Mark Cavendish abandons Abu Dhabi Tour after crashing in neutral zone

Paola Ditto
Febbraio 21, 2018

The Manx rider, who won the opening stage of last year's race, hit the deck in the neutral zone shortly after setting off on Wednesday from Madinat Zayed.

The high-class bunch including Abu Dhabi Tour victor and defending champion, Rui Costa and his teammate Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team), Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), 2018 Dubai Tour victor Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), Marcel Kittel (Katusha Alpecin), Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), were joined by Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary.

While the time trial seems to have offset plans for few teams, for Team Sunweb, this plays into their hands and their captain, 2017 Giro d'Italia and reigning world time trial champion Tom Domoulin and he knows this is the ideal race for him. But Jabel Hafeet remains a hard climb, it's 25 minutes of climbing.

While Costa is battling out with Dumoulin, Dennis, Valverde, Majka and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) for GC on the final 199km queen stage, the world's best sprinters will be rubbing elbows and trading paint in what has been a blistering month of racing in the Middle East, starting with the Dubai Tour won by Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) and the Tour of Oman, won by Alexey Lutsenko (Astana). It's my third time racing the Abu Dhabi Tour. "It'll put more riders into the mix for the overall victory".

"My legs were all right again in Oman after my stage victory in Dubai. For the Abu Dhabi Tour, we have a very strong team and Julian Alaphilippe for GC", he said. The Stage 5 win gave Viviani three total including a stage win at Tour Down Under against fellow 2018 TDU stage winners Greipel (two) and Ewan (one).

He said, "I've had an incredible start to the season in Australia, which continued with winning the Dubai Tour, but I want more".

"The new route with a Time Trial changes the tactic".

Abu Dhabi: The fourth Abu Dhabi Tour is ready to get underway. "The world's best sprinters are here", he continued.

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