John Degenkolb out-foxes the pure sprinters on a windy day in Dubai to win stage 3 of the Dubai Tour.

DUBAI (AFP) — John Degenkolb fended off swirling winds to upstage decorated fellow German sprinter Marcel Kittel and win the third stage of the Tour of Dubai on Thursday.

“It was pretty hard the last two kilometers,” Degenkolb said. “We had to come from pretty far back, but we as a team kept really calm and waited for the moment. It was most important we stayed together and helped each other and in the end. We had a super good lead-out, and I could jump on Kiel’s [Reijnen] wheel and then luckily I could overtake in the last few meters. It was just perfect; the timing was right.”

Stage 3, top 10

Top-10 overall

The Quick Step team’s Kittel, the defending Dubai champion, had clinched the first two of a total of five stages in peerless style and remains in the overall lead.

But it was Trek – Segafredo’s Degenkolb — now third in the general classification — who stole the limelight on Thursday, powering over the 200 kilometers in just over four hours, with Reinhard Janse van Rensburg of South Africa and Italy’s Sonny Colbrelli second and third in hot pursuit.

Degenkolb coped best with the tricky conditions, which saw strong winds kicking up the sand, causing several riders to tumble off their bikes over what was the longest stage of the race. Kittel came home in 11th, suffering a slight facial injury after an altercation with Andrei Grivko, who was subsequently disqualified.

Friday’s stage 4 is 172km from Dubai to Hatta Dam, the race’s only uphill finish.

Stage 3 results

General classification