Viviani not getting carried away just yet

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Viviani not getting carried away just yet
Quick-Step Floors' Italian rider Elia Viviani celebrates winning the Blue Jersey of general classification after the fourth stage of the Dubai Tour.

Hatta - Italian finishes sixth in Stage 4 but holds on to the leader's Blue Jersey

By James Jose

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Published: Fri 9 Feb 2018, 5:40 PM

Last updated: Fri 9 Feb 2018, 7:43 PM

Elia Viviani said it is not over just yet despite the Italian keeping hold of the leader's Blue Jersey and added that it would be interesting to see how things pan out in the final day of the Dubai Tour.

Viviani finished sixth in the Dubai Municipality Stage, won by countryman Sonny Colbrelli, at the Hatta Dam on Friday.

The Olympic champion still leads the General Classification and has the title all but in the bag. But it is a slender two-second lead that the Quick-Step Floors rider holds over Astana Pro Team's Magnus Cort Nielsen and a four-second cushion over Colbrelli.

The Giro d'Italia Stage winner said that he was unable to go for a Stage win on Friday and added that the goal was to defend his Blue Jersey.

"I think it is not the finish. I only have two seconds on Cort Nielsen, and you've seen how strong he is. I think that it is going to be an interesting day tomorrow," said Viviani.

"We have a strong team, we saw today (Friday) with what Niki (Terpstra) and Lampy (Yves Lampaert) did in the last bit to close the breakaway. I'm happy with the result because the goal was to defend the jersey and be there. I think I can't do more than this. I can't really stay with Colbrelli. When he went, I felt the legs get tight and I just tried to arrive and not give a gap in the middle of the riders. Cort Nielsen is really close but we have the guys to control," he added.

Viviani, who had won the Ras Al Khaimah Stage, the second Stage of the Tour, to pull on the Blue Jersey, admitted that Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel's absence in the top five of the overall classification would help matters on Saturday.

"The good thing is that Cav and Kittel are not really close. We can control it tomorrow (Saturday). I think I have the team to do that and I just have to do my best sprint. It is another chance to win a stage," Viviani said.

Team Dimension Data's Cavendish and Team Katusha Alpecin's Kittel finished 20th and 22nd respectively in the Stage to slip to 12th and 17th in the General Classification.

Meanwhile, UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff was quite satisfied after putting up another consistent performance.

The Norwegian, who is making his debut with the team at the Tour, followed up his fourth and two seventh place finishes with fourth in Friday's Stage.

"I'm pretty satisfied with fourth place. Whilst a podium position would have been a great way to end a great race, I prefer to focus my attention on the fact that I'm producing consistent performances in the top 10," said Kristoff.

"My teammates were fantastic leading me to the approach of Hatta Dam, especially Sven Erik Bystrom and Matteo Bono, who both did a really impressive job. My legs were fairly good, but maybe the final few metres were too heavy for me," added the reigning European Champion.

Meanwhile, Kristoff's teammate UAE National Champion Yousif Mirza said that the team took pride in the Norwegian's result and hoped that he can get a win on the morrow.

"The team is really proud of Alexander, who fought so hard on a very steep hill against riders who were much lighter than him. He missed out on the podium but I feel he demonstrated that he's a class rider and I'd love for him to get the result he deserves in the final stage tomorrow," said the Emirati.

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