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Valverde unalterable at Abu Dhabi’s crosswinds

25 February 2019
Imagen de la noticia ‛Valverde unalterable at Abu Dhabi’s crosswinds’

UAE Tour (st. 2)

World Champion duly supported by strong Movistar Team -with Lluís Mas as top helper into crosswinds halfway through Monday’s race-, gets safely through difficult first road stage in Abu Dhabi prior to Monday’s Jebel Hafeet climb, where he won in 2018.

Fernando Gaviria (UAD) offered the local sponsor a victory on stage two -the first road, point-to-point effort of the week- in the UAE Tour, 184km around Abu Dhabi. It was not, however, a classic sprint stage, as there was a hectic 30km halfway through the day’s race due to crosswinds in the most exposed zone outside of the city.

The feared crosswinds appear – and Alejandro Valverde doesn’t miss a single beat. (c) Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto.net

The Movistar Team covered perfectly the move created by BOH and LTS, putting Jasha Sütterlin together with Alejandro Valverde at the front of the bunch and then having the World Champion alongside Lluís Mas into a lead move of about 20 riders, which built an advantage exceeding 1′ over the main field.

As the race got back to the city, 70km before the finish, Valverde’s group -which also featured the likes of race leader Roglic (TJV) or Gaviria himself- calmed down and was caught by the big peloton, the race now turning back to the traditional ‘break – chase – sprint’ scenario.

The Movistar Team protects Valverde during stage two. (c) Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto.net

Valverde, very well protected by his six team-mates in the approach to the line, finished into the first half of the bunch to stay 18″ behind the red jersey, and will now focus on the first of three mountain-top finishes in the race: Jebel Hafeet (10.8km at 5.4%), Tuesday. There, Alejandro will try to match his brilliant 2018 performance, when he conquered the GC of the now-defunct Abu Dhabi Tour by winning on its slopes.

Cover picture (c): LaPresse / UAE Tour

Male Team 24 Feb - 02 Mar

UAE Tour UAE

(2nd Stage) Yas Mall - Abu Dhabi (184 km)
  1. 01 Fernando Gaviria UAE Team Emirates 3h36'32"
  2. 02 Elia Viviani Deceuninck - Quick Step "
  3. 03 Caleb Ewan Lotto Soudal "
  4. 21 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team "
  5. 59 Jasha Sütterlin Movistar Team "
  6. 76 Lluís Mas Movistar Team "
  7. 78 Nelson Oliveira Movistar Team "
  8. 107 Andrey Amador Movistar Team "
  9. 111 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team "
  10. 121 Jaime Castrillo Movistar Team "
See prov general ranking
  1. 01 Primož Roglič Jumbo - Visma 4h53'21"
  2. 02 Laurens de Plus Jumbo - Visma "
  3. 03 Koen Bouwman Jumbo - Visma "
  4. 17 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team +18"
  5. 18 Jasha Sütterlin Movistar Team "
  6. 19 Lluís Mas Movistar Team "
  7. 20 Nelson Oliveira Movistar Team "
  8. 21 Andrey Amador Movistar Team "
  9. 102 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team +1'16"
  10. 121 Jaime Castrillo Movistar Team +2'00"
See stage ranking