CCC Sprandi Polkowice stayed in the front of the peleton almost throughout the entire stage 1 of Dubai Tour but bad luck prevented the team in claiming top 10 place. Grzegorz Stepniak punctured in the final kilometers and was excluded from the bunch sprint.
My teammates did a great job today, staying in the front and making sure I stay fresh as long as possible. In the last 20km we were one of the teams who set up the pace at the head of the bunch. Unfortunately I got flat tire with 6km to go and my sprint was over. I just tried to stay in the group and not lose any time in the GC. If you take into consideration the work done earlier in the race, places in Top 20 for Grega Bole and Christian Delle Stelle are very impressive – Grzegorz Stepniak said afterwards.
Stepniak, who is a big football fan, had a chance to meet one of the greatest players in the history, Diego Maradona, honor guest of Dubai Tour. It happened the day before the race during the teams’ presentation.
– Even though he didn’t play for my favorite Real Madrid, but for Barcelona and Napoli, he is still a great figure in the world of sport. To have the opportunity to see him and take a picture with him is something special for me – he added.
It was traditional sprint stage, with 5-man group breaking clear at the beginning of the race. Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani – CSF Pro Team),Rafael Valls (Lampre – Merida), Vladimir Gusev (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team), Nicolas Lefrancois (Team Novo Nordisk) and Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare) tried their luck but the peleton didn’t cut them any slack. The advantage never exceeded 2 minutes and the escapees got caught around 20km from the finish.
This is when sprinters teams took center stage. CCC Sprandi Polkowice was among them and the riders were present at the head of bunch, trying to position the sprinter, Grzegorz Stepniak. At the end it was Mark Cavendish who took the stage win and the overall lead. The Brit outsprinted Andrea Guardiniego (Astana) by an inch. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) took third.
Results of stage 1 of Dubai Tour, Dubai – Dubai, 145km
1. Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step)
2. Andrea Guardini (Astana)
3. Elia Viviani (Team Sky)
12. Grega Bole (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 0:00
19. Christian Delle Stelle (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
24. Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
66. Łukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
73. Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
95. Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
111. Jarosław Marycz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 0:46
127. Grzegorz Stępniak (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 0:00