GC stage set after stage 2 of Abu Dhabi Tour

Fri 9 Oct 2015

ORICA-GreenEDGE will enter tomorrow’s penultimate, and likely deciding, day of the Abu Dhabi Tour having safely protected Colombian climber Esteban Chaves through two hot sprint stages.

The Australian outfit again played it quiet on today’s 127km stage, which was eventually won by Team Sky’s Elia Vivani.

World championship silver medalist Michael Matthews was the team’s top finisher in 13th, Chaves securely in the bunch in 24th.

“Today was another pretty standard sprint stage,” sport director Matt White said.

“Again we concentrated on keeping Esteban protected to ensure we arrived at tomorrow’s stage having not lost any time.

“I still think tomorrow, and the race, will be fought out between the Vuelta a Espana general classification contenders and Vincenzo Nibali.”

How it happened:

After a sweltering opening day of racing, riders returned for day two of the Abu Dhabi Tour, a shorter 129km stage starting from Yas Marina Circuit, the home of Formula 1's 'Etihad Airways' Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

What started as a breakaway of six entered the final 30km with just three remaining as the peloton hovered a little under two minutes behind.

After a long effort in front, the trio of Daniel Patten (Team Wiggins), Maxum Belkov (Team Katusha) and Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare) were eventually caught within last 15km.

Again, a series of counter attack efforts were nullified as the bunch powered to another bunch sprint.

With his victory, Viviani, who finished ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabio Sabatini (Etixx – Quickstep), also took the overall lead.