Rally Cycling started its 2018 Middle East campaign with a mixed bag of results Tuesday at the Dubai Tour, with sprinter Eric Young grabbing a top 10 result but veteran rouleur Jesse Anthony crashing in the closing kilometres with teammate Robin Carpenter and suffering a broken arm. Anthony had to abandon the five-stage 2.HC race, while Carpenter is expected to continue with several spots of road rash.
LottoNL-Jumbo's Dylan Groenewegen won the bunch kick at the end of the 167 km stage along the Persian Gulf Coast from SkyDive Dubai to Palm Jumeirah. The Dutchman took control inside the final 150 metres when the likes of Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) failed to make the mix, each finishing outside the top 15.
Young came in seventh, tucked in behind Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Jacob Hennessy (Mitchelton-Bikeexchange) but in front of Italian fastman Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida).
The 28-year-old former US criterium champion said his team moved forward in the final kilometres with a solid seven-man effort, then dropped him off with Ty Magner and Brad Huff just a few wheels off the front inside 5km to go.
“There was a lot of movement in the field and it made for a hectic finish,” Young said. “I definitely made a few mistakes looking back, but I was able to stay in the top 10 for the finish. The guys are in good spirits, albeit definitely bummed for Jesse. Excited to give it another go tomorrow.”
Wednesday's second stage will cover 186km, finishing once again along the Persian Gulf in Ras Al Khaimah. Rally Cycling will look to set up Young again in the expected field sprint.
Anthony was diagnosed with a broken humerus at the hospital, according to the team, ending his early season.