- I was in a good position in the final and I passed the last corner pretty in front. Later, with around 300 meters to go I was somewhere in the middle. I preferred to wait a bit and have started my sprint behind Viviani. So, I finished third. Maybe, I could start my sprint a bit earlier, but anyway, it was a good day for me and I am happy to be among the first three riders at the finish, - explained Riccardo Minali.
Stage 2 of the Dubai Tour with start nearby the SkyDive Dubai and finish in the emirate Ras Al Khaimah (190 km) as it was expected ended with a fast and tense bunch sprint. Astana’s Zhandos Bizhigitov, Truls Korsaeth and Ruslan Tleubayev did a very good job during the final 20 km to bring its sprinter Riccardo Minali in the front of the peloton. In the last kilometer Minali was able to find a good position and, launching a powerful sprint, finished third right behind the Italian Elia Viviani, who won the stage, and the overall leader Dylan Groenewegen, who did second.
Another Astana rider Magnus Cort, during the final part of the stage supported by Daniil Fominykh and Laurens De Vreese, was also close in the sprint, taking a 6th place.
- The stage was nice as well as yesterday. It was a fast race with a sprint in the final. Yesterday I was really lucky with my position and I was close to a victory. Today I did not have such a big luck and took some more wind in the final and, perhaps, I missed some freshness. But, we were lucky to have another fast guy in our team – Riccardo, who could reach a Top-3. Anyway, I am happy with my result today, it is a very good performance with these strong sprinters in the peloton, - said Magnus Cort.
The Dutch Groenewegen still leads in the general classification of the Dubai Tour having 2 seconds of advantage to Elia Viviani. Two Astana riders, Magnus Cort and Riccardo Minali are placing on 4th and 5th positions, 10 and 12 seconds behind the leader, respectively.
Stage 3 of the Dubai Tour will be held tomorrow: it will be a race with a small uphill with around 30 km to go with start at the SkyDive Dubai and finish in the emirate Fujairah. The distance of the stage will be of 183 km.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto