|Abu Dhabi Tour - Cavendish claims first win [23-02-17 20:41 by staff GoNBike.com]|
THE CANNONBALL IS BACK!
Cavendish claims first win of the season at the Abu Dhabi Tour
Madinat Zayed, 23 February 2017 – British sprinter Mark Cavendish of Team Dimension Data took stage one of the Abu Dhabi Tour and with it the overall leader's Al Mariyah Island Red Jersey thanks to a textbook lead-out plus his own expertise and experience. The 189km Emirates Motor Company stage out of and back to Madinat Zayed had earlier been enlivened by a six-man breakaway that earned Manuele Mori leadership of the Intermediate Sprint competition and the Etihad Airways Black Jersey. Crashes in the final five kilometres briefly delayed one of the pre-race favourites, Alberto Contador, and put paid to the victory hopes of Marcel Kittel and Caleb Ewan, among others.
1 - Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) 189km in 4h37’06”, average speed 40.923km/h
2 - Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) s.t.
3 - Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain - Merida) s.t.
1 - Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)
2 - Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) at 4"
3 - Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain - Merida) at 6"
The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) - Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)
The Green Jersey, sponsored by Nation Towers (General individual classification by points) - Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data). Jersey will be worn tomorrow by Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1992) - Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain - Merida)
The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Manuele Mori (UAE Abu Dhabi)
At the press conference, the stage winner and first race leader Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) said: "Today we did our tactical homework. We studied the finale from this stage last year. We did it all wrong last year. We really studied last year and we did the opposite. In the end it went exactly as we planned in team meeting. I didn't really have to do anything.
"The whole race will 100% be decided on Jebel Hafeet, as it always has been. There are too many sprinters' teams here to let a break go and gain a lot of time."
"I get the biggest boost today from the fact that my team didn't do anything wrong. I'd be grovelling for an apology if I hadn't won today. It's special to win here and get the Red Jersey. It was a goal but I'm most happy with how the team rode.
"Tomorrow will be great. Abu Dhabi is an incredible city and going past the Grand Mosque will be incredible. Last year when we rode by the Grand Mosque there could have been a crash in the peloton. Everyone was just looking at it open-mouthed. It's one of the most incredible things you'll ever see. Having won the stage at Al Marina last year, I'd love to repeat that this year.
"The biggest difference I've noticed here this year with the race now in the WorldTour is the speed, the standard of riders. It's maybe the best total field you'll find outside Grand Tours, and it's maybe even better than some Grand Tours. You've got the best climbers and the best sprinters. It's also a bit safer because you've got the big teams who know what they're doing. It's a lot more organised and less chaotic than some small races.
"I knew someone would go early in the sprint. I thought it would be Greipel but it didn't really matter who it was. Someone else attacked and it was a case of using them as a slingshot. I just had to follow Mark Renshaw."
Stage 2 – Nation Towers Stage (153km)
From Abu Dhabi (Al Maryah Island) to Abu Dhabi (Al Marina)
Sign-on procedures: 12:00-13:20
Start - KM 0: 13:30 (transfer 2,500m)
Finish: Approx. 17:00
Race Headquarters: St. Regis Corniche Hotel, Abu Dhabi (UAE)
The second stage will take place mostly in the city of Abu Dhabi. After the start the race goes through Reem Island, then along the Abu Dhabi Corniche for the first time before turning south on wide, straight boulevards. Here the route passes close to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and reaches Shakhbout City – site of the first Intermediate Sprint, with several roundabouts on the course – before riding through Al Shahama and Al Bahya – for the second Intermediate Sprint – then returning to Yas Island. The final part of the stage is raced on the Sheikh bin Zayed Highway towards the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the finish line. The entire route is on wide boulevards with “cat’s eyes” road reflectors constantly dividing the lanes.
The final 5km are on increasingly large roads with large semi-curves leading to the straight finish on asphalt.
::Abu Dhabi - Press Release::
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Abu Dhabi Tour - Pre-Race Press Conference
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Abu Dhabi Tour - Marcel Kittel wins Stage 2