photo credits @ Abu Dhabi Tour
Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) claimed stage 2 of the Abu Dhabi Tour today, after nixing Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) with a final bike throw to seize the stage honors in Big Flag.
Going into the final kilometer and it was Cavendish’s Dimension Data and Ewan’s Orica-Scott that had control of the peloton, with Cavendish eventually deciding to latch onto the Australian rider’s wheel with 700 meters to go.
However, Kittel came from nowhere to out-sprint Ewan and Cavendish, after the German sprinter made his way along right hand side of the road to snatch the stage honors.
Today’s victory was not enough to move Kittel into the red leader’s jersey however, with Cavendish holding on to the overall lead of the race by four seconds.
A six ride breakaway group containing Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing), Krill Sveshnikov (Gazprom Russell), Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Fabio Calabria (Novo Nordisk) and Kristin Durasek (UAE Team Emirates), managed to escape at the outset of today’s race.
From there, the escapees went on to establish a modest advantage of two minutes over the peloton, while Canola succeeded in claiming both of the intermediate sprint points.
However, as the race entered the final 30 kilometers, the breakaway group’s lead had been reduced to under a minute, as the peloton continued to clamp down on the leaders.
With 5 kilometers to go, the last members of breakaway group were eventually caught, with De Marchi and Canola holding out for the longest.
Inside the final kilometer Dimension Data had control of the peloton, with only Sky seemingly able to stay on terms with them, before Orica-Scott moved to the front.
With a head-to-head battle between Ewan and Cavendish building up, Kittel made his way up the right side of the finishing straight with a final surge for the line that proved unassailable for his two rivals to match.
Abu Dhabi Tour 2017, stage two: Al Maryah Island to Big Flag, 153km
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors, in 3-28-11
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott
3. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data
4. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
6. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
7. Andrea Guardini (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Eduard Grosu (Rom) Nippo-Vini Fantini
9. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal
10. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo, all same time
General classification after stage two
1. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data, in 8-05-03
2. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors, at 4 secs
3. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, at 8 secs
4. Marco Canoloa (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini, at 8 secs
5. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott, at 8 secs
6. Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 8 secs
7. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 10 secs
8. Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk, at 11 secs
9. Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, at 12 secs
10. Kazishige Kuboki (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini, at 12 secs
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