Stage two of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour provided the sprint showdown that fans have been waiting for, fought out by some of the biggest names in the sport.

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) all contested the fast finish after the pan-flat second stage in Abu Dhabi City.

It was a close-run match, with Kittel coming out on top after a premature victory celebration by young Australian contender Ewan.

>>> Abu Dhabi Tour 2017: Latest news, reports and info

Race leader Cavendish came home for third to retain the red jersey going into Saturday’s third and penultimate stage of the newly-appointed WorldTour event.

The race lead will undoubtedly change hands after stage three, as the day finishes with a long climb to the top of Jebel Hafeet – the only climb of the entire race.

It will be a chance for those riders with general classification aspirations to show their hand. With the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) all in attendance, there could be a hotly-fought battle between some of the leading Grand Tour riders of their generation.

The 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour concludes on Sunday, February 26, with one final sprint stage.