Valognes Gets in the Mix at Dubai Tour
31 January 2017
Race: Dubai Tour, Stage 1
Start/Finish: Dubai/Palm Jumeirah, UAE
Distance: 181 kilometers
Palm Jumeirah, UAE — Two Team Novo Nordisk neo-pro’s made their professional debuts on Stage 1 of the Dubai Tour: Frenchman Quentin Valognes and Italian Umberto Poli.
From the start, Tuesday’s 181-kilometer race served as the ideal stage for a final bunch sprint. Racing under clear skies, a five-man break escaped early into the stage and built up a maximum gap of 4:23. With 10-km remaining, the escapees were caught and the peloton started to increase its pace leading into the finish on the Palm Jumeirah. Throughout the high-speed, hectic finish, Valognes stayed on the wheel of teammate Charles Planet as they fought for position against 10 World Tour teams. In the finish, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) took the win with Planet and Valognes coming in 26th and 27th, respectively.
“I learned that we can do it and it’s possible to be up there during a bunch sprint against teams and riders of this caliber. I know we need more experience and I definitely made some mistakes, but my takeaway today is that is possible for me to be there.”
Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko
“Year-by-year, it is very noticeable that this team is getting better. They raced today as a team and together fought for top position at the front of the peloton against some very strong riders. They have earned their respect and I am really proud of how today went.”
Team Novo Nordisk continues racing at the Dubai Tour on Wednesday with Stage 2. The flat 186-km race begins at the Dubai International Marine Club and finishes in the Emirate’s capital.
- 1st: Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors): 4:06:33
- 2nd: Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo): same time as Kittel
- 3rd: Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data): same time as Kittel
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Charles Planet: 26th: same time as Kittel
- Quentin Valognes: 27th: same time as Kittel
- David Lozano: 57th: same time as Kittel
- Joonas Henttala: 59th: same time as Kittel
- Stephen Clancy: 68th: same time as Kittel
- Umberto Poli: 86th: same time as Kittel
- Chris Williams: 98th: 1:37 behind Kittel
- Gerd de Keijzer: 99th: 1:37 behind Kittel