Race: Dubai Tour, Stage 4
Start/Finish: Dubai/Hatta Dam, United Arab Emirates
Distance: 172 kilometers
Hatta Dam, UAE —Friday’s 172-kilometer race served as the Dubai Tour’s queen stage and it saw Team Novo Nordisk’s Chris Williams feature in the day’s main breakaway.
Immediately from the Stage 4 start, Williams and two other riders attacked. Quickly three riders joined them. The six-man group earned a maximum gap of 6:30.
Williams took top honors through the first intermediate sprint and was runner-up through the second intermediate sprint. Following the second sprint, Williams and another rider dropped back to the peloton in anticipation of the climb up Hatta Dam.
Eventually, only Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling) remained off the front from the initial breakaway. Heading into the final kilometer, it appeared the American would pull off an upset, but a reduced chase group caught him in the final 150 meters.
Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) took the win while Charles Planet finished in that elite front group.
“Today was good for my confidence; it felt good to be there with the best guys in this race. After two days in the breakaway and 300 kilometers off the front, I didn’t know what to expect out of my legs. My teammates helped me all the way to the climb. My legs felt good and I moved up to the first group. I finished in the top 20, but I know I can do better. I did learn some valuable lessons today, specifically about positioning in the crucial moments on the climb.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, wraps up racing at the Dubai Tour on Saturday with Stage 5. The final 132-kilometer stage begins at Skydive Dubai and features two intermediate sprints before a sprint finish at City Walk. Team Novo Nordisk’s Planet, Williams and Quentin Valognes are all still in contention to win the intermediate sprint jersey.
Stage 4: Rider CGM Data*
Chris Williams: 3:54:53 (Chris spent 134km of the 172-km queen stage in the breakaway)
1st: Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): 3:40:50
2nd: Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro Team): same time as Colbrelli
3rd: Timo Roosen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo): same time as Colbrelli
19th: Charles Planet: same time as Colbrelli
(Photos: ©TDWSport/Getty Images)