Esteban Chaves is the winner of the Abu Dhabi Tour 2015
Esteban Chaves celebrated victory with his Orica-GreenEdge teammates. The ever-smiling climber, who won two stages and finished fifth at the Vuelta a Espana, has enjoyed a break through season. He is now set to win the first edition of the four-day stage race, which ends with a 110km twilight stage on the Yas Marina Formula One circuit. He leads Fabio Aru (Astana) by 16 seconds, with Wout Poels (Team Sky) at 27 seconds.
The 25-year-old Colombian set up victory by winning the key mountain stage to Jebel Hafeet on Saturday. Chaves attacked alone five kilometres from the finish and distanced all his rivals. Only Wout Poels (Team Sky) was able to close the gap with a paced pursuit. Unfortunately, the Dutchman slipped out on the final corner after sprinting ahead to enter the corner first.
Elia Viviani (Team Sky) came first in the final stage after 20 high-speed laps of the five-kilometre circuit in Yas Marina, beating world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) and Andrea Guardini (Astana).
With riders completing 20 laps of the virtually deserted Yas Marina Formula 1 track – each lap being 5.5km – it was Chaves’s race to lose and the Colombian finished in touch with rival Fabio Aru to claim the title.
The 110km stage was raced at twilight, giving the riders a relief from the scorching temperatures they faced during the first three stages.
The stage ended in the dark with huge lights illuminating the circuit. Racing on a closed circuit allowed for live on-board images to be produced and transmitted during the stage due to an agreement between race organisers RCS Sport and the Velon teams.
The final stage again saw an early break go clear, with Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-QuickStep), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) surging away on the opening laps.
They opened a two-minute gap and fought for the three €6000 sprint prizes awarded on laps 6, 11 and 16. However, Orica-GreenEdge led the peloton and the chase for much of the stage, with Team Sky and Lampre-Merida also helping to ensure the stage ended in a sprint
- Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
- Peter Sagan (Slo) Tinkoff – Saxo
- Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
- Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
- Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcar
- Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant – Alpecin
- Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team – Al Ahli Club
- Juan José Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
- Łukasz Wiśniowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick Step
- José Joaquín Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
Final General Classification:
- Johan Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge
- Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
- Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
- Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHeathcare
- Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
- Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx-Quick Step
- Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
- Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky
- Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
- Patrick Conrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18
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