Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) won a two man sprint on the Jebel Hafeet to secure overall victory in Abu Dhabi Tour. The Portuguese rider beat Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), while third place went to Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was the first of the GC contenders to test the waters on the final climb, but the Colombian’s effort was quickly neutralized by his rivals.
Rui Costa then attacked and was later joined by Zakarin. Many movements took place behind them, most notably the attack by Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin. The Dutchman went into full time trial mode in an attempt to catch the leaders and almost did so with about one kilometer to go but failed to bridge the final gap.
In the sprint, Rui Costa had the stronger legs by far and easily beat his Russian companion to secure the victory and take the lead in the overall classification.
“I started the final climb a long way back and I had to put a lot of effort in to reach the front of the peloton,” Rui Costa said at the finish.
“When I got there I realised that my legs were good and I tried to surprise the others with an attack from a long way out. That was the right tactic. I was still suffering from the initial effort so I saved myself with Zakarin at the end to recuperate for the final sprint. For us it was very important to have a great result here.”
“I can’t say I was under pressure but psychologically I knew we had to perform at our best. We won and there couldn’t be a better result. We are extremely happy for this victory here in Abu Dhabi, with a new sponsor and a brand new jersey. I’m very happy with this victory that will boost my morale for the remainder of the season”.
Abu Dhabi Tour 2017 – stage 3 results (Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium – Jebel Hafeet):
|1||Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates)|
|2||Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|3||Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)|
|4||Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)|
|5||Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)|
|6||Fabio Aru (Astana)|
|7||Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|8||George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo)|
|9||Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R)|
|10||Nairo Quintana (Movistar)|