photo credits @ UAE Tour
Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) won stage 5 of the UAE Tour today, after the Italian sprinter extraordinaire beat Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha Alpecin) in the bunch finale.
“After the successful season I had last year and Fernando [Gaviria] not being our teammate anymore, it’s great to still win because he’s the world’s best sprinter and the hardest to beat. So I’m glad we did it as a team today after losing stage 2 to him. My lead-out train worked really well in this chaotic finish. We took the right decision to not spend more energy than needed yesterday and focus exclusively on today”, Viviani said after the stage.
Meanwhile, Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo – Visma) maintained his grip on the overall race lead with a 21-second advantage over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
“As expected, it was a long day in the saddle but I didn’t really get bored because we always had to be attentive in the desert with the crosswinds. Again, our team did a great job, who protected my [leading] time. For sure, we’re ready for tomorrow’s decisive stage,” said Roglic.
Approaching the finale, Viviani found himself stuck behind his rivals, but using his skills he was able to make his way to the front to hold off Gaviria, Kittel and Bennett by half-a-bike length to seize the stage honors.
Tomorrow’s stage 6 will likely determine the winner of the seven-day race, which features a 180 kilometer route from Ajman to Jebel Jais that culminates with a 20.7 kilometer climb with an average gradient of 6%.
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