Mark Cavendish screams in delight after winning the third stage of the Dubai Tour on Thursday. Photo: @dubaitour via Twitter

DUBAI – British sprint king Mark Cavendish earned his first win of the year by claiming victory in the third stage of the Dubai Tour on Thursday.

The 32-year-old former world champion edged out France’s Nacer Bouhanni and German powerhouse Marcel Kittel at the end of the 180km stage from Dubai to Fujairah.

Italian Elia Viviani, winner of Wednesday’s second stage, is the new leader after Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen, Tuesday’s opening stage victor, was penalised 20 seconds for drafting – using a team car to shield himself from the wind.

Groenewegen dropped to 42nd overall with Cavendish up to second, four seconds off Viviani.

Friday’s fourth stage is a 172km ride from Dubai to Hatta Dam.

Results

1. Mark Cavendish (GB/DOD) 3hr 53min 46sec, 2. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/CDF) same time, 3. Marcel Kittel (GER/TKA) s.t., 4. Adam Blythe (GB/ABS) s.t., 5. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/TBM) s.t.

Overall Standings:

1. Elia Viviani (ITA/QST) 12hr 19min 36sec, 2. Mark Cavendish (GB/DOD) at 4sec, 3. Nathan Van Hooydonk (BEL/BMC) 7, 4. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DAN/AST) 8, 5. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/CFD) s.t.