Race report

Cees Bol sprints to 9th in fast and hectic finish at UAE Tour

UAE Tour

The penultimate day of racing saw the peloton take on a predominantly flat course, starting on Deira Island and finishing on Palm Jumeirah. It was a quiet start to the stage with a six rider breakaway forming not long into the day, with the peloton keeping them close. Heading towards the second half of the stage things got more nervous in the bunch with some exposed sections of road and crosswinds looming. Unfortunately, Florian Stork was involved in a crash through a a residential area and abandoned the race.

There were some small splits on the exposed sections, with the team riding well to the fore, but it was nothing major and as the road turned more into a headwind, it all regrouped again, with the breakaway soon caught. The team worked well to position sprinter Cees Bol for the finale, bringing him into a good position as the race charged under the one kilometre to go banner. Bol gave it a good effort, but wasn’t able to produce his trademark powerful kick, settling for ninth place across the line.

“Today went a bit better than the other sprint stage,” explained Bol at the finish. “We showed some nice teamwork in the echelons which was good. We need to work on our timing a bit more in these high speed sprints and it’s a bit disappointing not to be closer to the front but we’re getting better and we still have one more chance to go for it tomorrow.”

Team DSM coach Luke Roberts added: “Today’s stage was in and around the city of Dubai. It was a relatively relaxed start, with six riders going in a breakaway. With some open sections and quite strong wind in the second half of the stage, the bunch became quite nervous. Unfortunately going through a residential area there was a narrow section of road and Florian had a fall there and had to abandon the race. The bunch was quite nervous from that point on because of the wind, actually splitting in two at one point. It was mostly a headwind from then though so it all came back together for the bunch sprint. We tried to set Cees up for the sprint and it went quite well. The guys put in some good work there, showed good teamwork, stayed together and followed the plan to set up Cees going into that last kilometre. It all went okay but Cees was just missing a little bit of that final punch to go for a real top result but we took a solid ninth place and have another opportunity tomorrow.”

** Update on Florian Stork: After a crash in the early stages of stage six, Team DSM’s Florian Stork was forced to abandon the race. As a result of the crash he has sustained a fractured knee cap and broken ribs which will take some time to heal. He will now focus completely on a steady recovery before we look to a return to racing.


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 BENNETT Sam Deceuninck - Quick Step 3:32:23 40
2 VIVIANI Elia Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,, 15
3 ACKERMANN Pascal BORA - hansgrohe ,, 6
9 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
54 ARNDT Nikias Team DSM ,, -
93 DONOVAN Mark Team DSM 0:29 -
102 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 1:18 -
104 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
105 KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn Team DSM 1:42 -
1005 STORK Florian Team DSM -03:32:23 -