The Portuguese rider Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) has won the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour, the unique UCI WorldTour race in the Middle East.
1 – Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi)
2 – Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) a 4 ”
3 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) a 16 ”
4 – Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) a 38 ”
5 – Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) a 53 ”
At the press conference, the stage winner Caleb Ewan, said: “It feels great. This Tour started on a low with the crash then on stage two I came close but stuffed it up. It was great to repay the team for stuffing it up the other day. The team started working super early and were great.
For sure beating Cav, Greipel and Kittel in a straight-up sprint means a lot. They’re the benchmark. It’s a massive thing for me. I think there’s been a progression over time. I hope I can continue to improve and beat those guys in the future.
My next races will be Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, then I’ll start building for Giro, which is my next big goal.
This gives me confidence for Milan-Sanremo. The races I’ve done so far have been nothing like Milan-Sanremo but I’m training for long races to get ready. This year at Sanremo is a learning experience but if I can make it to the finale of course I’ll go for the win.
The more I work with Roger Kluge, the more confident he’s becoming. He had to go early today and use some guys from other teams but I was able to take it up around the last corner, keep picking up speed and it worked great.
When we came to the slow part, after the last intermediate sprint, I said to the guys we should take it up. On a circuit like this, if you leave it later, you can lose the team and only use half of them.
I think I sprinted past the line today just to make sure I didn’t make the mistake of celebrating early. What happened the other day and the mistake I made did go through my mind.”
The Abu Dhabi Tour winner Rui Costa said: “It’s true that in the rain the circuit was tough and complicated. It was a good thing that the team did such great work and in the end we won without too many problems.
The form is good and I hope I don’t have any problems between now and Tirreno Adriatico. I’m sure that, having won here, I go to Tirreno with even more focus. That said, I had raced more than some of the guys here. Tirreno will also be very different as there’s a time trial and a team time trial.
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