Final metres felt like infinity for Colbrelli

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Final metres felt like infinity for Colbrelli
Italian cyclist Sonny Colbrelli celebrates on the podium after his victory in the fourth stage of the Dubai Tour.

Hatta - Italian was glad to win Stage 4 of the Dubai Tour

By James Jose

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Published: Fri 9 Feb 2018, 5:36 PM

Last updated: Fri 9 Feb 2018, 7:38 PM

Sonny Colbrelli said that the final metres to the steep finish line at the Hatta Dam felt like infinity and was glad to win this one for his team Bahrain-Merida.

The Italian finally overhauled breakaway rider Brandon McNulty of Rally Cycling, just metres from the finish, to win the gruelling Dubai Municipality Stage, the fourth Stage of the Dubai Tour on Friday.

The Italian surged ahead and overcame a valiant McNulty to clinch the 172km Stage, known as the 'Queen Stage,' the only Stage that involved a climb.

Colbrelli won with a time of three hours, 40 minutes and 50 seconds, ahead of Astana Pro Team's Magnus Cort Nielsen and Timo Roosen of Lotto NL-Jumbo.

"It was a great job by the team. They work hard for me so that I could win. I had to go from far away because there was McNauty who was still in the lead. This win means a lot for the team and it is also a big motivation for all the great classics that are coming up," Colbrelli said moments after the win.

"I really wanted to win today because the team has been working for me since day one. I launched the sprint from very far out because I had a mechanical and I was stuck on the 53. I couldn't wait for this race to end. The last 50 metres looked to me like infinity. Even without being the favourites, we raced as a team like leaders," he added.

Nielsen, who finished second, said it was the hardest day of the Tour and added that he still had the legs in him for the climb.

"It was a hard stage, the hardest day so far on this tour and it suited me very well. There was some climbing, not too much. Many of the faster guys were there but I was still able to have some legs left for the final climb up the bend. I made it into second place after today's (Friday) stage and took the young riders jersey," said Nielsen.

Meanwhile, BMC Racing Team's Nathan van Hooydonck, who lost out the young riders White Jersey but retained the Intermediate Sprints UAE Jersey, said that the pace of the peleton and the breakaway was quite high and added that the breakaway rider McNulty almost nicked a win at the end.

"When the breakaway went all the other days, the pace was pretty slow and then the peleton speeded up. But today (Friday), the peleton kept a high pace all the time and in the end they kind of miscalculated because McNulty was taken only a couple of metres from the finish line. The pace was really hard with some side wind, tail wind so, it was never easy today," said van Hooydonck.

"There are so many good teams here. They have some world class sprinters here and they all work for one goal which is to catch the breakaway and lead their sprint rider. The breakaway needs to really be super strong and they also need to ride intelligently and I think this breakaway today was very strong and they rode intelligent and you could see that he could almost make it to the finish line," added the Belgian.

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