Yas Marina Circuit, 11 October 2015 – The Colombian rider Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE) has won the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour, defending the race leader's Red Jersey in the fourth and final stage around on the Yas Marina Circuit. The stage was won by the Italian rider Elia Viviani (Team Sky).

The stage unfolded as follows: 100 riders passed km 0 at 16.39. At km 1, Lukas Postlberger (Bora - Argon 18) attacked, to be joined by Adam Phelan (Drapac Professional Cycling), Francisco Mancebo (Skydive Dubai Professional Cycling), Daniel Patten (Team Wiggins) and Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling). However, at km 3.5 the peloton was back together.

On the second lap, Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx - Quick Step) and Eduard Vorganov (Team Katusha) attacked, and were then joined by Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team). During the third lap, Mancebo, Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing Team), Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant Alpecin) and Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) formed a chasing quartet behind the leading trio. The four chasers were then whittled down to the pairing of Mancebo and Zurlo.

At the first Intermediate Sprint (Yas Marina Circuit – km 27.5; end of lap 5), Lutsenko took the first of the 6000 Euro special prizes, chased Brambilla, and Vorganov, with Zurlo and Mancebo at 1’06” and the group at 1’57”.

During Lap 7, Mancebo and Zurlo were caught by the group. 

The second Intermediate Sprint (Yas Marina Circuit – km 55; end of lap 10) was taken by Brambilla, with Lutsenko and Vorganov in his wake, and Viviani, at the head of the peloton, at 1’50”. The third Intermediate Sprint (Yas Marina Circuit – km 82,5; end of lap 15) ended Vorganov, Lutsenko, Brambilla, and Faria Da Costa, the latter, at the head of the group, 43” down.

Vorganov dropped back into the group on lap 17. Then, on lap 18, at km 93, at the very moment Brambilla and Lutsenko were caught, Mancebo and Will Clarke (Drapac Professional Cycling) darted out of the peloton, only to be caught at the start of lap 19.

The final lap, lap 20, was ridden at a very high pace, and in the final bunch sprint, Elia Viviani (Team Sky) emerged triumphant ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) and Andrea Guardini (Astana Pro Team).
1 - Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE)
2 - Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) at 16"
3 - Wouter Poels (Team Sky) at 27"

  • RED JERSEY, sponsored by ADNOC (General Classification by time) – Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE)
  • GREEN JERSEY, sponsored by ABU DHABI SPORTS COUNCIL (General Classification by points) – Elia Viviani (Team Sky)
  • WHITE JERSEY, sponsored by THE NATIONAL (Best Young Rider, born after 1 January 1990) – Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE)
  • BLACK JERSEY, sponsored by ETIHAD AIRWAYS (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) – Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)
1 - Elia Viviani (Team Sky) 110 km in 2h22’43”, average speed 46.245 km/h
2 - Peter Sagan (Tinkoff - Saxo) s.t.
3 - Andrea Guardini (Astana Pro Team) s.t.

Abu Dhabi Tour winner - Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE)
Q: How does it feel to win your first GC?
A: Very cool. To finish the season in this way is great because it leaves you with great memories to think about when you train in the winter. To win the first Abu Dhabi Tour is beautiful: it is the first edition of the race, and my first GC too. I'm happy for the team, and the team is very happy for me.

Q: What was the plan today?
A: The plan was to keep the red jersey. Everything went perfectly. We tried to keep the breakaway at two minutes. We sent Meyer and Bewley to the front, and they worked very hard. Then, towards the end, Sky worked for the stage win, and it was good for us.

Q: What did you think of the Yas Marina Circuit?
A: It is a beautiful track, and when, in the middle of the stage, darkness fell and the floodlights came on, it was a beautiful feeling.

Q: Will you celebrate tonight at the UCI Gala?
A: Perhaps a toast with the guys, but no more. I am a quiet guy and I don't like parties and drunkenness.

