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“I managed to get the white jersey today as an early birthday present. I really hope I can keep it tomorrow as well. I want to thank the boys for a good job."

Photo: Sirotti

DUBAI TOUR

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NEWS

MICHAEL VALGREN

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

OLIVER ZAUGG

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NEWS

ROBERT KISERLOVSKI

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NEWS
06.02.2015 @ 18:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo was in the mix as the riders of Dubai Tour fought on the short, steep climb finishing off stage 3 to Hatta Dam, where John Degenkolb won ahead of Alejandro Valverde. The 205km undulating stage saw Manuele Boaro, Oliver Zaugg and Michael Valgren all finish within the top-20, while Valgren also climbed to first place in the young rider classification.

 

“I managed to get the white jersey today as an early birthday present. I really hope I can keep it tomorrow as well. I want to thank the boys for a good job”, says Michael Valgren, who turns 23 tomorrow.

 

According to Kiserlovski, 21st on the stage, the team can be satisfied.

 

“It was a good stage for us. We didn’t win, but we hadn’t expected that either. The ascent was simply too short for that and favored the versatile sprinters and fast guys such as Degenkolb and Valverde. Especially Oliver Zaugg and I would have needed at least 800 or 1000 meters to compete with the more powerful guys”, says Robert Kiserlovski about the last 200 meters of 17 percent.

 

From the backseat of the car heading for the team hotel, Kiserlovski is backed by teammate Oliver Zaugg, who finished 13th on the stage.

 

“It was a good test. It’s early in the year and for a light guy like me it’s great to experience that I’m almost able to keep up in an uphill sprint like this. It gives me confidence before the next races”, explains Zaugg.

 

 

Stage 3 started in Dubai and took the riders 205km on desert roads to Hatta Dam, near the border of Oman. Five riders broke away early and had more than 10 minutes halfway through the stage. But the favorites made it quite clear that they wanted to compete for the stage win and sent their domestiques to increase the speed in the main bunch. The breakaway was caught before the finale.

 

Hectic battle 
Several teams fought for positioning going into the last 200 steep meters, where John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) accelerated away of the front. The German managed to keep an approaching Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at bay and won the stage. After the stage, Robert Kiserlovski reckoned that a good position in the pack was crucial to success.

 

“You have to be among the first riders to enter a short climb like this if you’re aiming for the win. So it was really hectic in the last 5 kilometers, which also caused some crashes. Luckily I wasn’t affected, as I’m still quite soar from my own crash yesterday. People were coming from all sides all the time. With 1 k to go I had a great position in the front, then suddenly I was at the back as the positioning rotated back and fourth”, he says and adds:

 

“So I was in the middle of the peloton, when we started the climb. But I overtook many riders in the last part. We finished the stage with four riders among the first 21, which I think is a good sign”, concludes Robert Kiserlovski.

 

Tomorrow’s stage will take the riders from the usual start at Dubai Marine Club on a 123-kilometer city route to the finish at the iconic skyscraper Burj Khalifa, which also marks the end of this year’s Dubai Tour.

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