Dubai Tour 2017: Marcel Kittel makes it two from two

Mark Cavendish boxed in as Kittel extends overall lead in chaotic final sprint

Race leader Marcel Kittel (QuickStep Floors) made it two wins from two stages to extend his overall lead at the Dubai Tour, as Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) got boxed in during a messy bunch sprint.

Kittel extended his lead in the blue jersey with a perfectly-timed sprint, beating Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen into second place for the second consecutive day.

Cavendish and British champion Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) both finished inside the top ten again, but the Dimension Data man was left pounding his handlebars in frustration after running out of room with riders all over the road.

Marcel Kittel sprinted to his second consecutive stage win at the 2017 Dubai Tour on stage two (pic – Ansa/Matteo Bazzi/RCS Sport)

Once again British riders were well represented in the break, with Pete Williams (ONE Pro Cycling) and Mark Christian (Aqua Blue Sport) two of the five to go clear, ensuring TV time for their teams for the second consecutive day.

BMC Racing’s Luxembourgish fast man Jempy Drucker also got up the road and cleaned up the intermediate sprints to cut his overall deficit to stage one winner and race leader Marcel Kittel.

He sat up once he had secured those valuable bonus seconds, but Christian, Williams, UAE Abu Dhabi’s Yousif Mirza and Bardiani-CSF rider Simone Andreetta remained clear.

As the leaders hit Marjan Island, there was still 70 seconds between them and the bunch, but with no shortage of teams lending firepower to the chase it always looked futile.

A perfectly calm day meant there was no issue with coastal winds, and the peloton appeared in relaxed mood as the sprinters were brought to the front.

Nevertheless, Williams, Christian, Andreetta and Mirza continued to ride through and off to keep their lead hovering around the minute-mark on the wide-open roads of Dubai and its surrounding regions.

The catch was eventually made with 11km to race, before a chaotic bunch sprint ensued with teams struggling to seize the initiative on the front of the bunch.

Sprint trains were all over the road, with their lead sprinters struggling to find room for manoeuvre to fight for position.

Kittel leads by eight seconds from Dylan Groenewegen overall, with Mark Cavendish 16 seconds in arrears in sixth place (pic – Ansa)

On the final straight it was Trek-Segafredo on the front, with Koen de Kort leading John Degenkolb out, but Groenewegen hit the front to lead the sprint out.

The Dutch champion went for a long one on the right-hand side of the road, with Mark Cavendish – who had been boxed in – fighting to get on his wheel.

The Manxman had no space to pass the Dutchman, however, whereas Kittel had picked the left-hand side of the road – correctly as it proved.

With open road before him, the German dropped the hammer with perfect timing to claim victory for the second consecutive stage and extend his blue jersey lead.

Dubai Tour 2017: stage two – report

1) Marcel Kittel (GER) – QuickStep Floors – 4.25.33hrs
2) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo – ST
3) Jakub Mareczko (ITA) – Wilier Triestina
4) John Degenkolb (GER) – Trek-Segafredo
5) Sacha Modolo (ITA) – UAE Abu Dhabi
6) Juan Jose Lobato (ESP) – LottoNL-Jumbo
7) Mark Cavendish (GBR) – Dimension Data
8) Riccardo Minali (ITA) – Astana
9) Marco Maronese (ITA) – Bardiani-CSF
10) Adam Blythe (GBR) – Aqua Blue Sport

General classification

1) Marcel Kittel (GER) – QuickStep Floors – 8.31.46hrs
2) Dylan Groenewegen (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo +8”
3) Nicola Boem (ITA) – Bardiani-CSF +13”
4) Jempy Drucker (LUX) – BMC Racing +14”
5) Tom Stewart (GBR) – ONE Pro Cycling – ST
6) Mark Cavendish (GBR) – Dimension Data +16”
7) Jakub Mareczko (ITA) – Wilier Triestina – ST
8) Yousef Mirza (UAE) – UAE Abu Dhabi
9) Silvan Dillier (SUI) – BMC Racing
10) Pete Williams (GBR) – ONE Pro Cycling +19”

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