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Abu Dhabi Tour 2015: Stage 2


Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 2 of the Abu Dhabi Tour. We start and finish in Yas Marina, with another day set to be decided by the sprinters.

A reminder of where things stand on GC coming into the stage. Guardini holds a four second lead over Boonen after his stage win and bonus seconds from stage 1.


1 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:21:01
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:04
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:06
4 Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:00:07
5 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team
6 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:00:08
7 Songezo Jim (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:00:09
8 Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team 0:00:10
9 Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
10 Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia

Today the riders face 129km of almost entirely flat roads. Unlike yesterday the heat is holding off so we shouldn't see the race stage shortened by the riders and race organisers - as we saw on stage 1. Temperatures, a more bearable 34 degrees today.


Today's stage is a "flat stage across the city, starting at the Yas Marina Circuit and heading towards the southern part of the city along wide and mostly straight roads," according to the race guide book. 


"After the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Exhibition Hall, the peloton turns back on itself, returning to Yas Island, then follows the Corniche until the Emirates Palace. There the riders will face a U-turn, cycling again alongside the Corniche until Yas Island, where the finish line is positioned next to the Yas Mall. Again, a mass sprint is expected."


The riders have passed through the neutralized zone and are currently heading towards the first 10km of the stage. There's no break but there have been a number of attacks from the peloton. Astana are towards the front of the peloton with Guardini there too.

Boonen, second yesterday, has given an interview to the Belgian press. He's thinks that he's back to where he was in 2012 and is motivated for another shot at the Classics in 2016. You can read the highlights from the interivew, right here.

In other news, we spoke to BMC's bigges signing of the season Richie Porte about his move, his aims for 2016 and how he and Tejay van Garderen can work together at the Tour de France. The exclusive interview, is right here.

This latest attack looks to have stuck and we have six men up the road with an advantage that's just over two minutes on the peloton.

The riders on the move are Voss, Haddi, Belkov, Patten, Bazzana and Zurlo.

The pace is electric this morning and the riders have already covered 39km with the six-man break still holding a gap of just over two minutes on the Astana led peloton.

83km remaining from 129km

Almost 50km of stage covered, and the leaders are still holding that two minute buffer over the peloton.

The Tour de Yorkshire have confirmed locations for their 2016 race but are still keen on extending the race to four-days, despite pushback from British Cycling. You can read the full story and interview with Gary Verity, right here.

Voss is no longer in the break so we're down to five leaders at the front of the race: Haddi, Belkov, Patten, Bazzana and Zurlo.

Haddi wins the interemdiate sprint but back in the peloton Tom Boonen has had a heavy fall.

There's a bit more wind out there today but we don't know what led to Boonen's crash just yet.

Big crash for Boonen I'm Abu Dhabi. Looks as though it may be race ending for him.

@daniellloyd1 Fri, 9th Oct 2015 11:15:23

Boonen is out. He's in an ambulance, his Abu Dhabi Tour over. We don't have any information on the extent of his injuries just yet.

The temperatures have nudged closer to 40 degrees out there too, so another hot and humid day for the riders. Still no word from the Etixx team about Boonen, and they're usually pretty swift with news and information. As soon as we know more we'll bring it to you.

Official confirmation from the race organisers that Boonen has indeed abandoned the race. The break, meanwhile have three minutes over the peloton.

Bos has also abandoned the race, so two sprinters out of the action and the race already today.

Boonen we've seen made it back to his feet but it looked like he hit his left side on the road. Bos was involved in the same crash.

55km remaining from 129km

55km to go and the gap to the break is down to 2;18 as the peloton increase the pace with the sprinters' teams hitting the front.

RT @Cyclingnewsfeed: Updated: The Cyclingnews guide to 2015-2016 rider transfers | http://t.c…

@Marionnnetttte Fri, 9th Oct 2015 11:01:47

The five riders in front continue to work well together but their gap is down to 1'42.

It's Giant Alpecin and Astana who are currently on the front of the bunch as they look to set something up for their sprinters.

The break line out, as they head towards the finish circuit but with 48km left in the race their chances of deciding the stage look slim indeed.

Alejandro Valverde is near the front too as he brings his Movistar team closer to the action. The Spaniard hasn't switched off yet, despite such a long season. He's a contender for tomorrow of course, with the uphill finish.

46km remaining from 129km

As Gilbert drops back to the team car and picks up some fresh bottles. He has the chance to talk tactics before moving back up to the peloton. The gap to the break is at 1'34.

