Final KM: Abu Dhabi St3, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Queen stage at Abu Dhabi and the start of the cobbled season (hallelujah and ring those cowbells)

Abu Dhabi Stage 3: Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium to Jebel Hafeet, 186km

Rui Costa delivered a queen stage home win for his UAE Team Emirates. The Portuguese rider carried his blistering form from the Tour of Oman to nip past Katusha’s Ilnur Zakarin in a two-up sprint in the only summit finish of the race. Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) placed third as the almost the entire GC packed chase group were too busy watching each other and let their chances slip away. Costa now leads the GC by 4secs from Zakarin, and with a hat full of bonifications up for grabs, the last stage will be exciting.

Highlights (watch out for Nairo Quintana versus Alberto Contador, it’s a fascinating duel)…

A superb 5th place took Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) to 9th on GC and straight into the best young riders jersey.

Full report at Cycling News.

Race Website  Race Twitter #RideToAbuDhabi

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, 122km (women), 198.3km (men)

Sunweb’s Lucinda Brand attacked out of an elite group with 5km to go and soloed to victory. It was an all Dutch podium with Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) taking the sprint for second from Orica-Scott’s Annemiek van Vleuten. Race report from Ella Cycling Tips

Highlights…

The trouble with bubbly…

Greg van Avermaet (BMC) stamped his authority on the opening cobbled race race of the season to tack back to back #OHN victories. The Olympic champion got away with a rainbow-clad Peter Sagan (Bora-Hannsgrohe) and Sep Vanmarcke in full argyle green 9oh dearie me), and then played it strong and smart in the three-up sprint. Read what VeloVoices queen of the cobbles, Kitty Fondue, has to say about it right here.

Highlights…

Love…

Header image: Chantal Blaak, Lucinda Brand and Annemiek van Vleuten #OHN © LC/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images)

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