Race: Dubai Tour, Stage 3
Start/Finish: Dubai International Marine Club/Hatta Dam, United Arab Emirates
Distance: 205 kilometers
Hatta Dam, UAE — Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor featured in a five-man breakaway on the longest stage of the Dubai Tour. Friday’s queen stage was the only stage with any real climbing at this year’s Dubai Tour. Riders ascended several climbs on the 205-km route before a summit finish featuring gradients of 17 percent up the Hatta Dam.
Team Novo Nordisk was determined to make the day’s break. The attacks began immediately following the neutral section, but the peloton wasn’t ready to let anyone go. Twenty-five kilometers into the race and after numerous counterattacks, several riders were finally able to escape. Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor bridged up to this group and the five-man breakaway earned a maximum gap of nearly eight and a half minutes. Yet as the race ascended the Khalba Road Tunnel for the second time, both the escape and peloton splintered. By the fourth climb, a 40-man front group emerged. This was whittled down to an elite group of half a dozen riders with John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Alpecin) taking the stage win and moving into the overall race lead. Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias finished 19th, 10 seconds behind Degenkolb.
Results: John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Alpecin) won the stage followed by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) and Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar Team).
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing on Saturday with the final stage of the Dubai Tour. Stage 4 is a flat 124-km race that features two intermediate sprints before finishing at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world.