The 4th edition of the Dubai Tour kicks off the 2017 Middle Eastern cycling season. The race is a place for the sprinters with previous winners Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel battling it out in the UAE.
With the addition of a 5th stage this year, the Dubai Tour will give one more spectacular sprint in Dubai. The Tour’s fourth stage is where the GC contenders will have to put it all on the line on the short, but steep climb up to the Hatta Dam. The climb is not made exclusively for climbers, as previous winners include pure sprinter Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors), classics sprinter John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), and Spanish punchuer Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo).
The first three stages were long desert routes with fast finishing sprints, two of which were won by the defending champ Marcel Kittel. One of Trek-Segafredo’s star signings, John Degenkolb, took the third stage after a hard day of cross winds. On this third stage though, Astana’s Andrei Grivko was expelled from the race after he punched race leader Marcel Kittel in the face while fighting for position at the front of the echelon on the crosswind section of the day’s race. Despite minor injuries, Kittel had a cozy lead heading in to the decisive Hatta Dam stage, with the 10 second time bonuses for his stage wins. However, high winds forced the race organizers to cancel the fourth stage.
The final stage’s loop through the city of Dubai saw a fantastic sprint that sealed overall victory for Marcel Kittel. Kittel took his third stage of the tour and repeated as winner of the Dubai Tour.
Marcel Kittel also won the points classification, Dutch champion Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) took home the best young rider’s jersey in addition to second place overall, and Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF) won the intermediate sprinter classification.
The Middle Eastern season will continue at the Tour of Oman on February 14th, followed by the World Tour race, the Abu Dhabi Tour, on February 23rd.
The peloton is also competing in the Herald Sun Tour in Australia, Vuelta a la Comunitat Valencia in Spain.