Abu Dhabi Tour: Viviani moves into green jersey
The Italian has a firm grip on the points standings with one day to go, the summit finish atop Jebel Hafeet.
Elia Viviani was the last rider to roll down the start ramp for the 12.6km-long individual time trial which reshuffled the general classification at the Abu Dhabi Tour after three consecutive days which had the fast men of the peloton in the spotlight, and the red jersey wearer stayed true to his word to go full gas on Saturday, clocking up a time of 15:10 on the stage won by BMC's Rohan Dennis.
The most successful rider of the year in terms of races won, with five victories to his name, Elia conceded the red jersey on the Al Maryah Island, but he kept the green one, which he got hold of after his emphatic stage 2 win in Yas Beach. With one day, the 29-year-old speedster has 19 points – a more than comfortable margin – over the next rider in the rankings.
Saturday's ITT led to some significant gaps in the overall standings, giving the specialists an important buffer ahead of the final stage, when the climbers will come to the fore on Jebel Hafeet, a 10.8km ascent averaging 6.6% which features at the end of the event's longest day. When the dust settled at the end of the day, Julian Alaphilippe was Quick-Step Floors' best placed rider, his all-out effort in the time trial moving the Frenchman in tenth place overall, just two seconds ahead of Viviani.
For Alaphilippe, the Abu Dhabi Tour is the second race of the season, after Colombia Oro y Paz, where the 25-year-old was the only European rider to take a stage victory on the way to finishing seventh overall. The good form he carried into this race and his fifth place atop Jebel Hafeet at the previous edition recommend Julian as one of the riders to watch tomorrow, when the GC will be decided.
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