Dubai Tour Stage 1 Race Report: Vliegen Makes the Break3. February 2016, Dubai, UAE — Road Team
It was a day for the breakaway on stage 1 of the Dubai Tour with a six-man breakaway staying away for much of the race before being caught with ten kilometers to go, making way for a sprint finish won by Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quickstep).
There were multiple attempts to form a breakaway in the first hour of the race, before Loïc Vliegen broke clear at 36 kilometers along with Marc Soler (Movistar), Martin Mortensen (One Pro Cycling) and Soufiane Haddi (Skydive Dubai). Charles Planet (Novo Nordisk) and Jesus Alberto Rubio (Al Nasr Pro Cycling Team Dubai) joined soon after, and the group eventually gained 4'15 on the peloton.
Vleigen is happy with his race, which is both his first race of the 2016 season and first race since undergoing surgery to correct a congenital heart defect in October 2015.
"I was feeling good and the legs were good. After a slow winter recovering from the operation, I'm happy that in my first race back I made the breakaway.
"I tried to attack at the beginning of the race and finally I made the break. I was feeling good so in my mind I was thinking about taking a jersey or something. So it was a good day, hard but not too hard. I'm not too tired so I'm looking forward to racing tomorrow and the next days."
Stage 2 is another stage for the sprinters, a 188 kilometer course from the Dubai International Marine Club to Palm Jumeirah (Atlantis).
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