Dubai Tour 3: Degenkolb Can Climb

Embedded image permalinkThat we already knew. Alejandro Valverde can sprint, and also that isn't a surprise. Filippo Pozzato on 4th is really surprising: a new start? lets see.  Philippe Gilbert on 6th is slightly disappointing: that was a perfect finish for him. Geraint Thomas on 9th I like but he's  disappointed.
Team Sky says that "a trio of punctures hampered" them. 
Climbing to grab this victory in the rocky heart of Dubai the Giant Alpecin rider also grabbed the leader jersey from the shoulder of Mark Cavendish, who improved in the years but still can't really climb.

John Degenkolb:
“It was a great stage today with a really tough final. We tried already in the last two days to go for the win but didn’t have the luck. Today it was important not to waste energy before the end and we did it in a smart way and kept enough riders as planned to put me into a perfect position for the finish.
It’s great to start the season with a victory for myself and the team. I would really like to win this race now, it isn’t over yet though. We have to do a perfect stage tomorrow to win the jersey and we will have to be smart but we are ready for this.”

Thomas ninth on queen stageGeraint Thomas:
“It was disappointing we lost three guys to punctures with Swifty, Puccio and Lopez. They all punctured at the same time with about 9km to go. I was hoping they’d come back but they never did. That was frustrating but after that I just had to go for it myself. I was in a good position but I just didn’t quite have that punch at the end. I was in the big ring which didn’t help. I went down into the small ring and lost a bit of speed but I didn’t quite have it.
There’s one more day to go tomorrow and we’ll all get stuck in and hopefully finish on a high.
The core of the team here has been in Mallorca together doing lead-outs and myself and Puccio have been dropped into that. It feels strange doing a lead-out again to be honest. The last few years I’ve mostly been on the climbs with Froomey and those guys but it’s been going pretty well.”

Mark Cavendish
"Great ride by my team. They really gave everything. I knew I'd be distanced on the climb, with 35km to go, but the team stayed with me, rode a good tempo, and knew we could catch back whoever was riding in front. We did that. We reconned this stage a couple of days ago, so we knew it well. I knew I would get over the last climb before the final without problems, so it was just about position going into the Hatta Dam finale. There was no point going for the win, I'd rather save my energy for tomorrow. I knew there wouldn't really be much of a gap in the peloton so I tried to sit there. I am now down 4 seconds in the GC but OK. Now I want to try and do something good on the final stage. This team rode incredibly the past three days and after all of the hard work by Etixx - Quick-Step, I'd like to finish it off well and honor the work my teammates have done."

1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 4:50:40  
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:00  
3 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team  
4 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
5 Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
6 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
7 Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
8 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:07:00  
9 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 
10 Edgar Miguel Lemos Pinto (Por) Skydive Dubai
1 John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 12:45:29  
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:04:00  
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:06:00  
4 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team 0:08:00  
5 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:11:00  
6 Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:12:00  
7 Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
8 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
9 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
10 Edgar Miguel Lemos Pinto (Por) Skydive Dubai 0:17:00  

Red Jersey  points classification leader: Mark Cavendish (ETIXX - QUICK-STEP)
UAE Flag Jersey - intermediate sprints classification leader: Alessandro Bazzana (UNITEDHEALTHCARE PRO CYCLING)

White Jersey - best young rider: Michael Valgren Andersen (TINKOFF SAXO)

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