai Tour opening stage
By Rajesh D’silva February 06, 2014
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DUBAI: The US rider Taylor Phinney from the BMC team emerged on top to grab the leaders Blue Jersey in the Down Town stage, covering 10km Individual Time Trial clocking 12:3 in the Dubai Tour’s inaugural edition which is a part of the UCI Asia Tour, on Wednesday.

The Dubai Tour held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council witnessed world champions compete at the world’s best sporting venue.

Top riders Rui Costa, Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan, Joaquin Rodriguez, Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara put up a good show but failed to make a mark.

“It means a lot to beat big names in this race. I’ve thinking a lot about the Dubai Tour since Nov-Dec and I knew there would be big names to compete with. But I was more focused on Martin. I have participated in the classic last year and I was a bit too excited today,” said Phinney after the race.

Cummings Steven, of UK, also of the BMC Team emerged the second best rider with an Individual Time Trial of 12:13 and Norman Lasse Hansen, from Denmark emerged third with the GRS Team completing the Down Town stage with 12:16.

The world’s best riders competed fiercely in The Down Town stage covering 10km Individual Time Trial.

The 16 teams with eight riders each got off the mark 10 minutes late prior to their scheduled time but the excitement and hype never failed to cease as the champion riders took their turns to the start line.Taylor set the pace earlier getting off the start mark as the 25th rider with start time of 13:39.

Cancellara emerged fourth with a time of 12: 25 for TFR Team.

The weather favoured the riders at the onset and Taylor admitted to having taken that advantage to start-off earlier.

“I had checked about the weather this morning and the predictions looked cloudy towards the evening hence I decided to set off earlier and I guess it paid off,” said the beaming Phinney.

“Due to an infection in Giro I had to take a break. But now I am quite fresh after training physically with specific goals allotted to each rider. Now, I am pleased with today’s result but the I want to win the Tour and it’s wide open,” said Phinney.

Peter Sagan, from the CAN Team clocked  Individual Time of 12: 31 to claim the sixth spot.

Rodríguez, a Spanish professional road racing cyclist has been competing since 2001, and currently rides for the UCI ProTeam Team Katusha.

Rodriguez looked calm and focused few hours before the big event but failed to impact in the first 10 list of the Down Town stage.

“It’s a very important season for me as I have important goals. The Giro d’Italia  is important for me.”.

Rodriguez’s notable results in Grand Tours include ten stage victories, second place overall in the 2012 Giro d’Italia, third place in the general classification of the Vuelta a Espana in both 2010 and 2012 and third place in the 2013 Tour de France.

“I will not do the Tour de France,” he informed.

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