Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) bounced back from a high-speed crash on stage 1 of the Abu Dhabi Tour - and 24 hours of polemics about the use of disc brakes - to win stage 2 with a powerful late run to the finish line.
Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) thought they were fighting for the win, and Ewan even began to raise his arms in victory, only to see the German come up alongside and beat him with a late bike throw.
Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-hansgrohe) was fourth, with Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) fifth and Elia Viviani (Team Sky) sixth. Cavendish kept the race lead thanks to taking a four-second bonus for his third place. He leads Kittel in the overall by four seconds, with Andre Greipel third at eight seconds.
A risk of echelons made for a fast stage, with the riders covering the 153km at more than 44km/h. The break of the day formed quickly, with Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Fabio Calabria (Novo Nordisk), Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Kristijan Durasek (UAE Team Emirates) and Kirill Sveshnikov (Gazprom-RusVelo) in the move.
The peloton eventually caught Boem and de Marchi with 2.5km to go and the leadout trains took control for the thrilling finish.
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