John Degenkolb claimed stage 3 of this year’s Dubai Tour, after courageous performance on the day’s final 300 meter climb on the Hatta Dam.
The German rider commenced a perfect acceleration, that succeeded in holding off counter attacks from Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and his teammate Juan Jose Lobato, in the waning moments of today’s race.
Today’s 209 kilometer stage – the longest of this year’s race – saw a breakaway group containing Luka Pibernik (Lampre-Merida), Mohamed Al Murawwi and Vladimir Gusev (Both Skydive Dubai),Martijn Verschoor (Novo Nordisk) and Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare), finally materialize after 40 kilometers of racing. And, after a further 50 kilometers of racing, the breakaway group had established a sizable advantage of more than nine minutes over the peloton.
Meanwhile, back in the field, Mark Cavendish, along with Movistar, continued to lead the chase in earnest. As a result, they were successful in cutting the breakaway group’s lead, to a much more manageable two minutes.
With the peloton fast on their heels, and their advantage starting to dwindle, Al Murawwi, followed by Verschoor, were the first two breakaway riders to strike out on their own – during the final 50 kilometers.
Shortly thereafter, a series of crashes occurred in the peloton, involving some road cover that had been laid down to cover a r grid. Julien Vermote was one of the riders who got caught up in the mess.
Once the peloton recovered from the chaos, the first in a series climbs came, wherein Cavendish found himself in difficultly, and subsequently lost contact with the lead group. However, a concerted effort by his team, eventually brought him back into the group.
Meanwhile, the peloton had caught what remained of the day’s breakaway group.
From there, Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai) was the first to attack, later followed by Angel Vicioso (Katusha) and Lars Boom (Astana). However, their efforts came to end just after two kilometers of being out front.
With 5 kilometers remaining, BMC, Lampre-Merida and Movistar began vying for control of the peloton, with Etixx-QuickStep later joining in.
As the race headed under the final kilometer banner, Degenkolb found himself in perfect position – putting in a final valiant effort that proved to be enough to hold off his rivals during the final ascent to the finish.
As a result of his victory today, Degenkolb moved up into the overall race lead, with a four second margin over Cavendish.
Stage 3 Results
GER 1 DEGENKOLB, John (GIANT – ALPECIN) 4:50:40 ESP 2 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 2 ESP 3 LOBATO DEL VALLE, Juan Jose (MOVISTAR) ITA 4 POZZATO, Filippo (LAMPRE – MERIDA) ITA 5 CANOLA, Marco (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) BEL 6 GILBERT, Philippe (BMC RACING) SLO 7 BOLE, Grega (CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE) USA 8 BOOKWALTER, Brent (BMC RACING) GBR 9 THOMAS, Geraint (SKY) POR 10 LEMOS PINTO, Edgar Miguel (SKYDIVE DUBAI)
General Classification after Stage 3 GER 1 DEGENKOLB, John (GIANT – ALPECIN) 12:45:29 GBR 2 CAVENDISH, Mark (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 4 ESP 3 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 6 ESP 4 LOBATO DEL VALLE, Juan Jose (MOVISTAR) + 8 ITA 5 BAZZANA, Alessandro (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) + 11 SLO 6 BOLE, Grega (CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE) + 12 ITA 7 CANOLA, Marco (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) BEL 8 GILBERT, Philippe (BMC RACING) ITA 9 POZZATO, Filippo (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
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