With a completely flat stage profile and a small wind, everyone expected a day for the sprinters. The day's breakaway of 5 riders (with a maximum advantage of 3 minutes) couldn't prevent the peloton for going into a final bunch sprint in the streets of Dubai. However, the final was a dangerous one with a high speed and a crash with four of our riders involved: Truls Korsaeth, Daniil Fomynikh, Zhandos Bizhigitov and Laurens de Vreese went down with 7 km to go to the finish line. Luckily, all riders finished and will start tomorrow at stage 2 with no serious injuries.
In the final kilometer it was Magnus Cort who pulled off a strong sprint, being in front of the bunch at the final 100 meters, but just before the finish line it was Dylan Groenewegen who took the win just in front of him. So, the first podium after a bunch sprint in this season for Astana Pro Team with Magnus Cort at a second place.
- It's a very nice start for my season at Astana Pro Team. It’s a very good peloton here, so I’m happy with the second place. But of course when you’re so close on the win it’s impossible not to be a little bit disappointed but I have to be happy because of the strong peloton here. So it was a good day and of course I have to thank the team as well for this, - told Magnus Cort after the stage.
- We had our riders in front as planned. I did not see what exactly happened there, but four of our riders crashed down while they were trying to bring our sprinter Riccardo Minali to the front. For today we had Minali as our main sprinter and Magnus had some freedom. Finally, Magnus did a very strong sprint and we are happy with his performance today. We are expecting more from Magnus in the classics, but here in Dubai we showed a really good sprint side to side with the best world sprinters. So, let's see what will happen in the next days, I think stages 3 and 4 suit even more for Magnus. - explained Kazakh sports director Alexandr Shefer.
Stage 2 of the race will be held tomorrow: it will be a 190-km long race from Skydive Dubai to Ras al Khaimah.