Elia Viviani: “I hope to have a good week in Dubai”
The fast Italian will look to add to the team's previous eight stage wins in the Middle East race.
Elia Viviani will make his fourth appearance at the Dubai Tour, a race in which he has tasted success on two occasions, 2015 and 2016. The Isola della Scala native, fresh off a solid campaign in Australia, where he clocked up three top 3 finishes, including his maiden victory since moving to Quick-Step Floors, comes into the Middle East race with a boost of confidence that he hopes will carry him to a stage victory.
“When you change teams you get a new motivation. Quick-Step Floors is the best team for me, a real family; I enjoy a proper lead-out here, and this is a big chance for me and my career. I had a good winter preparation, which you could see in Australia, where it’s never easy for European riders. I am satisfied with my condition, am in good shape and hope to have a good week in Dubai”, said the soon to be 29-year-old at the pre-race press conference.
Both stages nabbed by Elia at his previous participations came in Palm Jumeirah, the venue of the inaugural stage’s finale this year, where the riders will fight for the first leader’s jersey after 167 kilometers. It will be the first out of four days expected to come down to a bunch sprint, with another stage, suited to the riders who can kick out on the punishing 17% ramps of Hatta Dam, spicing up the narrative at the Dubai Tour.
“For sure, it’s going to be a tactical sprint on stage 1, no doubt about that. When you get out of the tunnel in the closing kilometers, you need to be in a good position, and then, on the last straight, you have to pay extra attention to the wind, which can make the difference. Would be nice to get another victory here, but it won’t be easy, because all the best sprinters in the world are at the start; despite this fact, I’m confident that I can take a win and also fight for a good general classification.”
Viviani, whose pro palmares boasts over 50 victories, will rely for the Dubai Tour on a strong Quick-Step Floors sprint train, comprising Tim Declercq, Fabio Jakobsen, Yves Lampaert, Fabio Sabatini, Maximilian Schachmann and Niki Terpstra.
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