Quick-Step Floors’ winning streak continues
Marcel Kittel put in an outstanding sprint to take stage 2 of Dubai Tour, the team's fourth consecutive victory.
Marcel Kittel was again unbeatable at the Dubai Tour, where he took his second victory, a thrilling one, thus extending his overall lead with three stages to go, two of which are also very likely to end in a bunch sprint. It was the German's seventh career win at the Middle East race, and Quick-Step Floors' – by far the team of the early season – eighth victory of the year.
Starting the day in the blue jersey of the overall leader, Marcel Kittel stayed safely in the peloton on the road to Ras al Khaimah, a new finish in the Dubai Tour, with the break of five not being a threat for the stage win, as Bob Jungels, Davide Martinelli and Julien Vermote always kept it under control, before eventually making the catch inside the last 11 kilometers.
The final part of the stage 2 was scrappy, with the sprinters' teams struggling to find room and a good position at the front. Marcel Kittel was well-positioned by his teammates in the upper part of the bunch, but due to the chaotic nature of the finale, he was closed at one point and had to come from far back with just 500 meters to go.
Despite that and the fact he was forced to start his sprint later than his opponents, the German's acceleration was impossible to beat by the others and he went on to score his second successive stage win at the Dubai Tour, ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jakub Mareczko (Wilier-Selle Italia). It was Quick-Step Floors' fourth success in a row, after the one of yesterday and the two of Maximiliano Richeze in the Vuelta a San Juan, last week.
"Today was a difficult one. The final was different and tricky, and as a result there wasn't an opportunity to stretch out the peloton, but adapting to different race situations shows the strength of the team. The guys did once again an incredible job, Fabio brought me to the front when it mattered, Matteo kept the speed high, and I jumped from wheel to wheel and managed to take the victory. It's nice to win also like this", said Marcel, who leads not only the overall, but also the points classification.
Following his perfectly-timed sprint, which brought also important bonus seconds, the 28-year-old rider of Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team will start stage 3 (Dubai – Al Aqah, 200 kilometers) with an 8-second advantage over his closest rival in the GC, a buffer which could provide important at the end of the race: "To have seven stage victories here is nice. As I said at the beginning of the week, Dubai has always been good to me. The race is not over, and our goal is to keep on working and take it day by day as good as possible. We'll see how things pan out."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele