Elia Viviani is in the midst of a sparkling run with two Stage wins already after changing teams but his rival Marcel Kittel is finding it the hard way.
Kittel made the switch from Quick-Step Floors to Team Katusha Alpecin at the start of the season but the top sprinter has endured a poor spell and has not had the rub of the green.
The German came into the Dubai Tour, eyeing a hat-trick of wins, but he is yet to win a Stage across the two days.
After finishing 18th in the Nakheel Stage, the opening Stage of the Tour, Kittel came in 17th in the Ras Al Khaimah Stage, the second Stage. He is placed 17th in the General Classification.
It might be frustrating to see his rivals pulling away Kittel was not despondent after the work put in by his lead-out train.
Kittel was philosophical of the whole thing and felt that they will learn from this and come back stronger.
“We learn more from our defeats than our victories. If we continue like this, our first win isn’t far away,” Kittel said after the Stage.
Meanwhile, Dylan Groenewegen was a tad disappointed after missing out on successive Stage wins. The Team Lotto NL-Jumbo rider, who had a mechanical issue and changed bikes, finished second to Stage winner Elia Viviani of Quick-Step Floors.
But despite that, the Dutchman remained optimistic about winning the Tour. He still leads the General Classification over Viviani.
“I’m a little bit disappointed because of a mechanical that made me lose my train,” said Groenewegen.
“It’s very hard to come only second today (Wednesday) after winning yesterday (Tuesday). I had mechanical problems with my first bike, and also with the second 1.5km before the finish. That’s how I lost my sprint train and I came very late to the front for sprinting. The only good point for today is that I’m still in the lead of the overall classification but I wanted to win the stage. But everything remains possible for me in the Dubai Tour. I’ll try to win the GC,” the 24-year-old added.
Meanwhile, the UAE Flag Jersey leader Nathan Van Hooydonck said: “Yesterday (Tuesday) I was feeling good and the pace of the breakaway wasn’t too high. So I decided that if I felt good in the neutral zone, I’d give it another try. Tomorrow (Thursday) I’ll probably take it easier because breaking away three days in a row might be a bit too much. The jersey is a bonus as we’re here to prepare for further goals. If I see a chance to win the intermediate sprints classification I’ll go for it,”
Credits : khaleejtimes.com