Dubai Tour (st. 4)
Andalusian sprinter from Movistar Team -10th in final stage behind Marcel Kittel (GIA)- confirms full adaptation to Blue ways, team fully committed to Spanish hopeful. Malori takes 7th overall
It was a week of renewed excitement for the Movistar Team in the first-ever Dubai Tour, which came to a close on Saturday as Taylor Phinney (BMC) took overall honours, with Adriano Malori as top Blue performer in 7th following his fine opening TT. The squad directed by Chente García Acosta put all their efforts on protecting Juanjo Lobato, who came into this final stage with full confidence after his good results on Thursday and Friday. The 123km stage four -entirely urban, finishing next to the Burj Khalifa in the Emitati capital, the world’s tallest building- was perfect for him to contest another mass sprint.
The teamwork by Castroviejo, Valverde and Herrada leading up to the sprint, and especially from powerhouses Malori and Dowsett in the final 5k, went ultimately spoiled as the Andalusian was left out of contention as he slightly lost position into the turns prior to the last kilometer. The young sprinter from the telephone squad was 10th behind triple stage winner Kittel (GIA), still closing the race with sweet taste after recovered feelings and full support from Movistar Team on the Trebujena-based’s hopes.
REACTION – Juanjo Lobato: “I’m happy with this result, even though I didn’t win – I came close, with such good rivals like the ones I found here. My feelings on the bike were best on the first sprint on stage two; I don’t know if I could have won, but I think that a second place would have been at my reach. I got boxed in and couldn’t pedal for the final 50 meters. Friday’s was my closest call, but the pace into the final climbs was really fast and I had spent much energy before the sprint. Kittel was sensational this week. Today’s finish didn’t suit me really well and I didn’t feel strong either. Despite that, the teamwork was brilliant. This is the best team I have ever made part of – I have no words to thank them for their commitment. I’m only lacking a bit more experience, because I’m not used to have such strong team-mates to lead me out into sprints. This makes me confident for the next races; I’m feeling well and I have a great team at my side. Let’s hope the first win comes soon, but I’m not obsessed with that.”