Dubai - German sprinter Marcel Kittel won the first stage of the Tour of Dubai on Wednesday when he edged out last year's winner, Britain's Mark Cavendish, in a bunch sprint.
After the 173km run from the Dubai Marine Club to Fujairah, Italy's Giacomo Nizzolo came in third with the top three picking up time bonuses of 10, six and four seconds, giving the three the lead in the overall standings.
This first of four stages featured a long escape led by Loic Vliegen and Martin Mortensen, which was reeled in comfortably, however, with 10 kilometres to race.
Thursday's second stage also embarks from the Marine Club for a 183km ride out around the outskirts of the city, back through the port and out onto the finish line at Palm Jumeirah.Results and overall standings after the 173km first stage of the Tour of Dubai on Wednesday:
1. Marcel Kittel (GER/ETI) 173km in 03hr 35min 21sec, 2. Mark Cavendish (GBR/DDD) same time, 3. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TRE) s.t., 4. Sacha Modolo (ITA/LAM) s.t., 5. Andrea Palini (ITA/Skydive) s.t.
1. Marcel Kittel (GER/ETI) 03hr 35min 21sec, 2. Mark Cavendish (GBR/DDD) at 4sec, 3. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TRE) at 6, 4. Sacha Modolo (ITA/LAM) at 10, 5. Andrea Palini (ITA/Skydive) at 10.