The Italian holds the lead by four seconds, and needs to prevent those closest to him in GC from taking the time bonuses on stage five
Quick-Step Floors sprinter Elia Viviani is ready to “play the game” tomorrow as he anticipates his closest rivals for the Dubai Tour GC trying to find ways to wrestle the jersey from his shoulders.
The Italian placed sixth on the steep uphill finish to Hatta Dam on the race’s penultimate stage. That was enough to preserve a lead of two seconds over Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) and four seconds over Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) who finished the fourth stage second and first respectively.
Saturday’s race is likely to end in a bunch sprint as it is very flat and only 129km. But with a 10 second time bonus for the win Colbrelli, and Cort Nielsen are at the head of a queue of riders that are within striking distance, including French fast-man Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Belgian Nathan Van Hooydonck (BMC).
Viviani took the race lead on Thursday after the previous leader, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), received a 20 second time penalty for drafting cars after a mechanical. 29-year-old Viviani also won a stage of the race in the sprint finish on stage two.
Viviani said: “We started