Taylor Phinney: The American cyclist clinched the inaugural Dubai Tour title Saturday despite Germany’s Marcel Kittel winning the final stage — Kittel’s third stage win of the event.

Phinney played it safe and held on to the blue jersey he got after winning the opening day’s individual time trial. He finished the tour 15 seconds ahead of BMC Racing teammate Stephen Cummings, while Garmin-Sharp’s Lasse Norman Hansen was third, 17 seconds behind Phinney.

“Every day I felt like it was my race to lose,” Phinney said, “so every day I felt relieved.”

Kittel dominated the sprint finish to come in ahead of Australian Mark Renshaw and Andrea Guardini of Italy. Kittel’s winning time for the 122-kilometer final stage was 2 hours, 41 minutes, 9 seconds.

Briton Mark Cavendish was expected to be Kittel’s biggest challenger, but a tire puncture took him out of contention.

The Associated Press