News – First Sky win for Viviani


Italian Elia Viviani won his first race for team Sky after winning stage 2 of the Tour of Dubai

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News – First Sky win for Viviani

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Italian Elia Viviani won his first race for team Sky after winning stage 2 of the Tour of Dubai

The Italian came off the wheels of rivals Mark Cavendish and Andrea Guardini before accelerating to secure a comfortable victory in the spectacular surroundings of the Palm Jumeirah.

The victory followed two podium positions in 2015 for the 25-year-old sprinter, who made it third time lucky to elevate himself to second place overall. Viviani now sits two seconds behind stage one winner Cavendish (Etixx – Quick-Step), with Guardini (Astana) a further four seconds back.

“After two podium finishes I am really happy to take the victory today,” a happy Viviani told “I think we now have such a strong team for the sprints. We have me, (Ben) Swifty and Andy (Fenn), but before that we have Bernie (Eisel) and G (Geraint Thomas). This is one of the best lead-out trains in the world”.

“After yesterday, we looked at the video and we analysed what we could do better and what we could change. Yesterday the wind came slightly from the left and we went on the left. We covered Cav but I had a 250-metre battle with him and I lost a direct fight”.

“Today we took the lead with 5km to go with Bernie and G. It was a technical finale with some tricky corners. We took the lead but we knew it was early. Andy, me and Swify moved back a little bit onto the Etixx – Quick-Step train and we waited for the right moment. With 350m to go Swifty went on the left side. When the other sprinters saw that they started to go and I was on Guardini’s wheel. When I saw the chance I went for it. It was a great victory.”

The Italian also paid tribute to the team’s early-season form after what he hopes is the first of many victories. “Today was a long stage – close to 200km – and I think it shows that we are in very good condition at this point of the season. After two podiums and winning the sprint today it’s really good.”

Race leader Mark Cavendish said after the stage “The finish was pretty hard. We were well organized, but so were the other teams. The wind was coming from the left, we knew it was coming from the left. Unfortunately we were on the wrong side on the last roundabout”.

“It’s really a drag race until that U-turn. We just lost the right position going into it. So we had to come around the hard way into the wind. The guys did an incredible job coming around on the windy side, which says a lot because they had to chase pretty much the whole day”.

“That situation just took me out of my comfort zone a little bit and I just lost the legs there in the sprint. But I looked at my power and I was happy with my power in the end. I am happy with the team.”

“Elia was just faster today, and that’s it, he deserved the win. We’ll see what we can do to protect my leadership tomorrow with the Hatta Dam stage, and then see if we can go for another sprint win on the last stage.”

Stage 2
1. Elia Viviani, Team Sky 4:29:59
2. Mark Cavendish, Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Andrea Guardini, Astana Pro Team
4. Alexander Porsev, Team Katusha
5. Andrea Palini, Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team
6. John Degenkolb, Team Giant-Alpecin
7. Daniele Ratto, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
8. Daniel Oss, BMC Racing Team
9. Michael Valgren Andersen, Tinkoff-Saxo
10 Nicola Ruffoni, Bardiani CSF

39. Ben Swift, Team Sky
41. Geraint Thomas, Team Sky
43. Vincenzo Nibali, Astana Pro Team
44. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team
62. Joaquim Rodriguez, Team Katusha
92. Andrew Fenn, Team Sky 0:00:15

1. Mark Cavendish, Etixx – Quick-Step 7:54:43
2. Elia Viviani, Team Sky 00:02
3. Andrea Guardini,) Astana Pro Team 00:06
4. Davide Frattini, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 00:11
5. Ben Swift, Team Sky 00:13

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