Dubai Tour #2: Messy finale has Cavendish place 7th

Cav Dubai Tour Stage 1 Stiehl Photography

The 2nd stage of the Dubai Tour saw a repeat victor as race leader, Marcel Kittel (Quickstep-Floors) sprinted to the win ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jakub Mareczko (Willier Triestina). Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had Mark Cavendish finish in 7th place.

In a very similar stage to yesterday’s in terms of distance and profile, the 2nd stage was also expected to yield a mass sprint finale. 5 riders formed the early break of the day and like clockwork, Jay Thomson went to the front of the peloton along with Julien Vermote (Quickstep-Floors) to control the gap.

It was another mild day with again not too much wind to speak of. The peloton was easily able to keep the break under control and after yesterday’s performance, our African Team was confident of delivering Cavendish to a winning position. After spending over 150km on the front of the peloton, Thomson’s job for the day was done as the break was caught with 10km to go.

All was looking good for our African Team up until the 5km to go point. With our 7 remaining riders all lined up in 1 long train, things started to derail as a number of teams surged from behind. It seemed all the teams lead out riders lost their sprinters at one point though and it was messy sprint finale. Cavendish lost position quickly and had to surf wheels from a long way out.

Unfortunately in the chaos there was just no flow to the sprint and Cavendish could never really get going or find a way through to the front to start sprinting. Kittel found some space on the left side of the road to muscle his way to another win. The top 12 riders all finished within 2 bike lengths of each other, Cavendish in 7th and Ryan Gibbons placing 12th for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.