Events

Abu Dhabi, stage 4: Dennis powers to victory and leader’s jersey

Rohan Dennis won the stage four individual time trial at the Abu Dhabi Tour on Saturday, as Tom Dumoulin suffered a mechanical.

Three-time Australian national time trial champion Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) powered to victory on stage four on Al Maryah Island at the Abu Dhabi Tour on Saturday. Dennis completed the 12.6-kilometer time trial course, the first time trial in the race’s short history, in a time of 14:21.

Sky’s Jonathan Castroviejo finished second, 14 seconds behind, with Miles Scotson making it two BMC riders on the podium with a third-place finish.

Tom Dumoulin’s (Sunweb) debut in the rainbow bands as world time trial champion did not go according to plan. The Dutchman suffered a mechanical midway through the effort and was forced to change his bike. He finished the stage over 30 seconds down on Dennis and outside of the top 10.

“I’m here after a change of plan ahead of the Giro and I’m pretty happy so far,” said Dennis, who was originally not due to race until Tirreno-Adriatico after opening his season in Australia in January. “It was hard to pace today with the wind so, power wise, I felt pretty good for February. It was tricky so I’m happy with the win.

“Tom Dumoulin had a mechanical, but I still beat him by 31 seconds. We always say a bike change requires 30 seconds. It’s never good to win over someone like Tom in that way. It’s a shame that it actually happened, but I think Dumoulin is still pretty dangerous. Valverde is looking good at the moment. I saw him going strong in the wind on stage two. He should be good on the hills tomorrow too but I’ll do my best to win the Abu Dhabi Tour.”

BMC Racing was utterly dominant on Saturday by placing four riders in the top 10 on the stage. The American-based program seems to have the firepower to defend Dennis’ lead in the general classification entering the final stage on Sunday. Dennis should expect many attacks to come on Sunday’s summit finish to end the Abu Dhabi Tour. Most of the top climbers in the race are nearly 30 seconds behind. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) could pose the biggest threat, as he sits ninth overall at 27 seconds after a solid time trial on Saturday.

The 199-kilometer final stage of the 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour begins in Al Ain and is flat until the riders hit the final 11-kilometer climb to the finish in Jabel Hafeet. The climb is moderately steep with a 6.6-percent average gradient and a maximum gradient of 11-percent, which comes near the top.

Stage 4 top 10

  • 1. Rohan Dennis, BMC RACING TEAM, in 14:21
  • 2. Jonathan Castroviejo, TEAM SKY, at 0:14
  • 3. Miles Scotson, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:16
  • 4. Jos Van Emden, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:16
  • 5. Wilco Kelderman, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:16
  • 6. Brent Bookwalter, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:17
  • 7. Nikias Arndt, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:22
  • 8. Patrick Bevin, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:23
  • 9. Alejandro Valverde, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:27
  • 10. Alex Dowsett, TEAM KATUSHA – ALPECIN, at 0:29

Top-10 GC after stage 4

  • 1. Rohan Dennis, BMC RACING TEAM, in 11:21:10
  • 2. Jonathan Castroviejo, TEAM SKY, at 0:14
  • 3. Miles Scotson, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:16
  • 4. Jos Van Emden, TEAM LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 0:16
  • 5. Wilco Kelderman, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:16
  • 6. Brent Bokwalter, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:17
  • 7. Patrick Bevin, BMC RACING TEAM, at 0:23
  • 8. Alejandro Valverde, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:24
  • 9. Tom Dumoulin, TEAM SUNWEB, at 0:31
  • 10. Julian Alaphilippe, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:34