The 3rd and Queen stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour saw Esteban Chaves (Orica-Greenedge) take the stage win as well as the leaders jersey. Fabio Aru (Astana) was 2nd and Wout Poels (Team Sky) finished in 3rd place.
Although today was only 140km in length, it would be one of the more difficult races to deal with this season as the centigrade reached a crazy 50 degrees at one point. With the temperature soaring, the race went on with the peloton heading toward a showdown on the final 11km climb to Jebel Hafeet.
There was an early break of 2 riders but it was never going to last, they were fried by the time the peloton reached the final climb. Our African Team were looking to Daniel Teklehaimanot and Songezo Jim to put in strong rides on the final ascent and it was the young South African who impressed.
While Songezo was never expected to challenge for the win, it was encouraging to see the former white jersey wearer hanging tough with the best climbers for so long. Songezo would go on to finish in 21st position, a promising result on a scorcher of a day.
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
It was super-hot today once again. The bunch came together for the final climb and we were protecting Daniel and Songezo to this point. On the final climb Songezo had good legs and he finished around 20th which is a super performance for him. Daniel didn’t have the legs today and sat up pretty early so we were pushing full gas for Songezo. He gave everything he had to finish in 21st. Tomorrow is the last stage and the final race for this group of guys this year, and in general it’s the final day of racing for our team too so we look forward to making one last result tomorrow.