Dubai Tour Colbrelli takes victory at Hatta Dam By

Ruben Hill
February 10, 2018

"I only have two seconds on Cort Nielson, and you've seen how strong he is".

Overnight leader Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) finished with the main field and retained his lead with one stage remaining.

Colbrelli, acknowledging his team's role, said it was about time he rewarded them for their effort. When he went, I felt the legs get tight and I just tried to arrive and not give a gap in the middle of the riders. "Today, again, Bahrain-Merida has done a great job", he said after the win.

"With 1 km to go I thought I had won the entire race", McNulty said. "After the last climb I asked [Niki] Terpstra and [Yves] Lampaert to pull full gas because 50 seconds here and 3km to go is too much time", said Viviani on the gap McNulty had over the rest in the final kilometres. "This win means a lot for the team and it is also a big motivation for all the great classics that are coming up", Colbrelli said moments after the win.

"Vincenzo Nibali has had a decisive role in the finale today".

"I can't do more than this. However, I'll try to win again tomorrow". The Italian held off Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) and Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the steep final section.

"The race isn't over yet".

Dubai Tour Colbrelli takes victory at Hatta Dam By
Dubai Tour Colbrelli takes victory at Hatta Dam By

"I think it is not the finish", Viviani said at the line.

Meanwhile, BMC Racing Team's Nathan van Hooydonck, who lost out the young riders White Jersey but retained the Intermediate Sprints UAE Jersey, said that the pace of the peleton and the breakaway was quite high and added that the breakaway rider McNulty nearly nicked a win at the end. I'm happy with the result because the goal was to defend the Blue Jersey. "The breakaway needs to really be super strong and they also need to ride intelligently and I think this breakaway today was very strong and they rode intelligent and you could see that he could nearly make it to the finish line", added the Belgian. I think I have the team to do that and I just have to do my best sprint. I think I have the team to do that and I just have to do my best sprint.

Viviani, who had won the Ras Al Khaimah Stage, the second Stage of the Tour, to pull on the Blue Jersey, admitted that Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel's absence in the top five of the overall classification would help matters on Saturday. "We started this day with four seconds on Cav and the main goal was maybe to have more seconds on the pure sprinters", Viviani told reporters on Friday.

The Norwegian, who is making his debut with the team at the Tour, followed up his fourth and two seventh place finishes with fourth in Friday's Stage.

"My team-mates were fantastic leading me to the approach of Hatta Dam, especially Sven Erik Bystrom and Matteo Bono who both did a really impressive job". Even though it's a short climb, it is a climb none the less and it does require a set of skills to excel here.

Sonny Cobrelli left his rivals gasping to take the win on the Hatta Dam. So that is a good reward.

The race had seen an early attack test the resilience of the peloton for over 100km and it looked like one of the breakaway riders could secure a victory, in what would have been a first for the Dubai Tour.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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