Alexander Kristoff claimed his second victory for UAE Team Emirates today as he kept his momentum rolling after winning the conclusive stage of the Tour of Oman on Sunday. In the long final straight in Madinat Zayed, he outsprinted Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) who launched from far out despite the headwind. The Australian took third place and the best young rider jersey while Andrea Guardini (Bardiani CSF) – the very first stage winner of the Abu Dhabi Tour back in 2015, also in Madinat Zayed – settled for second. Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) crashed out as he was involved in a fall in the neutralized zone.
1 - Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 189km in 4h48’24”, average speed 39.320km/h
2 - Andrea Guardini (Bardiani CSF) s.t.
3 - Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton - Scott) s.t.
1 - Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)
2 - Andrea Guardini (Bardiani CSF) at 4"
3 - Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton - Scott) at 6"
- The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) - Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)
- The Green Jersey, sponsored by Emirates Post (General individual classification by points) - Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), will be worn tomorrow by Andrea Guardini (Bardiani CSF)
- The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1993) - Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton - Scott)
- The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Nikolay Trusov (Gazprom - Rusvelo)
The winner and Red Jersey Alexander Kristoff said: “I felt good in Dubai, I came close to winning, I felt good again in the hills in Oman but I had to wait for the last stage of Oman to win my first race of the season. I wanted to make a three week block of racing in the Middle East because I’m usually good after a Grand Tour. It’s part of my build up to the classics. Normally, a race like today with tailwind and headwind but very few crosswinds it's not easy for me to beat all the pure sprinters but the slightly uphill end suited me. I got to the front after I lost my lead-out man, Roberto Ferrari. Even if Caleb Ewan is low on his bike and offers no draft, I managed to pass him, I was happy to do so and I was relieved when I crossed the line first. I’m delighted to ride with the Red Jersey tomorrow. I’ll have another two chances for a bunch sprint finish but the GC is more important for the team. However, the time trial makes it more difficult for us to win the Abu Dhabi Tour this year but we’ll try.”
Best young rider Caleb Ewan said: “I felt like I launched my sprint too early. But I was a little bit forced into going early. I didn’t want to hesitate against the headwind because I’d lose all my speed. It was probably about fifty meters earlier than I hoped to have gone but I just had to hit out and try to hold on. It was a little bit too long for me. I’ll come for revenge tomorrow. I feel very good. I must not repeat the same little mistake again.”