Spain’s Juan Jose Lobato clinched a summit finish victory in the key stage three of the Tour of Dubai on Friday as Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo seized the overall leader’s blue jersey.
Finishing the race at the steep Hatta Dam way after a 172km ride through the city and the desert, the Movistar man also seized second place in the overall standings from Germany’s Marcel Kittel.
“I knew this finale from last year and it’s exactly the kind of finish that I like,” Lobato said after the race.
“It was all about being well positioned before the last climb and I was indeed,” he said. “I’m very happy to get my first win of the year here.”
Nizzolo, who had maintained third place during the first and second stages of the tour, steadily made his way to the overall lead on Friday.
“After two podiums on the flat stages, it’s satisfying to finish second uphill here,” he said. “It’s a good sign… The last climb was just a strong and brutal effort.”
Friday’s third stage embarked from the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort to the Hatta Dam near the border with Oman where racers were challenged with two climbs and descents.
“I hope that I can keep the jersey tomorrow,” said Nizzolo.
Swiss rollers Silvan Dillier and Fabian Cancellara and Belgian puncher Philippe Gilbert arrived four seconds after Lobato.
The first kilometre of the race featured a breakaway led by Spain’s Francisco Mancebo.
Later as the road began to climb towards the Hatta Dam, Kazakh racer Dimitry Gruzdev led another escape.
The fourth and final stage on Saturday will run 132 kilometres within the city of Dubai ending at its iconic Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest tower. – Agence France-Presse