Dubai Tour (st. 3)
Essex rider spends more than 160km at the front, sits now in 7th overall after incredibly fast (50kph average) stage, even with some echelons. Italian scores first top-ten finish in Movistar Team colours
John Degenkolb (TFS) claimed the win on Thursday's stage three of the Dubai Tour, the longest in this year's race over 200km between the capital city and Al Aqah. The journey was covered in just four hours, thanks to tail winds in the beginning combined with some echelons into the desert, the bunch split into three groups.
Away from the field from 20km into the race and until the final six kilometers, Alex Dowsett (Movistar Team) showed courage by pushing hard at the front and fighting for bonus seconds, his wins in both intermediate sprints leading to a provisional 7th overall, 14 seconds behind Marcel Kittel (QST). The German was dropped back as three echelons caused by the wind and a couple of crashes -the front group including Movistar Team's Bennati, Oliveira and Sutherland-, though the action was soon aborted as the sprinters' teams looked to secure their textbook outcome.
Daniele Bennati took 10th -with Carlos Barbero in 12th- into the 'volata', his first-ever significant result with the squad here directed by Chente García Acosta, in the prelude to the stage looking most decisive for the GC result. Due to worsening weather forecast, the stage has been shortened to 109km, over two laps around Hatta that include an unchanged finish atop the Dam's 20% slopes.
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