Dubai Tour (final report)
Juanjo Lobato keeps claiming spot between world's top sprinters, takes 3rd overall in Dubai Tour after third place finish in front of Burj Khalifa. Great week for Movistar Team as Alejandro Valverde finishes in 4th GC
As Mark Cavendish (EQS) took overall honours in the 2015 Dubai, the Movistar Team left the 2015 Dubai Tour satisfied, one of the telephone squad's members stepping onto the final podium with a remarkable Juanjo Lobato taking 3rd place. The Andalusian replaced team-mate Alejandro Valverde on the top-3 by claiming the third spot on today's sprint in front of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, only behind Cavendish himself and Italian Elia Viviani (SKY).
Once again, the Movistar Team riders worked relentlessly for their main references. Capecchi and Visconti got into the chase behind a dangerous break of the day -with Canola (UHC), eventually 5th behind the two Blues, going for the bonus seconds-, while Lastras, Malori, Castroviejo and Herrada focused their energy spread on the final 5km, to leave Lobato in good place as his legs responded like no other day in the Emirates. The Trebujena-based rider thus takes his second GC podium finish as professional -he already finished runner-up in the 2014 Tour de Wallonie- and keeps making the green 'M' shine in a season start really encouraging for the Spanish outfit, who will start their participation in the Tour of Qatar in less than 24 hours' time.
Juanjo Lobato: "One way or another, I was always lacking something to contest the victory so far in this race, but I knew today it was going to be my day – legs felt quite easier than before and the team was superb in the end. I came fresher to the finale than in previous occassions and the push by the team, initially to chase the break down and then putting me into position in the final 5k, made things a lot easier. There was sort of a stop into the sprint line with 300m to go; things got a bit messy and I swerved a bit to search for my sprinting distance. That might have made me not being able to fight for it 100%, because I wasn't right on the wheel in front of me.
"It was a hard week for me: I didn't recover well in the days between Australia and Dubai due to jet-lag and I wasn't feeling really 'awake' on course, there was some energy left for my 100% on sprints. Still, I'm more than happy with this podium. Now I'll take some days' rest at home before Almería and Andalucía, two races on home soil I really love, and then I'll go for some training in the beginning of March before the GP Nobili and, at last, Milano-Sanremo, my biggest goal in the early season. The other one in 2015, after the Giro, will be the Worlds: I think I'm earning credit to ride it from the start of the season and I'll keep fighting to convince everyone I deserve it."