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by Neal Rogers
February 9, 2018
In today’s Daily News Digest: Cavendish wins Stage 3 of Dubai Tour, Viviani moves into GC lead; Massive raid reveals systematic doping program within amateur Italian team; 2018 Amgen Tour of California men’s and women’s routes announced; Aqua Blue Sport owner speaks of wildcard frustration, calls for changes; Gore Bike Wear brightens up Shakedry material for improved visibility; Iranian track sprinter Seyedmahmoud Rasouli handed four-year suspension.
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) claimed his first victory of 2018 on Stage 3 of the fifth edition of the Dubai Tour. The Manxman edged out Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin). Stage 2 winner Elia Viviani (Quick-Step) didn’t make the top three this time but moved to the lead of the overall classification after race leader Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) was penalized by the race jury.
“I’m just a bit angry that I sat up yesterday,” Cavendish said. “Technically I could have had the leader’s jersey. I apologize to my teammates for that. They did a great job today. Bernie (Eisel), (Mark) Renshaw and I finished the job in the last 3km. I still feel the consequences of my Tour de France crash in my body. It will remain for the rest of my life. Quick-Step, Cofidis and LottoNL-Jumbo all look good. There are so many good teams for sprinting here. I’m nowhere near the form I had in July, but I’m happy with my form now.”
Groenewegen was penalised 20 seconds for taking a tow behind a LottoNL-Jumbo team car with 60km to go following a bike change, as the race was splitting into echelons.
Viviani moved into the overall lead ahead of the Dubai Tour’s 172km Queen stage, with its final climb of Hatta Dam, a short, sharp rise of about 200m, with gradients ranging from 12% to 17%. The home stretch is 150m long, on a 5m wide asphalted roadway.
“I got a perfect lead out again but it’s hard to lead with such a headwind,” Viviani said. “I’m not happy with my result but I’ll try to defend the Blue Jersey. The main contender for GC will be the first sprinter tomorrow. I’m disappointed I didn’t take a time bonus today but I sprinted for the win. Tomorrow’s finish is steep but a good position at the bottom would help to defend the jersey. It won’t be about lead-out this time.”