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Cycling | International Cycling

Elia Viviani © Getty Images

Viviani sprints to Dubai Tour victory



Elia Viviani crossed the finish line first in a tightly contested bunch sprint to claim the top honours in the Dubai Tour on Saturday.

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

The Quick-Step Floors man becomes the first Italian to win the race.

Commenting on his victory, Viviani said: “It’s amazing. This morning I was very stressed, but I tried to look relaxed. A two-seconds lead meant all or nothing. But we rode well as a team.”

There was drama in the final stage but Viviani and his team did well to avoid a big crash before positioning themselves for a strong finish.

“I had six teammates leading me out in the last corner. We missed the crash by very little. [Fabio] Sabatini closed the gap on the four guys ahead after the crash. With 50 metres to go I understood I could win the stage. With the headwind, it would have been dangerous to launch from too far out.”

In August 2017, Viviani broke his contract with Team Sky to join Quick-Step Floors after he was left out of the team's Giro d'Italia squad. It was decision that left the Italian unhappy, although he tried to downplay the move at the time.

His contract with Sky was due to only expire in 2018, but the Italian was happy to leave and put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Quick-Step Floors.

Speaking of his achievement and future ambitions with the team, Viviani had this to say: "When I signed with Quick-Step, I made a big step up. Winning sprints is my job but with this team it’s much easier.”

“To win GC here is an important step up. I want to be one of the best sprinters in the world. This is a good start towards this goal with the great team I have now.”

STAGE 5 RESULTS

1. Elia Viviani (ITA/QST) 3hr 05min 28sec
2. Marco Haller (AUT/TKA) same time
3. Adam Blythe (GB/ABS) s.t.
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (LUX/MBC) s.t.
5. Rick Zabel (GER/TKA) s.t.

OVERALL STANDINGS

1. Elia Viviani (ITA/QST) 19hr 05min 46sec
2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (DAN/AST) at 12sec
3. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/TBM) 14
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (LUX/MBC) 24
5. Rick Zabel (GER/TKA) s.t.



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