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.

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 kilometres 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.

Friday’s fourth stage is over 172 km. – Agence France-Presse

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