Dubai Tour, Stage 3
Spain’s Juan Jose Lobato of Movistar Team superbly outsprinted all his rivals on the short but brutal climb to Hatta Dam to claim stage 3 of the Dubai Tour, while runner up Giacomo Nizzolo from Trek – Segafredo took the lead of the general classification from Elia Viviani (Team Sky) on the eve of the conclusive stage.
Taiwan’s Feng Chun Kai (Lampre – Merida), Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team – Al Ahli Club), Andrew Tennant (Team Wiggins), Hayden McCormick (One Pro Cycling), David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) and Essaid Abelouache (Al Nasr Pro Cycling Team – Dubai) made the day’s breakaway but the peloton didn’t allow them more than two minutes of an advantage.
Team Sky looked very motivated to service both the race leader Viviani to defend his jersey and Ben Swift, who was their designated sprinter for the stage victory. However, after Mancebo was the last escapee to surrender with 12km to go, Swift accompanied Astana Pro Team’s duo Lieuwe Westra and Laurens De Vreese in an attempt to avoid a bunch gallop.
The riders were all back together before the final uphill. Well positioned by his team-mates from Team Movistar, Lobato was able to express his great explosiveness at the end, beating Nizzolo and BMC Racing Team’s Silvan Dillier at Hatta Dam with a comfortable margin.
1 – Juan José Lobato (Movistar Team) 172km in 4h13’23”, average speed 40.728km/h
2 – Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo) at 2”
3 – Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing Team) at 4”)
•The Blue Jersey, sponsored by Commercial Bank of Dubai (General individual classification by time) – Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo)
•The Red Jersey, sponsored by Emirates (General individual classification by points) – Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo)
•The White Jersey, sponsored by RTA – Roads and Transport Authority (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1991) – Soufiane Haddi (Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team – Al Ahli Club)
•The UAE Flag Jersey, sponsored by DHA – Dubai Health Authority (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) – Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro Cycling)
1 – Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo)
2 – Juan José Lobato (Movistar Team) at 2”
3 – Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick Step) at 6”
Stage 4 – Business Bay Stage (137km)
From Dubai city to Dubai city (Business Bay area)
Sign-on procedures: 10.30-11.50am
Start – KM 0: 12.10am (transfer 6,100m)
Finish: Approx. 3.15pm
The final stage is now a classic, with just a few changes compared to the previous editions, going through the Old and New Town. It starts in the direction of the great Meydan Racecourse to reach and cross Mushrif Park and then move to the beaches of Al Mamzar. It then runs through Deira, Al Maktoum Bridge and the entire Old Town, almost to Port Rashid, and from there enters the Jumeirah Road past the large Union Flag before eventually reaching the Business Bay finishing point.
10km before the finish, the stage course diverts from Jumeirah road and heads towards the final bend, with 400m to the finish. Here, the course hits Al A’Amal Street, where the finish line is set on a slightly-bending, 7.5m-wide asphalted roadway. Take note of a long overpass, a U-turn on large roundabout and a well-lit, 600m long tunnel with a roof that has sections open to the sky.
Stage winner Juan José Lobato (Movistar Team): “I put my thumb in my mouth on the finishing line to dedicate this victory to my son. I also dedicate it to Adriano Malori, wishing him a prompt recovery. After this, my goal is to win Milan-Sanremo. That’s my dream as a rider. If only I could win half of what my compatriot Oscar Freire won in his career, I’d be over the moon.”
Race leader Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo): “What Lobato did today wasn’t a surprise. I wasn’t here last year but I watched the video and I knew how good he could be on this finale. Ahead of tomorrow, it’s better to be at the front on GC than behind. After a training camp with my team Trek – Segafredo, I’ll take part in the Tirreno-Adriatico in preparation for Milan-Sanremo.”
Best young rider Soufiane Haddi: “It’s been a very difficult stage. With the wind, we were always on the edge of getting echelons formed. It was a very fast pace at the end but my friends worked very well for me. My friend Andrea Palini who is a very good sprinter himself made the last effort for me to finish the race in such a position that I can keep the White Jersey. This is already an achievement. It’s my first time performing in the Dubai Tour. Last I didn’t even manage to complete the race, I crashed in a downhill. Tomorrow is the last stage and we’ll do everything we can to keep the Best Young Rider Jersey. It would be fabulous for the Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team here.”
Intermediate sprints leader Marcin Bialoblocki: “It was a good day. We made sure that no one dangerous in the Intermediate Sprint classification was breaking away. My team-mate Hayden McCormick was up the road. It was good for the One Pro Cycling team. As a new team, it’s a good performance to have someone in the move every day. It shows how good we are and it helps for getting more invitations to big races in the future. We’ll try to use a similar tactic tomorrow. To win our first jersey in a stage race would be a great achievement at the Dubai Tour.”