Dubai Tour 2014: stage three - five observations

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Dubai Tour 2014: stage three – five observations

Marcel Kittel answers his critics as Britain's Steve Cummings proves his form

The absence of race radios in the lower category races is nothing new, but it certainly made for a thrilling spectacle in stage three. With six riders going clear early on, it was always likely the break would stay out for much of the day, but as the riders gradually cracked and returned to the bunch, it was perfectly understandable why the teams at the front of the bunch must have thought their efforts had been duly rewarded. Unbeknown to them however, Alexandre Pliuschin (Sky Dive Dubai) had launched a stunning acceleration at the front, which for a brief moment had looked decisive.

Chris Froome is wired up ahead of the Tour de France, but the absence of the radios in Dubai made for an enthralling stage three (pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

Cue panic in the team cars. While in a WorldTour race, the directeurs would have been screaming into their radios, in Dubai  there was no such opportunity. BMC Racing drove alongside their men at the front of the bunch, while Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) returned from a chat with his own team car with a sudden renewed purpose. Now it was the peloton’s turn to panic. In the end, they need not have feared. The climbs beat the Moldovan, and the efforts of Rick Zabel and Sebastian Lander brought the race together – although they were not there to see it having paid for their exertions. Nevertheless, the absence of team radios certainly adds a whole new dimension to a race.

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