Former World Champion takes Red Jersey on iconic Jebel Hafeet summit

Jebel Hafeet, 25 February 2017 – Stage 3 of the Abu Tour Dhabi from Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet lived up to its billing as the “queen stage” and kingmaker of this year’s race, as Rui Costa of the locally-based UAE Abu Dhabi team secured a win on the day, the Red Jersey of overall leader and the status of champion elect with one day to go. Costa pipped Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) on the spectacular moonscape of Jebel Hafeet after that pair had surprised pre-race favourites Alberto Contador (Trek - Segafredo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain - Merida) and Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) by attacking six kilometres from the line. With just tomorrow’s grandstand finale on the Yas Marina Circuit still to ride, Mark Cavendish wears the Green Jersey as leader of the General Points Classification, Julian Alaphilippe heads the Young Classification and has the White Jersey, while Marco Canola faces a fight to keep his Intermediate Sprint Classification Black Jersey.


Facts and figures provided by Velon tell the story of the stage through data collected by devices on the riders' bikes. Data and an explanation of what it means can be downloaded here. Other downloads:



1 - Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) 186km in 4h34’08”, average speed 40.710km/h

2 - Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) s.t.

3 - Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 10"



1 - Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi)

2 - Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) at 4"

3 - Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 16"

4 - Bauke Mollema (Trek - Segafredo) at 38"

5 - Rafal Majka (Bora - Hansgrohe) at 56"




  • The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) - Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi)
  • The Green Jersey, sponsored by Nation Towers (General individual classification by points) - Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)
  • The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1992) - Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)
  • The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Marco Canola (Nippo - Vini Fantini)


At the press conference, the stage winner and race leader Rui Costa said: "It was very important for us to win or at least to have a good result here. It wasn’t easy with so many good riders and the stage was very complicated because there was a lot of wind and a couple of attempts by different teams to split the race. Movistar started the climb very fast, while I was forty positions behind and had to ride back up through the field, which cost me a lot of effort. When I attacked it was just to see how it went and who came with me but my legs responded well. Zakarin came with me, then at the finish I drew on some of the energy I had managed to save in the last couple of kilometres.

It was a strange moment when I attacked because I’d been behind and they’d started the climb so strongly. After the attack, I didn’t know whether or not to persist but in the end I decided to keep going. It was the right strategy.

I worked well with Zakarin, also because we knew that the guys behind were very strong. The cooperation between us was absolutely key.


It’s so important for me to win here, because of the sponsor. I already did well in Oman but it was more important here, in the UAE. The sponsors wanted us to bring a strong team and we came with good sprinters and good riders for this stage. We wanted to give them a present with a good performance, and I’m thrilled that we’ve done it."


Stage 4 – Yas Island Stage (143km)

Entirely raced on Yas Marina Circuit

Sign-on procedures: 16:45-18:05

Alignment: 18:10

Start - KM 0: 18:15

Finish: Approx. 21:15

Race Headquarters: Yas Marina Circuit Press Room, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi


The final stage is entirely on Yas Island. There are 26 laps of the Yas Marina circuit, each of 5.5km with three Intermediate Sprints as we count down to the finale. The first Intermediate Sprint is on lap 11 with 15 laps to go, the second at 10 laps to go and the last Intermediate Sprint comes with just five laps to go.

In 2015, during the Yas Island Stage, for the first time ever in a men's professional road race, live on-board bike camera footage was made available and used for live television race coverage.


Last km


On the perfect tarmac of a 5.5km Formula 1 circuit with wide roads and large, sweeping bends. The final 250 metres are on straight, flat asphalt.



Yas Marina Circuit is the United Arab Emirates’ most exciting sporting and multi-purpose entertainment venue. Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the circuit is home to the annual FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX and much more. In addition to the extensive year-round programme of professional and grassroots motorsport events and experiences including Drag and Yas Track Nights, the circuit has emerged as a thriving hub for entertainment and community events in the UAE. Whether you want to experience the thrill of karting at our Kartzone, driving an Aston Martin GT4 at over 200km/hour on an F1 circuit, work towards your racing license at the Yas Racing School, get fit at StartYAS, TrainYas or GoYas, participate in one of our many sporting events, or simply catch up with friends at Yas Central, Yas Marina Circuit truly is The Meeting Place of Champions.