Boonen crashes out of #AbuDhabiTour, taken away ambulance |

@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 9th Oct 2015 11:42:07

44km remaining from 129km

Roughly and hour to go in today's stage: If you're just joining us we have a break of five - Haddi, Belkov, Patten, Bazzana and Zurlo - with a gap of 1'38 over the peloton. Tom Boonen and Theo Bos have both crashed out of the stage.

Team confirms @tomboonen1 crashed and withdrew from #RideToAbuDhabi. We will have more information after the race.

@Etixx_QuickStep Fri, 9th Oct 2015 11:45:43

All of Astana are on the front now with Guardini neatly tucked in and waiting for the final sprint. Can he win for the second day in a row? He certainly looked strong yesterday.

Lombardia winner Nibali is back at the team car and picking up bottles for his teammates.

36km remaining from 129km

36km to go and the gap to the break is down to just 1'07 thanks to the work from Astana. We're coming up to the second intermediate sprint.

Bazzana takes that one for UHC.

Haddi has sat up now so the break are down to just four men.

Were down to just three in the break after that intermediate sprint: Belkov, Patten, Bazzana as the gap holds at 1'16.

We're down to just three in the break after that intermediate sprint: Belkov, Patten, Bazzana as the gap holds at 1'16.

28km remaining from 129km

Patten takes a long pull on the front of the three-man break and it's helped push the gap back out to 1'44 with 28km to go.

26km remaining from 129km

26km remaining and the gap continues to move out and it's at 1'58. The sprinters' teams are just setting themselves up for the final 20km. There's still plenty of time to bring this move back.

Just watching Gilbert move up. He attacked yesterday but with such a flat course his options are limited, especially with Astana so keen on setting up another sprint win.

And the peloton have started to up the tempo once more with a number of lead out trains starting to organise themselves. The gap is down to 40 seconds with 16km to go.

And it's Tinkoff Saxo who are now starting to lead the peloton with Sagan possibly thinking about the stage win.

And Astana, having done so much work in the earlier part of the stage, have attacked with one lone rider. The break, meanwhile, have just 9 seconds on the bunch with 13km to go.

Patten though has attacked as well with the rest of the break deciding to sit up.

Three riders have clipped off the front and are chasing down the WIGGINS rider.

Patten has been caught but the three riders who just went on the attack have created a five second lead with 11km to go.

The three riders up the road are Belkov, Clarke and Chtioui. They have seven seconds with 8.9km to go.

Just Chtioui clear of the bunch now but the gap is just five seconds with 6km to go.

Belkov has just re-joined him though so we have two leaders but the peloton hot on their heels. The gap is just four seconds as Astana now lead, with Aru out of the saddle and forming part of Guardini's leadout.

Just 3.3km to go and the gap is at 10 seconds with Orica leading the chase with Hayman now on the front.

Hayman have brought the leaders back to just 4 seconds. And they're now caught with 2.5km to go.

All togther as Team Sky move up with Viviani.

Tinkoff Saxo, Etixx and Team Sky near the front with Guardini perhaps too far back.

Oss attacks with 1km to go but he can't get a gap and that puts Guardini even further back.

And we're onto the finishing straight with Tinkoff on the front for Sagan.

Sagan hits the front with 150m to go but he has Viviani on his wheel. This is going to be close.

The Italian is moving up on the right and he's closing on the World Champion.

They hit the line and Viviani takes the sprint and the win.

Brief Results # Rider Name (Country) Team Result 1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky     2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo     3 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step     4 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Alpecin     5 Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step    

Viviani is now the race leader after that win while Sagan has to settle for second place. The World Champion was simply beaten by a better sprinter.

A combination of bonus seconds and stage placings have also moved @eliaviviani into the overall race lead at #RideToAbuDhabi #HappyTeam

@TeamSky Fri, 9th Oct 2015 12:48:45

Let's hear from today's winner:

"I know this final of the season I have really good condition. Yesterday we were disappointed because we worked all day and lost position on the last corner. I did a good sprint but from 30 positions back. Today we decided not to work as much, to save energy because we have a lot of climbers for tomorrow. If I was to have two leadout guys we needed to stay on wheels."

"When I saw 3km I needed to do a good effort to take Sagan’s wheel. When Sagan opened his sprint I say ‘ok, now I need to pass him, not wait’. I know I have good power at the end of this season. I am really really happy to take another win this season."

1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky 03:02:07
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
3 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
4 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Alpecin
5 Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step
6 Andrea Palini (Ita) Skydive Dhubai Pro Cycling
7 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Christopher Latham (GBr) Team Wiggins
9 Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
10 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18

General classification after stage 2
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky 07:23:08
2 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:00:04

That's about it from us today. We'll be back tomorrow with more live coverage from the Abu Dhabi Tour. You can find our report, results and photos from today, right here.

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