The first stage of the Dubai Tour ended with an impressive seventh place finish for Eric Young. The Boulder, Colorado resident was ushered to the front by his teammates in the closing meters of the flat 167 km stage, starting at SkyDive Dubai and finishing at Palm Jumeirah along the Persian Gulf. Sprinting against the world’s best, he finished on the heels of Alexander Kristoff and ahead of the likes of Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish.
Having recently qualified to represent Team USA at the track world championships, Young is the team’s in-form sprinter. Following the call from Team Director Eric Wohlberg, Rally Cycling assembled on the front of the peloton with eight kilometers remaining.
“We did a lead into the technical part of the finish at around eight kilometers to go,” said Eric Young. “All seven guys were on the front, riding hard to stay out of trouble. Against the caliber of teams we are racing against, and in our first race of 2018, they did an amazing job.”
The team’s effort allowed Ty Magner, Brad Huff, and Eric Young to get into great position, only a few wheels back heading into the final five kilometers. “There was a lot of movement in the field and it made for a hectic finish,” said Young. “I definitely made a few mistakes looking back, but was able to stay in the top ten for the finish. The guys are in good spirits, albeit definitely bummed for Jesse. Excited to give it another go tomorrow!”
Tomorrow’s stage two will cover 186 km, finishing once again along the Persian Gulf in Ras Al Khaimah. Although one rider down, Rally Cycling will look to set up Eric Young and his leadout companions in what will almost surely be a field sprint.
1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 3:51:35
2 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Astana Pro Team
3 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
5 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
6 Jacob Hennessy (GBr) Mitchelton-BikeExchange
7 Eric Young (USA) Rally Cycling
8 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9 Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
10 Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
Disaster struck inside the final ten kilometers when the team tangled with their rivals, causing Robin Carpenter and Jesse Anthony to hit the ground at 50 kilometers per hour. Anthony was diagnosed with a broken humerus at the hospital and his early season has come to an end. Carpenter suffered some road rash but is expected to start stage two.