The German rode his teammates' wheels until 200 meters to go, and then surged to victory in stage 1 on Palm Jumeirah.

A textbook leadout allowed Marcel Kittel to take a sprint victory in the opening stage of the Dubai Tour Tuesday.

The Quick-Step Floors rider emerged from his teammates’ slipstreams with 200 meters to go, at which point he slammed it into overdrive and hustled to victory. LottoNL – Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen claimed second and Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish was third in the 181-kilometer stage in Dubai that ended on the artificial archipelago of Palm Jumeirah.

“I’m really happy. In the last few days I felt I was very confident about the team. I’m happy to have a winning start, just like last year,” said Kittel, who won the opening stage in Dubai last year and has six stage wins at the race dating back to 2014.

Top 10, stage 1

“It was difficult to time it right because there are a lot of strong sprinters here and you need to find the right moment. We were always in a good position, not really in the front, but we chose the right distance to go for it,” Kittel said. “After we passed the last roundabout, we tried to find each other and we went full gas to the finish line. It worked really well.”

Kittel opted to ride a bike equipped with disc brakes for Monday’s stage and it ended up being his first career win on that type of setup.

“A lot of riders came to me today and asked me about that, they were curious about the disc brakes and how it feels to ride with it,” Kittel said. “I think I made the right choice and I’m happy to have it this season.”

Kittel has a 3-second lead over Nicola Boem (Bardiani – CSF) and a 4-second advantage over Groenewegen in the GC standings.

Five riders — Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Matteo Bono (UAE Abu Dhabi), Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing), Daniel Pearson (Aqua Blue Sport), and Tom Stewart (ONE Pro Cycling) — attacked early in the stage and formed a breakaway. They rode at the front all day but were kept in check, taking a lead of no more than 4 minutes over the peloton.

With 10km remaining in the stage, the escapees were caught by the main field.

The Dubai Tour picks up with Wednesday’s stage 2, a 188km route from Dubai to Ras al Khaimah.

Stage 1 results

General classification