Dubai Tour (st. 2)
Kittel (GIA), Sagan (CAN) and GC leader Phinney (BMC) only riders able to beat Andalusian from Movistar Team at first mass sprint in Dubai. Lumpiest route in the race set for Friday
Juanjo Lobato’s first chance into a bunch sprint as a Movistar Team rider after many complicated finishes for him in the Tour Down Under -“I didn’t well in Australia… It was so hot, and I didn’t seem to get into the form I was supposed to after hard training blocks – I’m feeling much better here,” explained after the stage– saw him taking his quality on sprinting duties to the spotlight. The Andalusian rider took 4th on stage two of the Dubai Tour, a short (122km) route from the emirate’s capital to the Palm Jumeirah island with less gutsy winds than expected.
The three-man breakaway by Nunes (BBC), Mancebo (SKD) and Smit (VFN) never put the bunch into trouble, with the Movistar Team and even Alejandro Valverde himself drilling at the front to help and chase the escapees one by one until the attempt was neutralized with 10k from the finish. After a good leadout from his team-mates, Lobato hobnobbed within the top sprinters in the field to come close to a victory he really missed, punching his handlebar after crossing the line behind Kittel (GIA), Sagan (CAN) and GC leader Phinney (BMC).
It was nonetheless a great performance from the Trebujena-based oungster, who will have another shot on Saturday during the final stage – before that, some slopes en route to Hatta (162km), where a shorter field is expected to finish together. Adriano Malori is still in seventh overall after Wednesday’s TT.