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Feb 7, 2015 – British cycling great Mark Cavendish said he was over the moon after he won the Tour of Dubai on Saturday, capping a fine display in outsprinting his rivals to claim the fourth stage. The 29-year-old Isle of Man rider had been deposed at the top of the overall standings on Friday by Germany’s John Degenkolb.
AFP/Tim de Waele
Cavendish clinched victory after seeing off Italian Elia Viviani and Spain’s Juan Jose Lobato after the closing 128km ride for his second stage win of the week. “I am over the moon!” said Cavendish.
“We were the only team (Quick Step) to work all week. “I am a little frustrated that the other teams didn’t share the workload. In fact I was a little bit agitated by it. I am really happy for the guys who yet again put in some hard work today.” With his ten second bonus the Quick Step star, who completed the stage in 2hr 37min 15sec, ended up six seconds clear of Degenkolb, who crossed in ninth place.
Lobato took third overall, 10sec adrift of Cavendish. Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali, perhaps with Sunday’s start of the Tour of Qatar weighing on his mind, coasted in among the peloton to take 39th spot overall, nearly a minute-and-a-half adrift of Cavendish’s winning time.
Etixx-Quick-Step Cycling Team and Mark Cavendish performed perfectly in the final stage in the Dubai Tour. There was a double reward waiting at the finish line after great teamwork and an outstanding leadout.
At the start of 128km Stage 4, Mark Cavendish was 4 seconds behind the leader of the GC, John Degenkolb (Giant Alpecin) thanks to a pack finish on a steep Hatta Dam finale in Stage 3. This small time difference was key, as a victory would mean also mean the top step of the overall podium.
A group of five riders animated the final stage, but were caught in the final 10 kilometers. Carlos Verona and Petr Vakoc were crucial workers in the chase on the 5 leaders.
In the preparation for the final sprint Cavendish had five Etixx – Quick-Step teammates in front of him. Etixx – Quick-Step took over the lead in the second-to-last kilometer and brought Cavendish into great position for the sprint. Cavendish did what he said he wanted to do after Stage 3: Finish the job of his teammates and wrap up Dubai Tour with the stage win, which also resulted in taking home the Paul Smith designed Blue Jersey as the 2015 overall victor.
Cavendish also took home the Red (points) jersey.
“I didn’t really have to do much, the team did everything,” Cavendish said. “We were really motivated today. It was a tough breakaway, but Etixx – Quick-Step did a great job controlling it with the help of Giant Alpecin. Then the leadout was absolutely phenomenal. It was so fast there was a gap before I started to sprint. I looked and I saw the gap, and I went a little bit early so I could keep the gap and it all worked out perfectly.
This was a win by Etixx – Quick-Step today. The guys were fantastic. That was really something special. I’m so proud of them and proud to get the Blue jersey at the end as well. I’m really happy. This is my 3rd stage win, and Gianni Meersman also won a race down in Australia, so we’re looking forward to another successful year for Etixx – Quick-Step.
I’m also super thrilled that this is the 3rd GC victory of my career. Here at Dubai Tour it’s not exactly a sprinter’s race, but it can favor people who can sprint. I know for sure last year I wasn’t looking for the GC. This year I came here in good form. It wasn’t really something I was expecting, but with the way the guys have been working all week it was something special to finish off with the GC win. This also shows I am on target for my next goals in the racing calendar. It’s super encouraging for what’s next, for me as well as my teammates who I want to thank for everything they did at Dubai Tour.”
Results Stage 4
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Quick Step) 2hr 37min 15sec
2. Elia Viviani (ITA) same time
3. Juan Jose Lobato (ESP)
4. Ben Swift (GBR)
5. Andrea Guardini (ITA)
6. Daniele Ratto (ITA)
7. Martijn Verschoor (NED)
8. Davide Cimola (ITA)
9. John Degenkolb (GER)
10. Andrea Palini (ITA) all same time
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Quick Step) 15hr 22min 38sec
2. John Degenkolb (GER) at 6sec
3. Juan Jose Lobato (ESP) +10
4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) +12
5. Marco Canola (ITA) +14
6. Alessandro Bazzana (ITA) +17
7. Grega Bole (SLO) +18
8. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) +18
9. Manuele Boardo (ITA) +18
10. Filippo Pozzato (ITA) +18