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UAE Tour: Fernando Gaviria takes Stage 2, Primoz Roglic remains leader

Gaviria takes UAE Tour Stage 2, Roglic remains leader
By Eurosport

25/02/2019 at 14:42Updated 25/02/2019 at 15:04

Fernando Gaviria overcame Elia Viviani in the final sprint to clinch Stage 2 in the UAE Tour on Monday.

Gaviria held off Viviani's late surge to secure a 37th career victory and third of the campaign after his two triumphs in Argentina last month.

Team Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic remains leader in the General Classification after finishing 38th on stage two.

Richie Porte, Tom Dumoulin and Alejandro Valverde are set to test the Slovenian’s resolve when the 179km third stage begins on Tuesday from UAE University to Jebel Hafeet.

Video - Gaviria edges out Viviani to clinch Stage 2

02:28

Team-mate Alexander Kristoff helped Gaviria during his sprint finish to withstand Viviani's best efforts and boost UAE Team Emirates' hopes of a win on home soil.

Speaking afterwards, Gaviria said: "It was a really difficult sprint because there's a lot of strong riders but my team-mates worked really hard for me.

"It was a dream start, and the first peloton made it easier. Kristoff played a really big part.

Video - Gaviria: This was a really important win

00:56

"For the team, this is really important as it's our new home."

In strong crosswinds, this was Gaviria's first win at WorldTour level as he denied the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider Viviani and Caleb Ewan of Lotto-Soudal.

Roglic retains the red jersey after winning the opening day time trial, and he said: "This was a more typical race here with the wind. I was luckily in the first group and everything came together.

Video - Roglic: We must take it day by day

01:02

"With our guys, they showed they are very strong so I thank them. We just have to go day by day and then we'll see. I will give what I have to the climb tomorrow. I've never done it before, so we'll just have to wait and see."

Gaviria will be in confident mood ahead of further sprint stages on Thursday and Saturday, but Marcel Kittel's struggles continued.

The German finished eighth as his sprint rivals breezed past him, and it is hard to see if he can replicate the success enjoyed with Team Quick-Step at Katusha-Alpecin.

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