American Phinney wins inaugural Dubai Tour
American Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing won the inaugural Dubai Tour on Saturday despite a third consecutive stage win by German Marcel Kittel of Team Giant-Shimano.
The historic Dubai Tour came to a thrilling climax in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa, where it all started on Tuesday.
Phinney successfully defended the race lead following his stage win in the individual time trial.
"I would consider this my first pro stage race victory. There were no World Tour teams when I won Olympica's Tour in 2010," said Phinney lauding his team for motivating him throughout.
"Cycling is a team sport, even if I'm the one who is the face of winning this first Tour of Dubai. I couldn't have done it without the team," he said.
"I'm super honoured. I'd like to see this race grow, and I'd like to be part of that growing process. It's a cool feeling to win the first edition," said Phinney on becoming the first winner of the Dubai Tour.
"It's only four days, so it could grow in distance. RCS has done a great job, and the city of Dubai has done a great job too, shutting down all these roads. We owe an apology to the people of Dubai for some traffic jams, but I think the race was a well received. It was a multi-faceted race in that we had a time trial and a rolling stage. There was some wind to deal with, too. And you couldn't draw a more high profile peloton, so on that side of things, they were spot on," he added.
Kittel secured the points classification with a dominant performance.
"For me as a sprinter, I have several goals during the year. The Dubai Tour was my first goal, now I go home for easy training before thinking about my next goal. I'm very pleased with how it has gone here, and I don't think my form is too goof, too early. I prepared well for this race, I came straight here from Australia, and I rode the stage finishes so that I knew the stage finishes. That's always an advantage. Yesterday I showed that I can, in the worst case, also do it by myself, when my legs are good. I guess that's one of my strengths as a sprinter," said Kittel.
Asked for his perspectives on the Dubai Tour, he said: "For the first edition of the race, for me as a rider it was a very nice experience. The stages are good, if you can keep it like that. Perfect for me. May be the time trial could be a little bit shorter. I'd like to come back next year if it's the same course."
Mark Renshaw stepped up to lead sprint duties and placed second after his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team lost Mark Cavendish to an unfortunately-timed mechanical issue in the finale.
Andrea Guardini (Astana) completed the top three.
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was ruled out of the final sprint after taking a tumble in the final four kilometres, much to his obvious dissatisfaction. He dropped out of the top 10 overall as a result.
"We have told the world what we wanted to say about Dubai and the race, and this event has brought something new to Dubai. The riders are happy, we have a new champion. I would like to thank the media, national and international, and our partners at RCS Sport. We have worked together for a long time to bring this event to fruition. Long live the Dubai Tour," said Saeed Hareb, Chairman of the Dubai Tour organising committee.
"The Dubai Tour is great news for cycling. The level of riders was first class, the public turned out at the roadside to support us. We'd like to thank our partners at the Dubai Sports Council, and in the police: this is the only race in the world that takes place in one city. This means that it is very complex to manage and operate. We know how to organise a race: in Dubai, they know how to manage a city," added Lorenzo Giorgetti, RCS Sport Commercial Director/RCS Sport and Events Dubai Director.
Results after the fourth and final stage of the Dubai Tour:
1. Marcel Kittel, Giant Shimano, Germany, 2 hours, 41 minutes, 9 seconds
2. Mark Renshaw, Omega Pharma Quickstep, Australia, same time
3. Andrea Guardini, Astana, Italy, same time
4. Roberto Ferrari, Lampre-Merida, Italy, same time
5. Alexandr Porsev, Katusha, Russia, same time
6. Daniel Ratto, Canondale, Italy, same time
7. Niccolo Bonifazio, Lampre-Merida, Italy, same time
8. Takashi Miyazawa, Vini-Fantini Nippo, Japan, same time
9. Lucas Sebastian Haedo, Skydive Dubai, Argentina, same time
10. Juan Jose Lobato del Valle, Movistar, Spain, same time
General Classification (After 4 of 4 stages)
1. Taylor Phinney, BMC Racing, United States, 9:31:33
2. Stephen Cummings, BMC Racing, Britain, 15 seconds behind
3. Lasse Norman Hansen, Garmin Sharp, Denmark, 17 seconds
4. Tony Martin, Omega Pharma Quickstep, Germany, 23 seconds
5. Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory, Switzerland, 30 seconds
6. Marcel Kittel, Giant Shimano, Germany, 30 seconds
7. Adriano Malori, Movistar, Italy, 37 seconds
8. Maciej Bodnar, Cannondale Pro, Poland, 40 seconds
9. Peter Velits, BMC Racing, Slovakia, 42 seconds
10. Dylan van Baarle, Garmin-Sharp, Netherlands, 42 seconds
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