Jebel Hafeet, 25 February 2018 – Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) won the uphill conclusive stage of the fourth Abu Dhabi Tour and the overall classification as he denied up and coming Colombian climber Miguel Ángel López the success he was looking for throughout a strong showing of his Astana team. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) rounded the podium but missed out on the final top three by two seconds as Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) and López accompanied the Spaniard in the final presentation.
1 – Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 199km in 4h38’72”, average speed 42.828km/h
2 – Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Astana Pro Team) s.t.
3 – Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) at 15″
1 – Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
2 – Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) at 17″
3 – Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Astana Pro Team) at 29″
The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) – Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
The Green Jersey, sponsored by Emirates Post (General individual classification by points) – Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1993) – Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Astana Pro Team)
The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) – Nikolay Trusov (Gazprom – Rusvelo)
Stage 5 Photo Gallery 1
Stage 5 Photo Gallery 2
Abu Dhabi Tour winner Alejandro Valverde said: “We knew that López would be the key player in today’s stage and also the man who could help me win the Abu Dhabi Tour overall. He’s very young and talented. As a team, we have started the season on the right foot. It’s important for the morale. Our motivation is great. This victory is special. It’s outside Europe in a very nice race. Today’s stage was to my advantage and we wanted to make the best of it. I arrived on Friday, I climbed Jebel Hafeet once on Saturday, twice on Monday and Tuesday. Moreover, I did it to get accustomed to the climate and the time difference. I knew exactly where to attack. The great time trial I did yesterday helped me to cap it off today. I’m delighted to win a WorldTour race.”
Runner up Wilco Kelderman said: “I was feeling really good at the beginning of the stage. Rohan Dennis was the only GC rider in front of me in the classification. We tried to make the best out of it. Today it went pretty well for me. Unfortunately, Tom [Dumoulin] had some issues with his front wheel. He needed a bike change. I had to ride at my own pace. I’m happy with my performance. Valverde is an amazing rider. Every year he’s very strong and motivated!”
Miguel Ángel López, third in the GC and White Jersey: “The podium and the White Jersey make it a good result for me. As always, I’ve had a great team to try and get the victory. But Alejandro Valverde is a great champion. Already to arrive with him up this climb is an achievement. To beat him in a sprint is almost impossible for me. So I’m happy with what I got in Abu Dhabi.”
Data collected by Velon’s devices on the riders’ bikes tells the detailed story of today’s stage: Data and an explanation guide can be downloaded here.
Abu Dhabi Tour website
Abu Dhabi Tour YouTube Channel
Photo Credit: LaPresse – Ferrari / Paolone
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