Race report

Chaotic sprint finish in UAE Tour

UAE Tour

Today saw the riders take on the longest stage of the race, a pan flat 204 kilometre long test that started and finished at Al Marjan Island. With the long day ahead of them, the peloton set off at a steady pace, with no attacks in the opening 110 kilometres before a duo eventually forged on out front.

The team all tucked in within the peloton, conserving energy and looking to protect sprinter Cees Bol for the finish. Ahead, the breakaway duo built up an advantage of almost three minutes at one point but with 30 kilometres to go the race was all back together again.

Heading into the finale the team did well to move Bol up towards the front in the closing five kilometres, but on the hectic run in, the lead outs became messy. The team managed to regroup though, with Bol sat in third wheel as the peloton charged towards the line through the final few sweeping corners. Opening up his sprint, Bol launched at around 225 metres to go but unfortunately ran out of power in his legs before the line, eventually ending the day just outside the top ten for the team.

“It was a fast finale like we expected,” explained Bol at the finish. “It wasn’t the perfect textbook lead out but I got a lot of help from the guys to get in the right position so that was good. Maybe we were a little bit early on the front, but I just didn’t have the power needed to win today. It’s a good starting point for our first sprint of the season. We have some things to work on for sure, but we also showed some good teamwork.”

Team DSM coach Luke Roberts added: “Today’s stage looked inevitable to end in a bunch sprint, with little wind out on the course and the peloton were in quite a relaxed mood. We ended up with a fairly slow stage before coming in for a hectic finale. We had a good plan to set up Cees for the sprint. The guys invested well into that plan, and did their best to set him up in a good position, ready for the finish. It went okay and there are some improvement points to take from it, but we were still able to put Cees in third wheel ready to start the sprint. He just didn’t have the legs today but it’s a good step in the work with our lead out train and we’ll keep chipping away at it.” 


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 BENNETT Sam Deceuninck - Quick Step 4:51:51 40
2 DEKKER David Team Jumbo-Visma ,, 15
3 EWAN Caleb Lotto Soudal ,, 6
15 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
50 STORK Florian Team DSM ,, -
62 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
64 ARNDT Nikias Team DSM ,, -
89 DONOVAN Mark Team DSM ,, -
94 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ,, -
118 KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn Team DSM 0:27 -