"I think they got a little bit excited in the finale"
Omega Pharma-Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere watched the stage two sprint finish of the Dubai Tour in the media tent close to the finish. He could only hold his breath and then shrug in slight disappointment as the team became derailed in the hectic final as riders fought a stiff cross wind and fought even more for position.
The experienced Belgian team manager has seen his riders win and lose hundreds of races over the years and did not appear worried to see Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) win the stage, while Mark Cavendish eased up after being left too far back in the final five hundred metres.
"This is the first sprint that these guys have done together and I think they got a little bit excited in the finale because they were already leading the peloton with 11km to go," Lefevere told Cyclingnews.
"In the meeting before the stage, I think I understood that we'd pull as late as possible. We maybe got too nervous and excited and did too much too early."
Lefevere confirmed that Mark Renshaw was due to lead out Cavendish, with Alessandro Petacchi and Tony Martin doing a vital turn before Renshaw.
"There was a little confusion after the turn but Tony [Martin] went to pull. However Sagan was already in front of Mark [Cavendish], I think on Renshaw's wheel and that affected things. But we didn’t see the sprint from the helicopter on television. That's the only way you can really understand what happened."
Lefevere said Omega Pharma-Quick Step would debrief after the sprint, even without helicopter images. He dismissed the side winds coming of the sea could have affected his riders more than others.
"It was windy for the others too," he said. 'We'll debrief and talk to the riders but it's not a big deal. They need some more time to work on getting things right. But we know we've got a good lead out and a good sprinter in Mark. Our turn will come."