Team News: Yates Leads UAE Tour

Race leader Adam Yates of Mitchelton Scott  consolidated his position at the top of the general classification with a battling third place on stage five of the UAE Tour.

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Team News: Yates Leads UAE Tour

Race leader Adam Yates of Mitchelton Scott  consolidated his position at the top of the general classification with a battling third place on stage five of the UAE Tour. The Brit went close to repeating his stage three victory on the same Jebel Hafeet climb, but the 27-year-old was forced to settle for third after being boxed-in in a three-up sprint for victory.

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There was a bigger fight than usual to get into the day’s breakaway with the feeling that the peloton may allow a group to stay away. Eventually five riders broke free and quickly opened up an advantage of over six minutes as the bunch eased up. The day looked set for another routine stage leading into the Jebel Hafeet climb, but some teams had different ideas. A change in direction with around 90 kilometres to go, sparked the peloton into panic as numerous teams attempted to split the field as the wind began to blow.

Mitchelton-SCOTT and Yates reacted quickly to the danger, with the Brit pulling through on the front before the pace slowed down and calm was restored. Despite further brief attempts to split the pack from some teams, nothing stuck, with attentions instead turning to the climb. The break reached the foot of Jebel Hafeet with a gap of two-minutes back to the Mitchelton-SCOTT led peloton and it was then a waiting game amongst the favourites, with everyone anticipating the first attack as the gap to the break started to fall.

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Second place overall Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) was the first to make a move with Yates jumping onto the Slovenians wheel instantly. The duo then exchanged a flurry of attacks as the group of favourites swept past the remains of the breakaway. Yates made a bid for his second win of the week inside the final kilometre, but he was joined once again by Pogacar. The pair then slowed, allowing the chasers to catch them with 500 metres to go, resulting in a three-way sprint for the line with Yates getting boxed out behind Pogacar and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team).

Adam Yates: “It pretty much went according to plan. I would have loved to win but in the end it is what it is. With the time gaps from stage three I knew I only had to follow the key guys and if I got into trouble then I could limit my loses, but in the end the legs were good and now we still have the leaders jersey heading into the last two stages. All in all, a good day. Straight from the start we followed the plan and let a small group go up the road and controlled it from there. It got a little nervous with the wind but the guys looked after me to perfection and delivered me into the bottom of the climb in great position so I could do my thing in the final.”

James Knox get in break and goes for the stage win:
James Knox slipped up the road together with four other riders. The five built a lead of six minutes to put some pressure on the peloton, and at one point their buffer looking hefty enough to bring hope they could fight for the win. Unfortunately for them, several skirmishes between the GC teams in the crosswinds reduced that gap to just two minutes at the bottom of Jebel Hafeet.

On the very first slopes, the 24-year-old Brit rose out of the saddle and dropped his breakaway companions, surging ahead and climbing with impressive fluidity on the winding ascent, 48 hours after suffering on the same climb because of the extreme heat. It took a series of powerful attacks from behind for James to be caught with just three kilometers to go by a reduced group, from where Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) took the victory.

Shortly after catching his breath at the finish, where he arrived not far outside the top 10, James took us through the difficult stage 5: “We discussed about what we should do today, especially as we knew we would get some freedom after losing time on the first summit finish. I went into the break, but it wasn’t easy, as we fought hard to keep the bunch behind and the speed was quite high. The climb was relentless, but I gave it a go anyway, and even when the GC guys came across, I tried to stay there, but I was cooked and didn’t have the legs to remain with them anymore. But, overall, it was a nice day.”

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Tadej  Pogačar (Race leader): “It was an amazing win. On the climb I tried to attack over five times but I saw Yates was strong so I played it smart and waited for the sprint. I started the sprint quite early because I knew the last corner was crucial. We took the corner side by side but I kept fighting and pushing until the line. I saw the gap in the last metres and I threw the bike and won in the end. The whole team worked perfectly today. This was my first big goal of the year and a home win for the team is really incredible.”

UAE Tour Stage 5:
1. Tadej Pogačar UAE-Team Emirates
2. Alexey Lutsenko Astana Pro Team
3. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott
4. David Gaudu Groupama – FDJ 0:04
5. Ilnur Zakarin CCC Team 0:07
6. Davide Formolo UAE-Team Emirates 0:23
7. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team
8. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb 0:24
9. Víctor de la Parte CCC Team
10. Rafał Majka BORA – hansgrohe 0:27

13. Eddie Dunbar
14. James Knox
15. Wout Poels
59. Chris Froome @ 5 mins
98. Alex Dowsett
102. Mark Cavendish
105. Charlie Quarterman
115. Jack Bauer
120. Albert Torres


1. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott 20:35:04
2. Tadej Pogačar UAE-Team Emirates 01:01
3. Alexey Lutsenko Astana Pro Team 01:33
4. David Gaudu Groupama – FDJ 01:48
5. Rafał Majka BORA – hansgrohe 02:11
6. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb 02:34
7. Ilnur Zakarin CCC Team
8. Davide Formolo UAE-Team Emirates 02:39
9. Diego Ulissi UAE-Team Emirates 02:47
10. Víctor de la Parte CCC Team 02:51


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