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Dubai Tour. Stage 3. Riccardo Minali sprints into 5th place

The peloton of the Dubai Tour has passed the longest stage of the race – 200 km from Dubai International Marina Club to Al Aqah. The race was complicated due to heavy wind conditions.

As it was two days in a row, the third stage, once again ended with the bunch sprint. Astana rider Riccardo Minali found another opportunity to show himself in a sprint, taking a solid 5th place. This is his second Top-10 in a row after yesterday’s 8th place. German rider John Degenkolb became the winner of stage 3.

Unfortunately, during the stage there was an unpleasant incident involving Astana Proteam rider Andriy Grivko. In a moment of the race Grivko hit German rider Marcel Kittel, leader of the general classification.

- Today's stage was really hard because of the wind; there were a few nervous and dangerous moments. In one of those moments Andriy Grivko has not coped with emotions and hit Marcel Kittel. Regardless of the causes of the incident, we must recognize that our rider acted inappropriately. It is unsportsmanlike and unacceptable. We apologize to Kittel and his team for what happened. Astana Proteam always adheres to a strict line in matters of sports ethics, therefore, we fully agree with the jury decision to remove Andriy Grivko from the race. Also, on behalf of the team, management will take further decisions on rider’s punishment, - explained sports director Alexandr Shefer.

- Talking about stage results, I could note the persistence and sporting spirit of our young rider Riccardo Minali. We see his progress day by day: he started from 13th place, and today he finished 5th. It is his first race in the season, and these results allow us to hope for something more. Two more days are still ahead, so I think we have a chance to reach some good results in this race, - added Alexandr Shefer.

Tomorrow will be held the key’s 4th stage of the race – 172 km from Dubai to Hatta Dam.

Photo credit: © BettiniPhoto

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