Joining VeloClub not only supports the work we do, there are some fantastic benefits:
by Shane Stokes
February 20, 2018
After mulling over decision, Aru confirms Giro d’Italia participation; Viviani chasing further success in Abu Dhabi Tour; Boom delays season start following heart surgery, but is aiming to return in Paris-Nice; The SHEcret Pro: lies of equality, accidental doping, and kit fashion; Cycling writer Tilin tragically killed while riding in Texas; Winter Olympian’s father rides 17,000 kilometres to see son compete; Perth bike path speed bump trial set to force speeding cyclists to slow down; Video: 4 Days Of Cycling With Phil Gaimon (Fog, Mud, and a KOM)
Having racked up four victories this season, including two stage wins in the recent Dubai Tour, Elia Viviani will be one of the protected riders on the QuickStep Floors team in this week’s Abu Dhabi Tour. The Italian sprinter is psyched to both chase personal success and also to help his teammates for the general classification.
“After the Dubai Tour I spent a nice week at home, recovered and continued with my training,” he said on Monday. “I came out of that race in a good shape, with confidence and a super feeling with my teammates, and now I’ll look to take all these factors into the Abu Dhabi Tour. Unlike Dubai, I’ll not race for the GC, but the goal is to fight for a stage win and help the climbers on our team as much as I can on the final day.”
The team’s aspirations will also hinge on Julian Alaphilippe, who took a stage win in the recent Colombia Oro y Paz, and who was fifth overall last year in the Abu Dhabi Tour. “I am happy to go there for the second time. We have a strong team and will try to get some solid results. I did a good GC last year and it would be nice to repeat that, although it will be different now with the ITT. But I am motivated and will do my best.”
The team will also include Enric Mas, Michael Mørkøv and Fabio Sabatini, as well as the neo-pros Alvaro Hodeg and James Knox. “We have a tough mountain finish on stage five, but also the first three days could turn out to be tricky, because we are heading into the desert and if we have wind there, as in the past, things will become very interesting,” said directeur sportif Rik van Slycke, who believes the time trial could prove be decisive.