Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) reflected on his near-miss on stage two of the Dubai Tour on Thursday.

Cavendish was beaten to the line by Italian fastman Elia Viviani, taking his first win for Team Sky but was pragmatic about his performance – and that of Viviani.

“We were well organised, but so were the other teams,” said Cavendish after the finish. Cavendish explained that the day’s crosswinds also played a part in the finale.

“The wind was coming from the left, we knew it was coming from the left, but unfortunately we were on the wrong side out of the last roundabout. It’s really a dragstrip race until that roundabout, that U-turn. We just lost it, so we had to come around the hard way.

>>> Elia Viviani pips Mark Cavendish to win Dubai Tour stage two

As usual, Cavendish was quick to praise his team’s efforts.

“The guys did an incredible job but just coming out on the windy side took me out of my comfort zone a little bit and I just lost the edge there in the sprint,” he said.

“I’m happy with my power, I’m happy with the team, it’s just Elia [Viviani] was faster today, and that’s it.”

Viviani said that the stage distance and finish suited him: “This stage was perfect for me, it was longer – not the same as yesterday. In this distance, I think I can beat the best sprinters in the world.

“We tried a few times in the Mallorca Challenge, but every time something was wrong but today was perfect work and a perfect sprint.”