UAE Tour - Philipsen
Jasper Philipsen is all pumped up after winning the fifth stage in UAE Tour on Thursday. Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: Tadej Pogacar of Team UAE Emirates took another step towards retaining his UAE Tour title when he retained the overall leader’s jersey while Jasper Philipsen won the fifth stage on Thursday.

Philipsen, wthe Belgian who rides for Alpecin-Fenix and took the opening stage in a sprint on Sunday, was again fastest to the line as the 182-kilometre stage ended in a chaotic bunch finish at Al Marjan Island in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah. He edged 20-year-old Dutch rookie Olav Kooij of Jumbo-Visma and Irishman Sam Bennett, who rides for Bora.

“It was a really fast finish,” said Philipsen after crossing the line. “My lead-out man’s chain came off in the last kilometre, so it was chaos trying to find a good wheel. It all came out well in the end though.”

Pogacar, the Tour de France champion, collected a two-second bonus during the stage to double his lead over Italian Filippo Ganna of Ineos. “I saw the opportunity to take some seconds in the intermediate sprint and took it,” the Slovenian said.

“I had a puncture today but I didn’t panic, it happens sometimes,” he said. “The team was perfect and I was not stressed.”

The sixth and penultimate stage, which will take off from the Expo 2020 site, is again likely to end in a sprint after a 180-kilometre ride round Dubai.

The 180km Expo 2020 Dubai Stage will see 140 cyclists paddle through the streets of Dubai, past its glitzy landmarks. The stage will be flagged off from Expo 2020 Dubai and will pass through locations like Dubai Sports City, Silicon Oasis Meydan Racecourse, Palm Jumeirah and the Jumeirah Islands before returning to Expo site for the finishing sprint.

“We’ll go for it tomorrow, anything after this is an extra bonus,” said Philipsen, who leads in the green jersey classification by 30 points.

The Tour ends with a summit finish on Jebel Hafeet on Saturday.


Stage 5

(Ras al Khaimah to Al Marjan Island, 182 km, Road race)

Overall leader

Tadej Pogacar SLO (UAE Team Emirates)

Stage winners

1 Jasper Philipsen BEL (Alpecin - Fenix)

2 Olav Kooij NED (Jumbo - Visma)

3 Sam Bennett IRL (BORA - hansgrohe)

Stages to come

Feb 25: Stage 6 Dubai to Dubai, 180 km, Road race.

Feb 26: Stage 7 Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet, 148 km, Road race.