February 26, 2017
Lead switches hands for the third time as Rui Costa takes over after winning the Queen Stage.
The 186km thirds stage, dubbed the Queen Stage, fell to Rui Costa who ended the sprinters' reigh after outsprinting Iknur Zakarin for the stage win ahead of a group of eight breakaway riders. The margin punched Costa into the race lead with over a minite back to the likes of alberto Contador and Vicenzo Nibali.
Speaking seconds after the stage finish, the winner and new Red Jersey bearer Costa said:
"I started the final climb a long way back and I had to put a lot of effort in to reach the front of the peloton. When I got there I realised that my legs were good and I tried to surprise the others with an attack from a long way out. That was the right tactic. I was still suffering from the initial effort so I saved myself with Zakarin at the end to recuperate for the final sprint. For us it was very important to have a great result here. I can’t say I was under pressure but psychologically I knew we had to perform at our best. We won and there couldn’t be a better result. We are extremely happy for this victory here in Abu Dhabi, with a new sponsor and a brand new jersey. I’m very happy with this victory that will boost my morale for the remainder of the season".
Race Video Highlights
1 - Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) 186km in 4h34’08”, av sp 40.710km/h
2 - Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) s.t.
3 - Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 10"
1 - Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi)
2 - Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) at 4"
3 - Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 16"
4 - Bauke Mollema (Trek - Segafredo) at 38"
5 - Rafal Majka (Bora - Hansgrohe) at 56"
The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) - Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi)
The Green Jersey, sponsored by Nation Towers (General individual classification by points) - Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)
The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1992) - Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)
The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Marco Canola (Nippo - Vini Fantini)
Stage 3 and GC Results in Full