Belgian Jens Keukeleire retains his lead in the intermediate sprint classification after stage three of the Abu Dhabi Tour today after ORICA-BikeExchangeteammate Carlos Verona split the race with a gutsy attack on the races only climb.
23-year-old Spaniard Verona gained a 30second gap as the selection formed with ten kilometres remaining on the climb up to the finish in Jabel Hafeet.
As the gradient steepened Verona fought valiantly despite losing contact with eventual stage winner Tanel Kangert (Astana).
Estonian Kangert also moved into the race lead ahead of tomorrow’s final stage with Keukeleire holding onto the lead of the intermediate sprint classification.
Sport director Laurenzo Lapage was pleased with the team’s performance on the races queen stage.
“Our main objective for today was to get Carlos (Verona) in a good position for the final climb and we did that very well,” said Lapage. “We had nothing to lose and Carlos attacked very strongly, but perhaps a little bit too early.”
|1||Tanel Kangert (EST) - Astana Pro Team||3:31:31|
|2||Nicolas Roche (IRL) - Team Sky||0:00:17|
|3||Mekseb Debesay (ERI) - Dimension Data||0:00:33|
|4||Diego Ulissi (ITA) - Lampre - Merida||0:00:33|
|5||Alberto Contador (SPA) - Tinkoff Team||0:00:50|
|6||Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) - Astana Pro Team||0:00:50|
|7||Julien Bernard (FRA) - Trek-Segafredo||0:00:52|
|8||Ben Hermans (BEL) - BMC Racing Team||0:01:19|
|9||Martijn Tusveld (NED) - Team Giant-Alpecin||0:01:28|
|10||Jesper Hansen (DEN) - Tinkoff Team||0:01:28|
|19||Jens Keukeleire (BEL) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:02:55|
|23||Carlos Verona (SPA) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:04:06|
|25||Michael Matthews (AUS) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:06:40|
|42||Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:12:18|
|44||Mitchell Docker (AUS) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:13:19|