Dubai Tour: Marcel Kittel wins stage four to seal overall title
By Matt Westby in Dubai
Last Updated: 06/02/16 3:51pm
Marcel Kittel claimed overall victory of the Dubai Tour by sprinting to a comfortable win on stage four.
The Etixx - Quick-Step rider out-powered runner-up Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and third-placed Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa to collect his second stage victory of this year's race and fifth in total.
Kittel started the day six seconds down in third place overall, but the 10 bonus seconds he received for his win saw him leapfrog previous leader Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), who could only finish sixth on the stage.
Nizzolo hung on to second place in the final standings, four seconds down, while Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) finished six seconds back in third after crossing the line 14th on the stage.
Two stage wins and the overall title is the perfect start to the season for Kittel, who moved from Giant-Alpecin to Etixx - Quick-Step after suffering an illness-ravaged campaign in 2015.
He said: "2016 is a new chapter and this is a really great way to start this part of my career. It's a very important victory after a hard 2015.
"For now I am super-happy with the wins and also the GC victory. It doesn't happen often that a sprinter wins a GC.
"The highlights [of 2016] still have to come. I can be sure my shape is good and the team works very well. The real challenges are still lying ahead."
Kittel also won the points classification, while Marcin Bialoblocki (ONE Pro Cycling) topped the intermediate sprints classification and Soufiane Haddi (Skydive Dubai) was named best young rider.
Cavendish, whose general classifcation hopes were ended by a late puncture on stage three, admitted after the final stage that he had got his approach to the sprint wrong.
He said: "I tried to get Kittel's wheel before the last 1km and lay off because I knew the last right-hand corner was tight. If I could carry more speed and get a run up, it would have been all right, but in fact, I did the complete opposite.
"I started the corner on the wrong side and took a wide angle into it. I came in really hot, had to lose too much speed and I couldn't get it going. Without big levers, you can't get it going again. With 150m to go, I knew I was beaten and couldn't do anything."
Stage four result
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step, 2:50:47
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky, same time
3 Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data, st
4 Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai, st
5 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st
6 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, st
7 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step, st
8 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo, st
9 Erik Baska (Svk) Tinkoff, st
10 Yanto Barker (GB) ONE Pro Cycling, st
Final general classification
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step,
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, +4secs
3 Juan Jose Lobato (Esp) Movistar, +6
4 Silvan Dillier (Sui) BMC Racing, +16
5 Gorka Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, +23
6 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing, +25
7 Fabian Cancellara (Sui) Trek-Segafredo, same time
8 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff, +28
9 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice, st
10 Soufiane Haddi (Mor) Skydive Dubai, +29