Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish has won the third stage of the 5th Dubai Tour.
LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen was still the leader for this 180km stage which started from the Skydive Dubai and finished in the Corniche RD Fulairah.
Simone Bevilacqua (Willier), Mark Christian (Aqua Blue Sport), Loic Vliegen (BMC Racing Team) and Quentin Valognes (Team Novo Nordisk) formed the break on a day where temperatures were at 28 degrees at 10am.
There were cross winds as the break went into the last 75km of the stage with a lead of less than a minute and Nacer Bouhanni having crashed.
The break was quickly swept up and Mark Cavendish, who admitted his Dimension Data team were on a learning curve, punctured.
With 27.4kms to go, BMC sent a rider up in Tom Bohli up the road and he stayed away until there was 14.7kms left.
The sprint trains started to move forward with Bahrain Merida on the front.
Katusha led under flam rouge. Viviani was led out but up came Mark Cavendish to take the win in 3.53.46 ahead of Bouhanni, Kittel and Adam Blythe with Dylan Groenewegen, who lost his lead in the race to Elia Viviani, tenth.
"I had good feelings today," said Cavendish, who is now second on GC . "I can't beat Viviani in a drag strip race so I had to use to the jump.
"I just wanted to open my account.
If I had kept pedalling yesterday, I would have got second and been in a jersey so I have let myself and my team down there."
KEV MONKS FOR DIGITAL SPORTS GROUP