Before the opening Dubai Tour stage, all eyes were on the rivalry between defending overall champion Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), but it was instead Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) who stole the show and claimed the first leader's jersey in the first sprint.
Andy Fenn (Aqua Blue Sport) was the last rider of the day's five-man breakaway to be caught by the peloton with just over 15km left to race. It all seemed to be going to plan for the sprinters when a crash disrupted a number of trains with 8km to go.
The wreck was not to blame for the defeat of Kittel, Kristoff and Cofidis' Nacer Bouhanni, however, as Astana lost the most men in the fall and Magnus Cort still claimed second, with Elia Viviani in third. Groenewegen's lead-out put him in perfect position on the paving stones, giving him a deserving and prestigious victory.