Elia Viviani will end his first season in Team Sky colours with eight victories to his name after winning the fourth and final stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour. The Italian sprinter finished the inaugural UAE stage race with two wins to his name having also won in Abu Dhabi. On the F1 Yas Marina circuit, Viviani got the better of former teammate and world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and stage 1 winner Andrea Guardini (Astana) to also seal the points classification.
"I think we did a perfect job at the finish with Andy [Fenn] and Swifty," Viviani told his team website. "The feeling during the last part of the season has been really really good. They were incredible, as 3km from the finish they were up at the front - two riders taking me all the way to 500 metres to go. They are strong guys and I have to say thank you to them for giving me the opportunity to take the victory."
Viviani had also worn the leader's red jersey on stage 3 after his first win of the race and explained as a result he was confident of getting the better of his sprint rivals at the conclusion of 20 laps around the five-kilometre circuit.
"On this stage it was very important to do the work and take a good position into the last corner. When I saw Bennati and Oss in front of me I thought, 'okay these guys are fast but not faster than me'. It was perfect because they had a good progression, and when I decided to go I could go. I knew it would be easier to stay at the front. It was a close finish but when I crossed the line I knew immediately that I had won," he added.
Viviani's brace were his second and third wins on UAE soil this season having opened his 2015 and Team Sky account at the Dubai Tour back in February. Viviani ends his season with eight wins to his name, second best on the Sky winning tally for the year, which equals his best ever season in terms of wins from 2011. However 2015 has arguably been the more successful season as the 26-year-old broke through for a maiden Giro d'Italia win and the Italian explained the two races have bookended his season nicely.
"These two races came in two good periods for me," Viviani said. "Dubai was one week before the world championships on the track and I was in good shape. Also this part of the season now is good for me as I need to do another 20 days on the track. After the roads worlds I am not lacking in motivation and I wanted to take some results after all that work I did for the worlds. The result paid off for all the work we have done."
Along with his middle east wins, Viviani also tasted success at the Eneco Tour and won three stages of the Tour of Britain.
"I think we've done a great job in the last half of the season," he added. "Since the Tour of Britain we have done amazing work. It is just a shame we did not get lucky for the GC as Wout had the crash on the last corner yesterday. He is really strong and he has shown that when he is not working for a big captain like Froomey or Richie he can take his opportunities in the one-week races."
With his road season coming to a close, Viviani turns his attention to the European Track Championships in Grenchen, Switzerland this weekend where he attempt to defend his omnium title.