John Degenkolb powers to Dubai Tour stage three victory

Mark Cavendish slips to second place overall after John Degenkolb wins the third stage of the 2015 Dubai Tour

John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) won stage three of the Dubai Tour thanks to a considerable effort in an uphill sprint to the finish.

The German also takes over from Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) as overall leader. Cavendish does, however, lie only four seconds adrift in second place, so could yet regain the title in tomorrow’s final stage.

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Degenkolb capitalised on the good position his Giant-Alpecin teammates put him in to produce a powerful surge in the viciously steep ramp to the finish, to come in two seconds ahead of the Movistar duo of Alejandro Valverde and Juan Jose Lobato.

The effort clearly took a lot out of the Giant-Alpecin rider, who lay flat on his back on the road after winning the stage.

Sky’s Geraint Thomas had initially tried to follow Degenkolb’s move, but could not keep with his devastating pace.

Earlier, a big group including Cavendish and Elia Viviani (Sky) had been dropped on the climb, before good work from Etixx-QuickStep saw them catch back up to the peloton with 30km to go.

The catch prompted an attack from Francesco Mancebo (Skydive), who was later caught by Angel Vicioso (Katusha) and Lars Boom (Astana), but the race all came back together in the run-in to the line.

Dubai Tour 2015, stage three: Dubai International Marine Club to Hatta Dam, 205km
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2 secs
3. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar
4. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing
7. Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at same time
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing at 7 secs
9. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky
10. Edgar Pinto (Por) Skydive Dubai at same time

Overall classification after stage three
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
2. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx-QuickStep at 4 secs
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6 secs
4. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar at 8 secs
5. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) UnitedHealthcare at 11 secs
6. Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 12 secs
7. Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare at 12 secs
8. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing at 12 secs
9. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 12 secs
10. Edgar Pinto (Por) Skydive Dubai  at 17 secs