Dubai: Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen won Stage IV, the Emirates NBD Stage, of the second edition of the UAE Tour ahead of Fernando Gaviria and Pascal Ackermann on Wednesday.
Adam Yates, meanwhile, retains the Red Jersey of the leader of the general classification.
Speaking seconds after the stage finish, Groenewegen said: “This victory is really nice since all the top sprinters are here, including myself so I looked for the best position to launch my sprint. The speed was very good. My team put me in an excellent position. They did a very good job in the last 3km. I won because I was where I wanted to be in the last corner.”
Yates, the overall leader, said: “Apart from a bit of a fright when I avoided a crash, I had a good day on the bike. We rode at the end for our young sprinter Kaden Groves (6th). I hope to have the same legs tomorrow as yesterday.”
It was a creditable finish for Gaviria, who went head-to-head with some of the best sprinters in the world as he fought the bunch to take the wheel of Groenewegen in the final metres of the stage, just missing out on victory to the Dutchman in a tense finale.
Gaviria was a faller in a low speed crash in the peloton earlier in the race but recovered and finished well in another close sprint all the way to the line. Tucked in behind and looked to move out with 50m to go, it was too late for the fastman as he takes his first podium of the Tour.
“It was a fast stage with a tail wind for most of the day. The team worked well together and were always by my side. We went for the win and we came very close. The level of sprinters here is very high so I’m pleased with my result and it gives me confidence for the next sprint to know that the form is there,” he said.
The Al Ain Stage on Thursday sees the Team Emirates returning to the mountains. A familiar route to the former Abu Dhabi Tour that passes many of Al Ain’s biggest attractions including Al Ain Zoo, Al Qattara, Al Hili and Al Ain Oasis, the stage finishes with the second Jebel Hafeet ascent of the week where Tadej Pogacar will be looking to make his mark after placing second in Stage III.
1 — Dylan Groenewegen, 173km in 4h16’13”, average speed 40.512km/h
2 — Fernando Gaviria s.t.
3 — Pascal Ackermann s.t.
1 — Adam Yates
2 — Tadej Pogacar at 1’07”
3 — Alexey Lutsenko at 1’35”