Dubai, UAE, February 11, 2018: UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff finished ninth in the General Classification (GC) of the Dubai Tour, after yet another strong ride with fantastic support from his new team mates. The European Champion went into today's final stage with the hope of scooping a podium position, but suffered another spate of bad luck after being caught up behind a crash in the final kilometre of the race.
However, Kristoff – who will continue his season at next week's Tour of Oman and the Abu Dhabi Tour – was superbly led through the race by the attacking Arab duo of Anass Ait El Abdia and UAE National Champion Yousif Mirza. Mirza, who attempted an early break away, dropped back into the peloton and worked tactically with his team-mates to set the pace and control the blue-jersey bunch for a large portion of the race.
Commenting on his team's performance at the tour, Yousif Mirza said; “Our supporters and fans should feel proud about the team and its performance at this year's Dubai Tour. We approached each stage with the right attitude and, despite not getting the win, I feel we honoured our home race. After competing in Argentina and here in Dubai, I have really noticed the improvement in riding from the team. The quality of riding and our morale is very high and that means we'll fight during the season to achieve top results.”
Reflecting on the tour, Alexander Kristoff said: “I approached the final right handed bend in a great position ready to make my move, but unfortunately the riders in front of me crashed. I managed to avoid them, but I was forced to stop which meant I missed out on the sprint. We'll now look to the next races in Oman and the UAE where we hope to achieve better results and showcase our talent to the fans - their support has been amazing.'
The final stage was won by Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), who also took home the blue-jersey and the ‘circle of stars' prize – the award for finishing first in the GC.
UAE Team Emirates will now depart the UAE for the Tour of Oman (13 – 18 February) before returning to the emirates for the Abu Dhabi Tour (21 – 25 February). The teams participation at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Tour gives the region's community another opportunity to come together and support world-class athletes as they aim to become one of the top cycling teams on the tour.
Stage Five Results
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) – Quick-Step Floors – 3:05:28
2. Marco Haller (Aus) – Team Katusha Alepcin – “
3. Adam Blythe (GB) – Aqua Blue Sport– “
22. Yousif Mirza (UAE) – UAE Team Emirates – “
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) – Quick-Step Floors – 19:09:49
2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) – Astana Pro Team – +00:12
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) – Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team – +00:14
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) – UAE Team Emirates – +00:24