Abu Dhabi Tour 2017: Caleb Ewan wins stage four ahead of Mark Cavendish

Rui Costa seals overall victory; Cavendish tops points classification

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) bagged his fifth win of the 2017 season to close out the Abu Dhabi Tour with victory on the Yas Marina Formula One circuit ahead of Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).

Ewan put his premature celebrations on stage two – where Marcel Kittel pipped him to the line – behind him to win on the rain-soaked circuit, with Cavendish having to come from too far back to add to his stage one win.

The Manx Missile did take home the green points classification jersey, however, while Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) – winner of stage three atop Jebel Hafeet – sealed overall victory.

Caleb Ewan outsprinted Mark Cavendish to win the fourth and final stage of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour (pic – RCS Sport)

The final stage proceeded largely as expected, with British time trial champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) among the riders who test their legs in the breakaway.

The sprint teams were never going to let that stick, however, and when Dowsett and Dylan Theuns (BMC Racing) – the last two riders standing – were caught with 28km remaining a bunch sprint was always inevitable.

Ewan arrived at the front on the wheel of team-mate Roger Kluge, and the Australian – who won four stages of the season-opening Tour Down Under too – continued his fine form by sprinting to victory.

Both Cavendish and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) found themselves too far back in the final sprint to catch Ewan, but the Manxman’s consolation prize for second place – his third top-three finish of the race – was the green jersey.

Costa, meanwhile, stayed safe on the circuit to deliver a home win for his team’s new Emirati sponsors, having beaten Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) on the Jebel Hafeet queen stage.

Zakarin and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), third on Jebel Hafeet, also stayed upright on the rain-soaked final stage to round off the final podium after the expected battle between Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had failed to materialise on the race’s only summit finish.

The win moves Costa into the top five on the UCI WorldTour ranking, but the Portuguese rider is still some way behind current leader Richie Porte (BMC Racing), the Tour Down Under winner.

Rui Costa won the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour, while Cavendish topped the points classification (pic – RCS Sport)

For Cavendish, meanwhile, his attention will now turn to Tirreno-Adriatico, a race which will serve as his final warm-up ahead of Milan-San Remo.

Abu Dhabi Tour: stage four – result

1) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-Scott – 3.03.06hrs
2) Mark Cavendish (GBR) – Dimension Data – ST
3) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Soudal
4) Niccolo Bonifazio (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida
5) Matteo Pelucchi (ITA) – Bora-hansgrohe
6) Roger Kluge (GER) – Orica-Scott
7) Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) – QuickStep Floors
8) Alexander Porsev (RUS) – Gazprom-RusVelo
9) Kiel Reijnen (USA) – Trek-Segafredo
10) Rick Zabel (GER) – Katusha-Alpecin

General classification

1) Rui Costa (POR) – UAE Team Emirates – 15.42.21hrs
2) Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) – Katusha-Alpecin +4”
3) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Team Sunweb +16”
4) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Trek-Segafredo +38”
5) Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) – QuickStep Floors +53”
6) Rafal Majka (POL) – Bora-hansgrohe +56”
7) George Bennett (NZL) – LottoNL-Jumbo – ST
8) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana
9) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
10) Patrick Konrad (AUT) – Bora-hansgrohe +1.07

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