Our riders got boxed out before crucial corner
Abu Dhabi, February 23rd, 2018. – This is the last chance for the sprinters on the 133km stage that goes from Nations Tower, around the city of Abu Dhabi, with finish at the Corniche’s big flag. Conditions are as past few days, sonny and hot, with wind picking up more in the afternoon. The breakaway survived until 50km to go, just before second intermediate sprint, when some other riders wanted to pick up extra seconds for grabs. Our team was in front of the peloton 10km to go, and keep it up all the way 3,5km to finish line, ask about that to our Sports Director Rik Verbrugghe said: “It’s difficult to have a strategy in the sprints, we are really not the team to do the lead out, but we were there to protect our GC riders, not to take any gaps in the final. Again, just like last two days, wind was picking up more and more closer to the end, but actually today was much easier day compared to yesterday.” From that point our team was blocked at the left side of the road while other teams managed to pass up on the right, and after the corner it was too late to sprint for better positions. Bonifazio couldn’t find the space to move up forward and ended up missing top 10.
Tomorrow is 12.6km time trial and it will be interesting to see how many seconds our riders will gain or lose in the battle for GC before the last mountain finish stage.