Mark Cavendish said he was ‘terrified for his life’ in the chaotic finish to the first stage of the Dubai Tour.
Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) triumphed on a stage to the Palm Jumeriah that was always likely to end in a bunch sprint. He and fellow podium finishers Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) and Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) had clear air between them and the rest of the peloton as others jostled for position behind.
Cavendish, who finished outside the top ten, said the first sprint he has been involved in this season had been dangerously unruly.
“It was chaotic at the finish I was terrified for my life,” the Dimension Data captain said.
“I wasn’t trying to fight to get on a wheel, I was fighting to dodge guys who were turning left across the peloton. The UCI ruled over the winter that it was alright to cut across the peloton so I guess everyone was doing it now.”
He added: “I wasn’t able to sprint at all there was a couple of spaces at 3-400 metres to go that I thought I’d go in but then someone, for some reason, was going the other way so…”