TNN Looks to Give Valognes Learning Experience at Dubai Tour
01 February 2017
Race: Dubai Tour, Stage 2
Start/Finish: Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Distance: 186 kilometers
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE — Wednesday’s 186-kilometer Stage 2 of the Dubai Tour was another flat race designed for the sprinters.
A five-man breakaway escaped before the day’s first intermediate sprint with escapee Jempy Drucker (BMC Racing Team) taking top honors through the sprint. The group built a maximum gap of around 4:30 minutes and Drucker took top honors through the second and final intermediate sprint. The Luxembourgish cyclist then dropped back to the peloton, leaving a four-man break off the front. This group was caught inside the final ten kilometers. In a fast run into the finish, which saw World Tour sprint trains battling it out for position, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) took top honors for the second consecutive day. Quentin Valognes finished as Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider in 28th position.
“We worked for Quentin again today because it is his first race at this level and he’s a good sprinter. We stayed together the whole day and at the end, we were pulling hard well for him. It was really fast at the end and I went full gas when I could find a gap but we ended up getting separated. Tomorrow is another sprint day, so another opportunity for Quentin. It is his first race, and we all know this race is a solid learning opportunity for him.”
Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko
“Today wasn’t much different from yesterday–our goal was to protect Quentin. This went well until the end of the race when there was a sharp right and then sharp left turn. This split the guys up and Quentin ended up all alone.
The speed is incredibly high here in Dubai and we are racing against the best sprinters in the world. We are a young team, and we are here to support Quentin. It is his first professional stage race. We know he is a neo-pro and still needs to learn a lot but we are fully behind him as our sprinter. Tomorrow, our goal will be to get a rider into the breakaway.”
Team Novo Nordisk continues racing at the Dubai Tour on Thursday with Stage 3. The 200-km sprint stage begins at the Dubai International Marine Club, runs across the desert between Dubai and Fujairah and finishes in Al Aqah along the Gulf of Oman.
- 1st: Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors): 4:25:33
- 2nd: Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo): same time as Kittel
- 3rd: Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina): same time as Kittel
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Quentin Valognes: 28th: same time as Kittel
- Umberto Poli: 55th: same time as Kittel
- Chris Williams: 64th: same time as Kittel
- Charles Planet: 65th: same time as Kittel
- Joonas Henttala: 66th: same time as Kittel
- David Lozano: 83rd: same time as Kittel
- Stephen Clancy: 92nd: same time as Kittel
- Gerd de Keijzer: 104th: 0:30 behind Kittel