Dubai: The UAE Team Emirates continued raking in the honours in Europe with Aleksandr Riabushenko adding one more podium finish for the Abu Dhabi-based outfit.
The 24-year-old Belarussian from Minsk displayed a quick turn of speed to take third place on the uphill kick to the line at the Coppa Sabatini in Italy, while Italian rider Diego Ulissi remained in the hunt for top honours at the end of the third stage of the Tour de Luxembourg, late on Thursday.
The 210km circuit based around Peccioli saw the early breakaway reeled in with 12km to go with Mitchelton Scott lifting the pace on the fast run-in to the line. Riabushenko came from behind in the sprint to claw his way on to the podium behind eventual winner Dion Smith (Mitchelton Scott).
UAE Team Emirates rider Alessandro Covi showed he is adjusting well to the demands of professional life with the 21-year-old taking the eighth place.
Riabushenko was pleased with the way he had handled the ride on a demanding circuit. “It was a very hard race, pretty long at 210 kms and very hot. But it’s a race I know well and the final sprint suits my characteristic so I gave my best,” he said.
“It is the end of a long period of racing for me, so am happy that I could recuperate fast after Tirreno Adriatico and to get a good result here,” the young rider added.
Manuele Mori, Assistant Sports Director, UAE Team Emirates said: “The guys did a good race today. The plan was for Covi to follow the late attacks and for Riabushenko to save himself for a final sprint. We had reduced numbers in the final and so we were using the trains of the other teams to move up. Riabushenko delivered in the sprint and Covi was the first neo-pro and came eighth, so it shows his development is moving forward.”
Organised as a 1.1 event on the UCI Europe Tour since 2005, the Coppa Sabatini is a late season road bicycle race held annually in the Province of Pisa, Italy.
Meanwhile in Luxembourg, Ulissi slipped by a spot to move into second overall after John Degenkolb of the Lotto Soudal team won Stage 3 at the Tour de Luxembourg that is scheduled to conclude on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Italian rider now sits a mere five seconds off leader Eduard Grosu of the Nippo Delko team with two final stages remaining. The UAE Team Emirates also has Portuguese rider Rui Oliveira in sixth place overall and 12 seconds behind the leader.
1. Dion Smith (Mitchelton Scott) 4:58:58
2. Andrea Pasqualon (Circus Wanty) same time
3. Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates) same time
Tour de Luxembourg
Stage 3: 1. John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal) 3:35:43
2. Edward Grosu (Nippo Delko) same time
3. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Circus Wanty) same time
14. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) same time
General Classification: 1. Eduard Grosu (Nippo Delko) 7:38:49
2. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) +5s
3. Amaury Capiot (Sport Vlaanderen) +9s