Elia Viviani moves into Abu Dhabi Tour race lead after stage two victory

Team Sky sprinter Elia Viviani wins the second stage of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour - Tom Boonen and Theo Bos crash out - Paul Voss is disqualified - Photos by Graham Watson

Elia Viviani wins stage 2 of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour

(Image credit: Watson)

Italian sprinter Elia Viviani gave Team Sky a stage victory in the Abu Dhabi Tour on Friday, winning the bunch sprint ahead of world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Viviani sprinted clear of Sagan, with Fabio Sabatini (Etixx-QuickStep) in third. British rider Chris Latham (Team Wiggins) finished in eighth spot.

The 26-year-old Italian adds the win to 2015 stage victories in the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Britain (three stages), Eneco Tour and Dubai Tour.

Viviani takes the overall lead in the inaugural edition of the race with two stages remaining, sitting at the same time as stage one winner Andrea Guardini (Astana). Sagan is third overall at four seconds.

Elia Viviani in the race lead after stage two of the Abu Dhabi Tour 2015

Elia Viviani in the race lead after stage two of the Abu Dhabi Tour 2015 (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

"About a kilometre from the finish, I had to make a big effort to get on Sagan's wheel," said Viviani as he recounted the victory. "On the final corner, Palini and another rider moved on the inside, but I did not like the look of it and held back.

"Sagan went, and I knew I had to wait, but not too long because he is so strong. But sprinting is my job, and I managed to get past him, and I am delighted to have taken another win. The conditions today were considerably better than yesterday, and it was a good day for me and the team."

The stage may have been flat, and the weather marginally cooler than the previous day, but the day was still packed with incidents.

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) and Theo Bos (MTN-Qhubeka) are out of the race after suffering injuries as a result of a crash after 55km of the relatively short 129km stage from the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit.

>>> Tom Boonen crashes out of Abu Dhabi Tour (video)

To add to the unexpected incidents, German Paul Voss (Bora Argon 18) was disqualified after he had a verbal disagreement with Federico Zurlo (UnitedHealthcare) during the run-up to an intermediate sprint.

Voss was squeezed into the side of the (wide) road by Zurlo, and gesticulated wildly after having to brake sharply and miss out on contesting the sprint. Voss - who held the intermediate sprint classification lead - paid for his display of anger with disqualification.

Tomorrow the riders face something different: Saturday's stage three features an 11-kilometre long climb to the finish line, and is likely to decide the overall classification ahead of Sunday's flat finale.

>>> Abu Dhabi Tour 2015: What you need to know

Peloton during stage two of the Abu Dhabi Tour 2015

Peloton during stage two of the Abu Dhabi Tour 2015 (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)


Abu Dhabi Tour 2015, stage two: Yas Marina Circuit to Yas Mall, 129km

1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky in 3-02-07

2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo

3. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx-QuickStep

4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin

5. Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx-QuickStep

6. Andrea Palini (Ita) SkyDive Dubai

7. Jose Joaquim Rojas (Spa) Movistar

8. Chris Latham (GBr) Team Wiggins

9. Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare

10. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 all same time

Overall classification after stage two

1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky

2. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana at same time

3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo at 4 secs

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