Abu Dhabi Tour 2017: Rui Costa takes Queen Stage and overall lead

rui costa - Abu Dhabi Tour 2017: Rui Costa takes Queen Stage and overall leadThe decisive stage in the Abu Dhabi Tour travels to the 10.8 kilometres closing climb up to Jebel Hafeet. Rui Costa attacks with 7 kilometres remaining and he is accompanied by Ilnur Zakarin. The former World Champion is fastest in the sprint, while Quintana and Contador stare each other down and finish 1 minute in arrears. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 3rd stage 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour

1. Rui Costa (por)
2. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) s.t.
3. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 0.10
4. Bauke Mollema (nld) + 0.28
5. Julian Alaphilippe (fra) + 0.46
6. Fabio Aru (ita) s.t.
7. Rafal Majka (pol) s.t.
8. George Bennett (nzl) s.t.
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) s.t.
10. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.58

13. Alberto Contador (spa) + 1.01
15. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 1.05

GC after 3rd stage
1. Rui Costa (por)
2. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) +0.04
3. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 0.16
4. Bauke Mollema (nld) + 0.38
5. Julian Alaphilippe (fra) + 0.56
6. Fabio Aru (ita) s.t.
7. Rafal Majka (pol) s.t.
8. George Bennett (nzl) s.t.
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) s.t.
10. Nairo Quintana (col) + 1.08

Race report
Shortly after the start, Simone Andreetta, Pavel Brutt, Stephen Clancy and Alan Marangoni break clear. In no-time the quartet races to a comfortable lead with a maximum of 5 minutes.

When hitting the closing climb the break is history.

Movistar attacks the climb at a stirring pace and Quintana goes with 10 kms remaining. Yet, he is brought back.

Rui Costa is off with 7 kms to go. He is accompanied by Ilnur Zakarin. Quintana and Contador open the chase, but without success. Dumoulin and Kruijswijk are next to try and bridge over. Kruijswijk doesn’t make it and he is joined by Bardet and Mollema. The last one leaves the other two behind.

In the flatter section near the top Dumoulin is closing in on the leaders, but the time trialist falls short and the race boils down to a sprint-à-deux. Costa outsprints Zakarin to take the overall lead.

Without crashes the former World Champion will win the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour as tomorrow’s stage is tailor made for sprinters.

Abu Dhabi Tour 2017 stage 3: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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Rui Costa

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