February 8, 2018
Viviani clings on to race lead by 2" as Cobrelli triumphs on Stage 4
Sonny Cobrelli left his rivals gasping to take the win on the Hatta Dam. The Italian held off Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) and Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the steep final section.
Hatta, 9 February 2018 – Italy's Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) won Stage 4 of the 2018 Dubai Tour, from Skydive Dubai to Hatta Dam (172km). Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), 6th on the finish line, successfully defended the race leader's Blue Jersey, sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Dubai, and also wears the points leader's Red Jersey, sponsored by Emirates.
Cobrelli led a last minute catch of breakaway survivor, nineteen-year-old American rider Brandon McNulty (Rally pro cycling) who had a healthy advantage beforethe last agonising 17% slope to the finssh proved too much.
He told reporters, “It was an ‘oh sh*t’ moment,” McNulty told reporters at the finish, adding that his legs cramped up on the final climb. At 100m to go I thought I wouldn’t get caught but then the wall hit and I looked back and the peloton was there,”
Speaking immediately after the stage finish, Sonny Colbrelli said: “I really wanted to win today because the team has been working for me since day one. I was close yesterday. Today, again, Bahrain-Merida has done a great job. I launched the sprint from very far out because I had a mechanical and I was stuck on the 53. I couldn't wait for this race to end. The last 50 metres looked to me like an infinity. This victory means a lot for my team and is very important for my morale. Even without being the favorites, we raced as a team like leaders. "
Elia Viviani who holds on to the Blue leader's jersey by a scant 2" said: “The race isn't over yet. Two seconds advantage over Cort Nielsen isn't much, considering how strong he is... but we have a strong team. It was the case again to close the gap on the breakaway riders. I'm happy with the result because the goal was to defend the Blue Jjersey. I think I couldn't do more than this. When Colbrelli went, I thought my legs were dying. I just have to do my best sprint tomorrow to win the Dubai Tour and possibly another stage.”
Stage 4 Video Hightlights (courtesy of Dubai Tour 2018)
Race Results - Stage 4