Dubai Tour Stage 5 Highlights: Watch Elia Viviani sprint to victory

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Italian Elia Viviani won the Dubai Tour on Saturday after the Quick Step rider sprinted to victory in the fifth and final stage.

Viviani, the Rio Olympic champion in the omnium, emerged triumphant after the 132km stage along the emirate's roads.

Danish rider Magnus Cort Nielsen of Astana finished second overall, 12 seconds back, and TBM's Sonny Colbrelli, another Italian, was third.



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Magnus Cort Nielsen has debut to remember for Astana at Dubai Tour

Jay Asser 10/02/2018
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Magnus Cort Nielsen celebrates in the white jersey at the end of the Dubai Tour.

If first impressions are everything, Astana will be ecstatic with what they saw from Magnus Cort Nielsen as his debut with the team brought a best young rider honour at the Dubai Tour.

In addition to claiming the white jersey, the 25-year-old Dane also made general classification winner Elia Viviani sweat as he trailed by just two seconds entering the final day.

The late crash on the final turn of stage five did Cort Nielsen no favours, but he appeared too far behind in the peloton to challenge Viviani in the straight anyways.

With the bonuses factored in, Cort Nielsen finished 12 seconds behind Viviani for second overall, while Bahrain Merida’s Sonny Colbrelli rounded out the podium another two seconds behind.

Despite missing out on the Circle of Stars trophy, Cort Nielsen was pleased with what he managed to accomplish in his season and team debut.

“It means a lot,” he said. “Also with second place, I’m very happy, especially because it’s my first race with Astana. So it’s very, very nice to start not only the season, but a new time of my career with a new team to show that I’m ready, I want to race and they can trust me.

“Astana was searching for someone like me and I’m very happy to be here.”

After impressing early on, Cort Nielsen has high hopes for the Classics, which he views as his ultimate goal.

“That’s just real cycling,” he said. “Those are the biggest races to win, with the most prestige, from my point of view. Therefore, that’s where I dream about doing well and see them as the biggest races.”

It was a breakthrough for Team Novo Nordisk at the Dubai Tour, meanwhile, as Quentin Valognes earned the intermediate sprint crown for the outfit’s most significant win to date.

The team, who consist of riders with diabetes and raise awareness for the disease, saw Frenchman Valognes secure the UAE jersey by jumping out in the breakaway, where he finished second in the first intermediate sprint before winning the do-or-die final sprint for the title.

Chris Williams and Charles Planet also entered stage five in contention for the intermediate sprint and the Tour overall showcased just how far Team Novo Nordisk have come since turning professional in 2008.

“I don’t have enough words in English or French or any language to explain,” Valognes said. “Our mission is to better educate people on diabetes. By this kind of performance, we’re doing it more so it’s an awesome feeling.”

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Mark Cavendish "very, very happy" with his form after establishing good foundation at Dubai Tour

Jay Asser 10/02/2018
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Mark Cavendish celebrates atop the podium after winning stage three of the Dubai Tour.

Though Mark Cavendish‘s success at the Dubai Tour was limited to a stage win and no jersey to show for it, he’s satisfied with how he fared in his first race of the season.

After reaching the top of the podium with a victory on day three, the Manxman was out of the mix in the final two stages and couldn’t repeat his 2015 general classification triumph.

But the 32-year-old leaves Dubai in good spirits, having established a foundation for the rest of the season.

“I’m pretty happy,” said the Team Dimension Data rider. “Like today (stage five), the team were wicked there. Actually I lost [Mark] Renshaw with 1km to go, but apart from that, the team did exactly what I asked them to do and were on spot on. You see the difference from the first stage, so I’m very, very happy.”

Cavendish will remain in the region as he now turns his attention to the Tour of Oman, which begins Tuesday, before competing in his beloved Tour of Abu Dhabi, staged from February 21-25.

The events will serve to build up his fitness ahead of his ultimate goal of notching more stage victories at the Tour de France in July.

“I’m going to Oman to get the workload in really. Abu Dhabi is the big target [for the Middle East],” Cavendish said. “It would be nice to win in Oman, but…

“It wasn’t originally on my calendar, but it would be the same workload as home anyway, I just miss the traveling so I might as well stay.”

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