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Your Wednesday Race Briefing: Dubai, Australia and Valencia

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February 1, 2017 – After a very short winter break many pro teams got their first racing miles in Adelaide, Australia and San Juan, Argentina. After dominating performances by Richie Porte, Caleb Ewen at the Tour Down Under and the entire Quick-Step team in Argentina, other names are coming to the fore in what is a busy week of racing – Marcel Kittel has been unstoppable in Dubai, Chris Froome gets rolling at the Herald Sun Tour while Danny van Poppel makes up for disappointment at the Tour Down Under and in Valencia BMC continues its winning ways.

PELOTON/AFP/Image:ANSA

Kittel Wins Again in Dubai

Defending Tour of Dubai champion Marcel Kittel of Quick Step out-sprinted the field to clinch a second stage win after a 188km ride from Dubai to Ras al-Khaimah on Wednesday.

Having won Tuesday’s opening of five stages, the German — who has won nine Tour de France stages — edged fellow sprint specialists Dylan Groenewegen and Jakub Mareczko after the peloton comfortably closed down a plucky escape 11km from the line.

Thursday’s third stage is also a flat run over 200km to Fujairah.

BMC Beat Sky to Team Time Trial in Valencia Tour Opener

BMC Racing Team beat out Team Sky to claim victory in a 37.9km team time trial on the opening stage of the Tour of Valencia with Italian Manuel Senni taking the leader’s jersey.

RELATED: Richie Porte takes the Tour Down Under Crown for First Time.

The American team set the pace with a time of 43min 14sec with Sky second 24 seconds back and Quick-Step Flores a further 28 seconds behind in third.

Vuelta a Espana winner Nairo Quintana leads the Movistar team as he prepares to tackle the Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double later in the year, but the Spanish team are better known for their climbing and finished 1min 05sec back on BMC in fourth.

Tour de France champion Chris Froome is not going head-to-head with old foe Quintana as he is instead defending his title as part of Sky’s team at the Herald Sun Tour in Australia this week.

Herald Sun Tour Prologue Results

After running into a buzzsaw named Caleb Ewen at the Tour Down Under, Team SKY Sprinter Danny van Poppel, wins the opener at the Herald Sun Tour. Chris Froome finished 26th, seven seconds off the pace. Results from the 2.1 kilometer prologue in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Prologue
1. Danny van Poppel (NED/SKY) 2 min 32.56 sec
2. Brenton Jones (AUS/JLT Condor) 2 min 33.46 sec
3. Alex Frame (NZL/JLT Condor) 2 min 33.56 sec

Team
1. JLT Condor 7 min 42 sec
2. Isowhey Sports + 4 sec
3. Team Sky + 4 sec

RELATED: Preview the coming GC battle at the Herald Sun Tour between Froome and Chaves.