Q: What does it mean to you, to fly the Colombian flag around the world? 
A: It is beautiful, because we are showing the beautiful face of our country. It is a way of showing young people that it is worth pursuing their dreams and working hard with discipline, and perseverance. There are Colombians everywhere: really good people who are proud of our sporting results. They turn out to see me, Team Colombia, and all the other Colombians in the peloton, and it is beautiful for us.

Stage 4, the Yas stage, winner - Elia Viviani (Team Sky)
Q: Tell us about the final sprint. It looked close.
A: It was really, really close. Peter Sagan was on my wheel coming into the last corner. I looked behind and saw him on my right, so I knew he was there, but when I saw Bennati start his sprint, I knew that I was in the perfect position, and launched my sprint at 150m. In the previous lap, I understood that it was better to just behind the leader, and then sprint, and I was happy to get across the line in first position. 

Q: What was it like to race on a Formula 1 circuit? 
A: It was a really fast stage on a really fast circuit. The corners are really wide and we never touched the brakes all stage. It was a short stage and everyone wanted to be and the front. Andy Fenn and Ben Swift worked perfectly for me. They took first position with 3km to go, and 700m out, I knew it was going to be difficult to beat me. I have to thank those two guys: they win races for themselves, then come and help me in the sprints.

Q: You've beaten Peter two times  in two days. 
A: Yes, I'm in good shape after the Worlds. I'm preparing to do some track to win Olympic points, and I have good sprint legs and power. I'm disappointed with my World Championship results but I think all the cycling world is happy to have Sagan as World Champion.

Q: Did you see the pit stop he made?
A: Peter is so funny. That is why I think he is a good World Champion. He is always good for a spectacle. all these funny things are good for TV and the fans on the road. 

Q: Will you be going to the UCI Gala tonight?
A: Yes, all the riders are going to the Gala. It's great to finish the road season this way, even if I still have another 20 days before the track appointment because I want my Olympic qualification before I take a good holiday. So another 20 days on the bike for me, then I can stop my season.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Abu Dhabi Tour? Is it a good way to end the season?
A: Yes, I think so. There was a little problem in the first stage because we were in the middle of the desert and the temperatures were high, and we had come from Europe where it was colder. Maybe we need to come a few days before to get used to it. Stages 2 and 3 were a bit better. I think it's a good race to end the season, because the riders are tired, and there is only one climb, at the end of a stage, and three short, sprint stages. I think this night time stage tonight is spectacular for the riders. 

Stage 4, the Yas stage, second - Peter Sagan (Tinkoff - Saxo)
"Second is not first. But the season is finished and I'm happy for that. The pit stop is nice. We tried to do like Formula One. Was fun for fans. Riding on the circuit was very special and different: very cool, very fast. Is built for cars but is good, the final lap was very very fast, big turns. But was good."

The Abu Dhabi Tour, organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in collaboration with RCS Sport (8-11 October) consisted of four stages covering a total of 555km; three stages were won by the sprinters, while the remaining stage, with an uphill finish on a 10.8km climb with gradients touching 12%, decided the final GC. 
On the evening of the last stage, the Tour has the honour of hosting the very first UCI Cycling Gala awards ceremony. This unique event celebrates the end of the UCI professional road cycling season with its stakeholders in Abu Dhabi.


Links: Abu Dhabi Tour downloads site for all content


SHIFT Active Media
Manolo Bertocchi

RCS Sport Cycling Press Office
Ph.: (+44) 1225 448333
Ph. (+44) 7979 241227
Tw.: @Shiftactive @ItalianManolo

RCS Sport
Stefano Diciatteo

RCS Sport Press Office Coordinator
Ph.: (+39) 02 25848758
Mob.: (+39) 335 5468466
Tw.: @rcssport - @stedicia

Viva Valverde – mountain-top victory
Kelderman and López also make the podium of the Abu Dhabi Tour
Alejandro Valverde wins the fourth Abu Dhabi Tour
The Spanish rider wins Stage 5, Abu Dhabi Airport Stage, on the top of Jebel Hafeet
Marhaban! from Stage 5 of the Abu Dhabi Tour
The only WorldTour race in the Middle East and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sports and Events.