Towards decisive weekend in Abu Dhabi

23 February 2018
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Abu Dhabi Tour (st. 3)

Movistar Team keeps Alejandro Valverde in a perfect position overall (8th, +10″) before Saturday’s 12km ITT and Sunday’s Jebel Hafeet mountain-top finish.

A milimeter sprint rewarded Germany’s Phil Bauhaus (SUN) from second-placed Marcel Kittel (TKA) at the end of day three in the Abu Dhabi Tour, the shortest road stage in the 2018 edition over just 133km from the capital city’s nation towers to the Al Marina shoreline zone.

The Movistar Team completed a fantastic work for its leader at the final of three flat stages prior to the key weekend in the race, in a more calm way than Thursday as no echelons were formed into the crosswinds, despite numerous attempts by different teams. De la Parte, Rojas, Pedrero and Valls took to the front for most of the second part of the stage, replaced later on, into the final ten kilometers, by a powerful Jasha Sütterlin and Daniele Bennati.

Alejandro Valverde was able to cross the line with no time lost thanks to the Blues’ work and now sits 8th overall, 10″ behind Elia Viviani (QST), before the duo of decisive stages for the GC result. Saturday will bring a 11.8km individual time trial in the Al Maryah island, before the climbers go for the showdown on the slopes of Jebel Hafeet, Sunday.

Picture (c): BettiniPhoto.net