The world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park is home to a winning mix of Ferrari inspired rides and attractions, the biggest Ferrari Store and a range of authentic Italian dining options. Attractions include the highest rollercoaster loop in the world (Flying Aces) and the world’s fastest rollercoaster (Formula Rossa) with a top speed of 250kmph achieved in a mere 4.9 seconds.



Yas Island is a unique destination. A breathtaking island of diverse, immersive experiences and lasting memories, where families and friends, residents and business visitors can make the most of their precious time away. On the golden shores of Abu Dhabi – just 25 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 50 minutes from Dubai – a world of experience comes together to combine stunning natural scenery with iconic design and high-octane glamour with laid-back family fun. Along with seven cutting-edge hotels, exciting theme parks, dynamic restaurants, global stars taking to the stage, a links golf course, and the most cosmopolitan shopping mall filled with leading global brands; the island offers a wide range of venue options and in-house event management services for business events including meetings, conferences and exhibitions. For more information, visit:



This unique five-star hotel is set half on land and half on water, overlooking the F1 circuit. The main characteristic of the hotel is its covering, a 219m expanse of sweeping steel and glass panels that provides a veil draped over the two hotel towers, linked by a bridge that crosses the racetrack. The lighting system, made up of over 5,096 diamond-shaped glass panels, changes colour through cable TV screens and creates a stunning optical effect. Inside the Yas Viceroy at the Ristorante Cipriani you can taste the dishes designed by Harry’s Bar in Venice and classic Italian specialties.



With a surface of 235,000m2 and a range of international brands, the Yas Mall is the largest mall in Abu Dhabi and the second largest in the Emirates. With over 60 restaurants and coffee shops, Yas Mall also features a 4D movie hall, the super maxiscreen of the VOX movie theatre and, among other things, the first Lego Concept Store in the region.



Set on a majestic stretch of white sand, and easily connected to all of the island’s diverse leisure activities, this laid-back beach is a blissful new development on the emirate’s entertainment district. Sun seekers holidaying at any of Yas Island’s seven hotels and hotel apartments can now enjoy complimentary access to Yas Beach.




Set among rolling hills and delicate mangrove plantations, Yas Links Abu Dhabi – designed by Kyle Phillips, the world-renowned course architect – is the Middle East’s only true links course. Nestled on the western shores of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s landmark entertainment destination, every daunting, dynamic Yas Links hole has sparkling coastline.


182 countries will broadcast this year’s Abu Dhabi Tour, right across the five continents. The 2017 edition of the race will be shown live by 12 TV networks. 

Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, the WorldTour event’s host broadcaster, will produce full coverage of each stage – every hard-fought kilometer, from the first pedal turn to the finale – in the United Arab Emirates and across the Middle East and North Africa with commentary in both Arabic and English. This coverage will be boosted with additional studio shows before and after each stage, featuring international cycling expert guests. 

Eurosport will show the Abu Dhabi Tour live in European and Asia Pacific networks, totalling almost 70 countries. In Italy all five stages will be broadcast on RAI Sport 1, while in France l’Equipe will show the event race on its free-to-air channel.

ESPN will broadcast from Dubai Tour in 35 territories in Spanish-speaking South America, Brazil and the Caribbean, and TDN will air exclusively in Central America and Mexico. North American fans can see live coverage on fuboTV in the USA and Canada and fans in Japan can follow the race via the live sports streaming platform DAZN. Supersport will air the Abu Dhabi Tour in South Africa, and Echonet will bring live coverage to the remainder of Sub-Saharan Africa.



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

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The only WorldTour race in the Middle East and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sports and Events.