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by Neal Rogers
February 10, 2018
In today’s Daily News Digest: Colbrelli takes uphill sprint at Dubai Tour, Viviani retains GC lead; Alalphilippe wins uphill sprint at Colombia Oro y Paz, takes race lead; Life after Sky: With move to Quick-Step, Viviani is quickly building momentum; Oh-so-close for Rally’s Brandon McNulty at Dubai Tour; Gaviria’s hat trick: Three for three in Colombia Oro y Paz sprints; Sagan announces two new gran fondo events in California; Specialized launches new S-Works 7 road shoes and Evade II aero road helmet; Colnago updates flagship road bike with C64.
Race leader heading towards the final stage of the Dubai Tour on Saturday, Elia Viviani is in a commanding position. He will begin the final day two seconds clear of Magnus Cort (Astana) and a further two seconds up on stage four victor Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida). If he wins, it will be one of the most important successes of his career, marking his first stage-race victory since the smaller Tour of Elk Grove in the U.S. in 2013. But, perhaps more importantly, his display in the race underlines both his strong form and also the way that he and the QuickStep Floors team has gelled since he moved there over the winter.
Viviani was previously with Team Sky, racing there between the start of 2015 and the end of 2017. He picked up some important successes there, including a stage in the Giro d’Italia, but missed out on a dedicated sprint train in the biggest stage races. His move to Quick-Step Floors, will, he believes, make victory more likely.
“They are the two biggest teams in the world,” he said, when asked by CyclingTips what his pre-season transfer would mean for his career. “Team Sky is really focussed in the GC [general classification]. I am the leader when we went to races like this one, but I couldn’t follow my ambition in the Grand Tours, to win stages in a Grand Tour. I had this chance to move to QuickStep and then I see straight away the difference. The team is really all around me when I go to the race, and that makes the difference for my results.”
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