Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) nabbed his second victory of 2017 Saturday at the Abu Dhabi Tour, and with it, surged into the race lead. The 30-year-old Portuguese all-rounder crested the Jebel Hafeet climb just ahead of Katusha's Ilnur Zakarin to take the win and very likely the overall title with just one sprinter's stage left to race.
A four-man breakaway escaped in the early goings but was swallowed up as the bunch approached the foot of the critical finishing climb, the lone serious topographic challenge in the four-day Abu Dhabi Tour.
Movistar's Nairo Quintana was an early aggressor on the climb, but he was closely marked by a cast of Grand Tour stars, with Trek-Segafredo's Alberto Contador in particular staying glued to Quintana's wheel all the way up the ascent.
Costa jumped clear shortly after and was given a bit more room to roam. After a few others failed to bridge the distance, Zakarin set off in pursuit. The Russian eventually caught up to Costa, and from there the pair worked well together to hold off a any pursuers.
Costa proved fastest in the final few hundred meters, leaving Zakarin behind on the finishing straight to take the win. Team Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin took third on the day.
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