Dubai: Irish rider Sam Bennett came back strongly to win the sixth stage — called the Dubai Stage — of the UAE Tour on Friday as Tadej Pogacar of Team UAE Emirates stayed in sight of the title by maintaining his lead in the General Classifications to retain the Red Jersey.
Bennett of Deceuninck - Quick-Step, who had won the fourth stage, finished ahead of Elia Viviani (Cofidis) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora - Hansgrohe).
Pogačar, the Tour de France champion who is in the running to be the Laureus Young Sportsperson for 2020, is now poised at 45 seconds ahead of Adam Yates. João Almeida remains in third at 1:12. The overall standings should remain the same on Saturday’s final sprint stage, barring any disaster.
Speaking seconds after the stage finish, Bennett said: “We really wanted to win another stage today. All I had to do was follow the guys. With the straight run in and the crosswind, it was messy, with a lot of guys changing lane, but Michael [Mørkøv] brought me to the perfect position with 150m to go. We’ll go for it again tomorrow.”
Pogačar said: “We’re now one more day closer to the finish, I’m really happy how it ended up today since it was hectic in the middle of the race with the crosswinds. Luckily, we managed to stay all together so it was a sprint day. Tomorrow, I hope it’s a similar day. I felt quite good after yesterday’s uphill efforts. I’m not worried about my shape. I just want to avoid any stress tomorrow.”
Mattar Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, has meanwhile expressed his highest gratitude and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his presence during the sixth stage.
Al Tayer said: “The keenness of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to follow the riders during their participation in the Dubai stage every year confirms the interest and support of His Highness for the UAE Tour, and his presence inspires and motivates participants to perform at their best and compete strongly.
“His Highness is a staunch believer in the importance of sport in general, and cycling in particular, in society, as well as its positive effects on the health, happiness and vitality of the community.
Stage 6 results
Dubai Stage, 168 km
Men’s elite road race
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) Deceuninck - Quick-Step 3:32:23
2. Elia Viviani (ITA) Cofidis “
3. Pascal Ackermann (GER) BORA - hansgrohe “
4. David Dekker (NED) Jumbo - Visma “
5. Fernando Gaviria (COL) UAE Team Emirates “
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) Team Qhubeka - ASSOS “
7. Kaden Groves (AUS) Team BikeExchange “
8. Andre Greipel (GER) Israel Start-Up Nation “
9. Cees Bol (NED) Team DSM “
10. Michael M”.O,rk”.O,v (DEN) Deceuninck - Quick-Step
The Red Jersey, sponsored by ADNOC (General individual classification by time) - Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
The Green Jersey, sponsored by Etisalat (General individual classification by points) - David Dekker (Jumbo-Visma)
The White Jersey, sponsored by Nakheel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1996) - Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
The Black Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Aviation (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Tony Gallopin (AG2R Citroen Team)
1 - Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
2 - Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) at 45’’
3 - João Almeida (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) at 1’12’’