Events

Chaves confirms Abu Dhabi title as Viviani wins finale

Esteban Chaves notches his first win in a pro stage race as Elia Viviani pips the world champ to take the final stage

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) won the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour on Sunday, defending his red leader’s jersey in the fourth and final stage.

Elia Viviani (Team Sky) sprinted to victory in the finale, a 20-lap circuit race in the Yas Marine Autodrome. World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished second with Andrea Guardini (Astana) third.

In the end, Chaves collected the overall title by 16 seconds over Astana’s Fabio Aru, with Wouter Poels (Sky) third overall at 27 seconds.

“Can you imagine? First a mountain stage win, then my first GC in a professional stage race. I am very, very happy,” said Chaves. “As I follow my winter training program, I will be remembering this race.”

Viviani likewise was delighted.

“With two stage wins and the points title, this race has gone perfectly for me.,” he said. “I knew Sagan was on my wheel because I glimpsed the rainbow jersey to my right. I opened my sprint with 150m to go and, although it was very close, he didn’t come past.”

Another second place was not what Sagan had had in mind, but the world champion was content to bring his season to a close with a bang, including a Formula One-style pit stop.

“Second is not first. But the season is finished and I’m happy for that,” he said. The pit stop is nice. We tried to do like Formula One … [it was] fun for fans. Riding on the circuit was very special and different: very cool, very fast.”