Dubai (st. 4) / Comunitat Valenciana (st. 3)
Gusts and sandstorms force Dubai Tour organisers to cancel day four; crosswinds in Valencia split peloton as Quintana now places 9th
Winds were an absolute protagonist at the Movistar Team's two races scheduled for Friday. Over at Dubai Tour's stage four, an already-shortened 109km with two laps of a circuit finishing atop the Hatta Dam, increasing gusts and dangerous sandstorms, added to poor visibility, forced organisers, by mutual agreement with riders and teams, to cancel the day's racing. Alex Dowsett thus remains in seventh place overall, 14" in arrears of Marcel Kittel (QST), before Saturday's 124km inside the highways of the big Emirati city wrap things up.
In turn, at the Blues' second competition, the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, the 162km route from Canals to Riba-Roja de Túria saw crosswinds creating several splits into the field. The Movistar Team, always attentive and surrounding their leader Nairo Quintana, made sure the Colombian finished the stage up-front (24th) to keep his 54-second gap to Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), now sitting 9th overall. Fireworks will come tomorrow, with the Queen stage covering 180km with five categorized climbs. The Cat-1 ascent to Mas de la Costa will be the decider.
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