UAE Tour: A solid ITT from Masnada
Tuesday afternoon found the riders in Ajman, the country’s fifth-largest city, for a 9km pancake-flat individual time trial that suited the powerful specialists of the discipline. Fausto Masnada was not among them, but that didn’t stop the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider from producing a good ITT.
Runner-up last week at the Tour of Oman, where he took a spectacular solo victory in Muscat, Masnada had a solid start which saw him pass through the 4.5km split just a couple of seconds off the lead. The headwind in the second part of the course complicated matters a bit, but Fausto kept the temp high and slotted into the top 10 provisional after averaging over 52km/h. As more and more favourites concluded the stage, he moved down a couple of places in the standings, but his time of 10:21 was enough for a top 20 result and a jump of 32 places in the general classification.
“This was my first time trial of the year, so I didn’t know quite what to expect. I’m not a specialist, but I’m working hard to get better in this area and I can be satisfied with today’s result and good ride. It’s a boost of confidence ahead of Wednesday’s stage”, said the 28-year-old, now 16th overall, before the first summit finish of the race.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images