Echelons made Stage 2 of the Abu Dhabi Tour a very competitive race with the threat of losing it all for some of the big names in contention but Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) continued his winning streak after he successfully raced at the Tour Down Under in Australia and claimed two stages and the overall classification of the Dubai Tour. Young guns Danny Van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) rounded out the podium while Viviani succeeded to Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) in the Red Jersey.
1 - Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 148km in 3h15’30”, average speed 45.421km/h
2 - Danny Van Poppel (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo) s.t.
3 - Pascal Ackermann (Bora - Hansgrohe) s.t.
1 - Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
2 - Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) s.t
3 - Danny Van Poppel (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo) at 4"
- The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) - Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
- The Green Jersey, sponsored by Emirates Post (General individual classification by points) - Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), will be worn by Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)
- The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1993) - Danny Van Poppel (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)
- The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Nikolay Trusov (Gazprom - Rusvelo)
Stage winner and race leader Elia Viviani: “We were ready to be the first team to create echelons, we did it 5km before and it came back together. When Lotto and Movistar went for it, we missed the moment. We were relaxed at the wrong time. They opened the gap. I told my team-mates to wait for me, not the GC riders but my lead-out train. Alexander Kristoff and other sprinters were with me, so we could close the gap. We knew the last part of the race was with a headwind. I feel lucky to have Quick-Step for leading me out: three guys are able to accelerate at the same speed I sprint. Now I just have to stay focused on Fabio Sabatini’s wheel. He knows when to make an effort. He’s the best lead-out man in the world. He’s a different Saba than the team-mate I had at Liquigas before. With Max Richeze, we actually have the two best lead out men in the world, not just one.”
Best young rider Danny Van Poppel said: “Elia Viviani is the fastest sprinter at the moment. It’s not a shame to be second to him. But I’m disappointed because the team did a great job and I really wanted to finish it off. In the echelons, I was confident that our front group would make it because there were a lot of GC guys taking turns and I thought I had a big chance to win because Elia wasn’t up there. They came across but it was nice to be part of a hard race. It’ll be hard to defend the best young rider position because of the uphill finish on the last day but it’ll be nice to race in the white jersey tomorrow.”