Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won the final stage and with it, the overall Abu Dhabi Tour title. The Spaniard got the better of Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Team) on the Jabel Hafeet summit finish, Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep) rounded out the stage podium.
It was a long build up to the final 10.8km climb of the Abu Dhabi Tour as the peloton had to take on 190km of flat desert road before reaching the climb. A 9-rider break used this time to build up a 10-minute lead over the peloton but when Astana and the UAE Emirates team started chasing, the gap gradually started to decrease.
Our African Team were able to leave the chasing duties the main GC teams and wait for the climb to see who had the best legs on the day. The break arrived at the foot of the climb with just a 2-minute lead, which was quickly snuffed once the attacks from Lopez and Valverde started.
Lachlan Morton was our rider who was best able to respond to the attacks from the main protagonists. The Aussie found himeself in esteemed company with 4km to go, chasing down the Lopez, Valverde, Alaphilippe and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) lead group.
Lopez and Valverde were a cut above the rest though and were able to ride away with 2km to go to contest the stage win. Morton faded slightly in the final kilometers but still ended as our highest placed finisher on the stage, crossing the line 26th. Scott Davies rode within himself to be our next best in 27th, a few seconds behind his teammate.
The Abu Dhabi Tour concludes our 3-week Middle-East campaign with our riders now heading to Europe for the next big block of World Tour appointments, Strade Bianche, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico.