Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) continued his early-season winning comeback from the crash that ended his 2017 Tour de France with final day stage and overall Abu Dhabi Tour honours. The Spaniard was unstoppable in the summit finale at Jebel Hafeet, taking all before him and relegating Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez to second on the stage and third on GC.
“As long as I continue winning, I will continue riding,” Valverde said. “I don’t know if I’m the best rider in the world, but I’m a rider who wins big races and is always up there.”
Race leader at the start of the stage, Rohan Dennis (BMC), had already been distanced on the climb and soon after the majority of the peloton as Valverde and Lopez skipped away. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) lead home the first chase group at 15 seconds but had to settle for fourth place overall. Wilco Kelderman crossing the line in Alaphilippe’s group and taking third place overall.
Kelderman’s teammate Tom Dumoulin had another day to forget with a second mechanical in as many days ending any hope for a result or redemption for the time trial mishap.
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