February 3, 2017
Degenkolb (Trek - Segafredo) wins a sand lashed Stage 3, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) retains the Blue Jersey after bust-up with fellow rider.
Al Aqah, 2 February 2017 – John Degenkolb of Trek-Segafredo claimed his first win of the year at the end of an action packed stage. Earlier, the peloton split into echelons, fighting crosswinds in the desert. However, it was another bunch sprint finish after the leading quartet of Mark Christian (Aqua Blue Sport), Alex Dowsett (Movistar Team), Loďc Vliegen (BMC Racing Team) and Luka Pibernik (Bahrain - Merida) were closed down and Kittel retained the blue jersey ahead of tomorrow's uphill finish at Hatta Dam where Degenkolb was victorious two years ago.
John Degenkolb wins Stage 3
There were some criticism amongst the peloton that the orgnaisers should have acted when wind whipped up sand that lashed the riders but the drama of the day centred around an altercation between Marcel Kittel and Astana rider Andrij Grivko whcih left the German with cut eye after Grivko had alledgely punched him.
Marcel Kittel with cut eye after alleged fight with Grivko
To be noted, the Commisaires Panel decided to disqualify the rider Andrij Grivko (Astana Pro Team) due to "Acts of violence among riders", according to Article 12.1.040 30.1, and a 200 CHF fine.
The stage winner, John Degenkolb, said: “The last two kilometers were pretty hard. We as a team kept calm and waited for the moment. The most important thing was to stay together – the timing was right. I’m super happy to give the team this victory. It’s a great signal for my motivation ahead of the Spring classisc. I’m very satisfied with my shape but I’m still far away from my best; Milan-Sanremo is my first goal. Tomorrow is a big chance for us again. I won in Hatta Dam two years ago... but there are other very strong guys here.”
Race leader Marcel Kittel said: “I’m happy that I have no more injury than a cut on my face. Andriy Grivko made a choice [to punch] but it was for sure the wrong one. What he did is disappointing for the sport. I might have lost my focus for the sprint but I’m glad I’m still in the lead. The organizers of the Dubai Tour are very well known for taking the right decisions when it comes to extreme weather so I’m hoping for good racing conditions tomorrow. It would be nice to retain the overall title.”
Race Video Highlights
1 - John Degenkolb (Trek - Segafredo), 200km in 4h03’08”, average speed 49.355km/h
2 - Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Team Dimension Data) s.t.
3 - Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain - Merida) s.t.
1 - Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors)
2 - Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo) at 0:08"
3 - John Degenkolb (Trek - Segafredo) at 0:10"
The Blue Jersey, sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Dubai (General individual classification by time) - Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors)
The Red Jersey, sponsored by Emirates (General individual classification by points) - Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) - the Red Jersey will be worn tomorrow by John Degenkolb (Trek - Segafredo), second in the General individual classification by points after Marcel Kittel (Blue Jersey)
The White Jersey, sponsored by RTA - Roads and Transport Authority (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1992) - Dylan Groenewegen (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)
The UAE Flag Jersey, sponsored by DHA - Dubai Health Authority (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Nicola Boem (Bardiani CSF)
Stage One Results in Full