Elia Viviani claimed stage 2 of this year’s Dubai Tour, after initiating a final acceleration during the closing meters, to beat Mark Cavendish and Andrea Guardini by a short margin.
Team Sky took up the pace setting during the final kilometers, until Etixx-QuickStep muscled past them, as the race passed under the "flamme rouge".
From their, Mark Renshaw brought his team around the final corner, with Cavendish nicely positioned behind him. However, it was Guardini who accelerated first, but his move prove to be too soon, as he began to fade in the final few meters.
This in turn moved Cavendish back into the fore, while Team Sky’s Ben Swift succeeded in moving his teammate, Viviani, up to the front as well.
From there, Cavendish tried to go around Viviani, but the Italian rider proved to be too strong for the "Manx Missile" in the end.
An early breakaway group containing Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani CSF) was at it again. With him went Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai), Davide Frattini (UnitedHealthcare), Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky) and Chun Kai Feng (Lampre-Merida), took form during the opening kilometers of today’s race.
Eisel and Battaglin were the first riders to relent, after the first intermediate sprint.
From the there the remaining three riders forged on, later building up a lead of five and a half minutes over the peloton.
However, strong winds and a determined peloton eventually led to all but Chtioui being caught at the 68 kilometer mark.
From there, Chtioui remained out front with a modest gap of a little over two minutes.
Meanwhile back in the peloton, a crash involving several riders occurred, wherein Tinkoff-Saxo’s Robert Kiserlovski seemed to take the worst of it – after injuring his thumb.
However, as the peloton entered the final 20 kilometers, there was more confusion, when several riders inadvertently went off course, with CCC’s Sylwester Szmyd taking a fall after he was struck by a rider from Novo Nordisk.
Was the race entered into the final 10 kilometers, Chtioui was eventually caught – leaving teams vying for the front for what was ultimately shaping up to be a sprint finale once more.
From there, Giant-Alpecin made a brief appearance at the front, followed Astana, who sent two riders forward, including Vincenzo Nibali.
With 1.4 kilometers to go, Eisel ushered Team Sky up the left-side of the road to take the front. But, they in turn were quickly squeezed out out by Etixx-QuickStep.
From there, Guardini tried put himself into the wheel of Cavendish, but it was Viviani who instead seized the momentum in the closing meters.
Top 10 Finishers
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