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“Cav is one of the best in the business so we can’t be too disappointed with the way things turned out today, but you can never be 100% happy finishing second."

Photo: Dubai Tour






07.02.2015 @ 17:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Elia Viviani and Ben Swift sprinted to second and fourth places respectively on the final day of the Dubai Tour but couldn’t stop Mark Cavendish taking the stage and overall victory at the Burj Khalifa.


Team Sky were prominent once again as the 128km showdown neared its conclusion, with the sprint train pulling hard to slingshot Viviani and Swift into contention.


Birthday boy Ian Boswell, Geraint Thomas and Bernhard Eisel all took big turns to deliver Swift on to Cavendish’s wheel, but once the Manxman launched his sprint, Viviani was unable to round his rival and seal a repeat of Thursday’s success.


Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step) had come into the stage four seconds behind John Degenkolb, but the 10 bonus seconds he earned for his victory ensured he wrapped up the blue jersey with a six-second advantage over Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), who rolled home in ninth position.


The stage passed at lightning pace, with an average speed of 47km/h sustained throughout the day. A five-man break had formed at the head of affairs, but they were kept on a relatively tight leash and swept up in the final 6km.


By then the sprint trains were in full flow as they prepared for a spectacular conclusion outside the world’s tallest building, and it was Cavendish who emerged to pip Viviani (who is also celebrating his birthday) and Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) for his third sprint triumph of 2015.



Back at the team hotel, Sports Director Dario Cioni was philosophical about Saturday’s result and offered his thoughts on the race as a whole.


He told “I was happy with the way our riders applied themselves once again today, and going into that last corner we were in a good position. Two guys from United HealthCare allowed the gap to open up in the closing metres though which put Cav in a great position. As hard as we tried, we couldn’t get Elia in place to come around him.


“Cav is one of the best in the business so we can’t be too disappointed with the way things turned out today, but you can never be 100% happy finishing second.


“The race as a whole has been a good one. We were disappointed not to do more on yesterday’s stag – or finish higher up on GC - but that came down to bad luck. Ben [Swift] was really up for testing himself on that last climb yesterday, and he was in great form, but he punctured on the approach to it.


“On the plus side, Elia won stage two and the fact he got three podium places from four proves his consistency. We’ll take learnings away from this race and look to apply them in the future."



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