After placing third on the opening day of the 2018 Dubai Tour, Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) made no mistake in the bunch sprint at the end of stage 2 to claim his second victory of the new season.
Viviani had already showcased his form at the Tour Down Under last month and he again showed his quality in a breathless sprint finish in Ras al Khaimah, holding off a late, late burst from overall leader Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) to take the win.
Riccardo Minali (Astana) placed third ahead of Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) in a gripping finale, but there was disappointment for Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), who was unable to make an impression in the bunch sprint for the second day running.
Viviani’s win was all the more impressive given his puncture with 22 kilometres to go, and he had considerable ground to make up after a slow change of his disc-brake-equipped rear wheel.
Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Charles Planet (Novo Nordisk), the last survivors of the day’s early break, were caught shortly after Viviani regained contact, and the scene was set for a frantic finale and a grand showdown between the fast men.
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