Germany's Kittel is Dubai Tour champion

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Germanys Kittel is Dubai Tour champion
Marcek Kittel

Dubai - The Etixx-Quick-Step leader who won the first stage on Wednesday, appeared out of the Blue Jersey pack (overall leaders) suddenly to take command.

By Moni Mathews

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Published: Sun 7 Feb 2016, 2:40 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Feb 2016, 9:11 PM

German ace Marcek Kittel won the Dubai Tour-2016 in splendid fashion with a superb final stage victory at the Burj Khalifa, Saturday afternoon.
The Etixx-Quick-Step lead rider who won the first stage on Wednesday, appeared out of the Blue Jersey pack (overall leaders) suddenly to take command, a couple of kilometres away from the finish of the Business Bay 137km fourth and final stage.
In second place in the fourth stage on Saturday were second stage winner Elia Viviani of Italy (Team Sky) while the bronze berth went to defending champion Britain's Mark Cavendish of Dimension Data.
In the overall positions, behind  the newly crowned Tour winner Kittel, were, Trek-Segafredo's Italian rider Giacomo Nizzolo in silver spot, and third placed rider - Movistar's third stage winner - Juan Jose Lobato del Valle of Spain.
"Very very proud indeed. Four days of hardwork and strategies. It's easy to lose grip in seconds in the closing phases but all of us kept close and executed the plans chalked out brilliantly. Great finish to a great event," Kittel who completed the fourth stage course on the final day in 2 hours, 50 minutes and 47 seconds, said.
It was a brilliant finish to four wonderful days of world class cycling in the third edition of the Dubai Tour (671km) comprising three sprint phases and one hill stage.
With so much at stake and not just the stage win in mind, the attacks and counter attacks came as early as the 14km point from the finish. Mark Christian of the all-Britain Team Wiggins squad took solo lead from here and he set the benchmark for the moment on the inside with added power to his legs. He was a good 11 seconds ahead, 12km from the finishing point as the huge bunch of over 50 riders tried to take the initiative on the outside in a bid to wipe out the time lag.
Into the final sevens (km), the all sky blue Astana Pro Team lined up formidably in one single file - one behind the other on the inside of the Blue Jersey (overall) bunch - and they looked threatening enough to douse the challenge of the others. Then came Russia's Tinkoff (all yellow) who took momentary command with a great tactical change from the inside while going through the curves (4km-mark) and the roundabouts around the Burj Khalifa.
After this point  came the surprise element that Kittel and his teammates had in store for the day.
When the 25km point from the finish was seen past by the front pack, the trailing group were a minute and 25 seconds in arrears. The lead kept changing between three riders mainly in the pace making makeup that saw the lanky Eritrean, Daniel Teklehaimanot of Dimension Data; Lampre-Merida's (Italy) Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Portugal), the twin sprint winner in the Business Bay fourth and final stages on Thursday, and his teammate Marco Marzano of Slovenia, trading positions continuously up front. The difference in time gaps dwindled to 45 seconds when the race was 20km away from the Burj Khalifa.
The 75th kilometre point saw the fall of CCC Sprandi Polkowice (Poland) rider Branislav Somailou of Belarus and Team Novo Nordisk (USA) ace Nicolas Lefrancois (France) when they crashed into one another in the trailing group before the packs entered Al Mamzar.
After 78km, Lampre-Merida's (Italy) Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Portugal) took the first intermediate sprint honours near the Dubai coastline. And, after the 96km stage, Costa showed his prowess again with another brilliant burst for the second sprint, this time near the Union Flag milestone.

Final results and standings:
Business Bay Stage 4 - 137km (final)
1.M. Kittel (Ger), Etixx-Quick-Step
2.Elia Vivaini (Ita), Team Sky
3.Mark Cavendish (Bri), Dimension Data
4.Andrea Palini (Ita), SkyDive Dubai
5.Sacha Modolo (Ita), Lampre-Merida
Overall Tour championship (total distance 671km)
1.M. Kittel (Ger), Etixx-Quick-Step
2.G. Nizzolo (Ita), Trek Segafredo
3.JL del Valle (Spa), Movistar Team
4.S. Dillier (Swi), BMC Racing Team
5.G. Izaguirre (Spa), Movistar Team

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