Esteban Chaves wins Abu Dhabi stage three after Wout Poels crashes on final corner

Colombian takes overall lead after stage win which saw the Sky rider Poels crash shortly before the finish

(Image credit: Watson)

Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) took the overall lead in the Abu Dhabi Tour after riding to victory on the summit finish of stage two, riding past a stricken Wout Poels (Sky) who had crashed on the final bend.

The Colombian made a solo move on the finishing climb of Jebel Hafeet with around 4km to go to the summit of the 8.6km climb from a group of elite climbers.

The race had severely broken up as it hit the climb on another hot day in the Middle East, and only Fabio Aru (Astana) and Poels were able to make a chase in earnest to chase down the diminutive Chaves after he had dropped Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

The Italian Vuelta a España winner Aru eventually began to fade, but Dutchman Poels was able to bridge the gap to Chaves with just over 1km to go.

The two then rode together for a short while, but Poels looked to be the stronger as he made a move in the final few hundred metres with the gradient shallowing.

Poels lead into the final tight left-hander to the line, and although victory wasn't guaranteed, his chances completely disappeared as he slid out and crashed.

Chaves was able navigate his way round the incident and rolls across the line, as the grounded Poels attempted to get up and make second.

Problems with his bike meant he couldn't pedal though, and Aru eventually caught up and went round him to take second, with Poels limping home to third.

Chaves now looks to have the overall classification sewn up going into Sunday's flat stage on the Yas Marina circuit, with a 16 second gap over Aru and 27 second gap over third placed Poels.

Abu Dhabi Tour - Stage 3

Esteban Chaves wins stage two of the Abu Dhabi Tour (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)


Abu Dhabi Tour 2015, stage three: Al Ain to Jabel Hafeet, 140km

1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge, in 3-38-04

2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 12 secs

3. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky, at 21 secs

4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, at 31 secs

5. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) United Health Care, st

6. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick Step, at 1-19

7. Aljeandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar

8. Leopold Konig (Cze) Sky

9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, all same time

10. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar, at 1-30

Overall classification after stage three

1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge, in 10-51-12

2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 16 secs

3. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky, at 27 secs

4. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) United Health Care, at 41 secs

5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, st

6. Leopold Konig (Cze) Sky, at 1-29

7. Aljeandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar

8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, all same time

9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick Step, all same time

10. Patrick Konrad (Aus) Bora Argon 18, at 1-40

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).