UAE Tour: Stage 5

Despite all the problems that Jumbo Visma team have had with injuries and riders taking a break (Dumoulin), the team showed what strength in depth it has as yet another of their riders, Jonas Vingegaard, racing to victory on a stage of the UAE Tour

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UAE Tour: Stage 5

Despite all the problems that Jumbo Visma team have had with injuries and riders taking a break (Dumoulin), the team showed what strength in depth it has as yet another of their riders, Jonas Vingegaard, racing to victory on a stage of the UAE Tour

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Jonas Vingegaard won the mountain stage in the UAE Tour to Jebel Jais. The Danish climber was the first to top the 20-kilometre final climb in the United Arab Emirates after a stage of 170 kilometres.

In the final kilometre, he caught the final rider in the early breakaway, Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko. Race leader Tadej Pogačar finished second with Adam Yates third in the same time as Pogacar who was three seconds behind Vingegaard.

Mathias Frank was the first escapee of the day and the Swiss rider of AG2R Citroën received some support from Giacomo Nizzolo, but the sprinter dropped back not long afterwards. After sixty kilometers, Frank was joined by: Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Thomas De Gendt, Roger Kluge (both Lotto Soudal), Larry Warbasse (AG2R Citroën), Alex Dowsett, Omer Goldstein (both Israel Start- Up Nation), Kevin Colleoni (BikeExchange) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka ASSOS) who had managed to bridge the gap of about a minute.

It was not UAE Emirates, team of the race leader, but INEOS who then took control of the peloton group. Deceuninck-Quick-Step also lent a hand, preventing the lead of the front group to not exceed three minutes. At the foot of the final climb, Jebel Jais (21.1 km at 5.4%) the lead to the breakaway was only two minutes and that group soon started to lose riders. Alex Dowsett who had been working for his teammate in the group (Omer Goldstein), went back to the peloton and others soon followed.

De Gendt, Lutsenko, Frank and Goldstein remained in the front the longest and it was the champion of Kazakhstan, Lutsenko, who had the best legs. In the peloton, UAE Emirates took on the role of forcing the pace for a while before Ineos took it on again and

Adam Yates’ team kept the pace high whilst the favorites group remained quite large.

Ten kilometres from the finish, the difference between Lutsenko and the peloton was more than a minute and it was looking possible that Lutsenko could win the stage. Ben Zwiehoff (BORA-hansgrohe) had a dig out of the group of favourites and was then countered by Daniel Felipe Martínez. Vincenzo Nibali was next to take flight and Harm Vanhoucke saw his chance to join the experienced Italian, but he was unable to close the gap immediately.

A counter attack by a group including Wout Poels was countered by João Almeida, who brought back the escapees.
It then came to a complete standstill in the favorites group, so Jonas Vingegaard took the opportunity to attack. The small climber from Jumbo-Visma was ten seconds behind Lutsenko under the arch of the last kilometre and quickly caught the Kazach 300 meters from the finish, racing past the Astana rider and onto the stage victory.

Jonas Vingegaard: “The pace slowed down a bit in the peloton and I thought it would be a good time to try. I saw him (Lutsenko) ahead of me in the last kilometre and luckily I was able to catch him and beat him. I am very, very happy. This is an important victory for me ”, says Vingegaard.

In 2019, the 24-year-old rider from Jumbo-Visma won a stage in the Tour of Poland. “This is very important to me. It is my first win of the season and I am proud of that. It has been two years since my last win. It feels good to show that I have a good level.”

“Also for the team, because it is the season’s first victory” he says. For me personally it is good to see that I can race with the best. In the first mountain stage I had some problems, but that’s why it’s good to see that I now have this level.
Of course I hope I can win more this season, but I also want to help Primož Roglič. He is a fantastic rider and he will be the leader where ever he rides.”

Tadej Pogačar: “I was more concerned about my competitors for the standings”, Pogačar said afterwards. “It was a great performance by Jonas” as Pogačar praised the stage winner. “I am happy that I managed to keep the lead today,” the Slovenian continues in the flash interview. “We had to deal with a strong headwind on the final climb, so it was difficult to match all the attacks. I was more concerned with my competitors for the overall victory than with the stage victory.” Pogačar now has to survive two flat stages before he will be declared the overall winner of the UAE Tour. “I will focus on the coming days. We don’t have any mountains but I still haven’t won the UAE Tour. ”

Alex Dowsett in the breakaway (via Instagram) “When the breakaway is pretty brutal and you ask your mates in the bunch after the stage if it was hard for them? It wasn’t. I tried to do the lions share of the pulling for @omer_goldy and I who were present in the break given his slight frame and the 20km incline at the end of the race. It made sense. He gave it a good nudge. Even though I was under the impression the new supertuck and forearms ruling seemingly isn’t enforced until the 1st April, the commissaire’s were having none of it today, so I knocked 10s off my on the front time”.

Alexey Lutsenko: “On the final climb I just gave my all. I started the climb with a good rhythm, and later just tried to keep on pushing as hard as possible. I missed just a little, and, of course, I am disappointed a bit because the win was so close. But at the same time, I feel happy because my form is getting better and better. It was my main goal here – to test my form and to feel the racing rhythm after a long racing break.”

“After this stage I feel really good. The stage was a hard one and from the start my teammates tried to break away, but it did not work as the pace in the group was really high. Somewhere after 70 kilometres of racing, seven riders broke away and I realised it was the right move, so I followed them together with another rider. Soon, we joined them, opening a good gap to the peloton. We worked really well together in our breakaway and we started the climb with a good advantage. But, unfortunately, it was not enough to win the stage. However, I am optimistic as I feel like my time is coming”

Nick Schultz (6th) “I am really surprised, I wouldn’t expect to be able to do that on such a long climb with the riders that have finished in front and behind me. Also, a bit disappointed as I was close to the to the stage podium, but I guess sixth at the finish line is a good result.

A massive thanks to the guys who were always looking after me all day, making sure I was cool with water and safe. We stayed really relaxed when we were in the back and we had headwind, and when the right time came, they put me in the conditions to give all I had today.

I really have no regrets on today’s performance. I attacked to go after Jonas, maybe I hesitated a bit too much to go after him, but to be honest at that stage I was trying to anticipate the moves that were going to come from Yates and Pogacar because I knew that once they went I wouldn’t be able to follow them probably.

I had a bit of hope as I was coming close to Jonas and Lutsenko, but I wasn’t quite close enough to close the gap with Jonas and the guys, who are probably the best in the world right now, came from behind and passed me before the finish line.

With the two performances on the two climbing stages of this UAE Tour I must be really satisfied, another step in the right direction to keep growing as I never really called myself a climber, but with these two finishes with the level of climbers that are here, I might have to think of the direction I am taking in this sport.”

Mattias Skjelmose (12th) “I don’t know if I expected this. I believe a lot in myself and if I had a good day I believed I could be there with the best guys. In the end, I had more energy than expected and I am a bit sad that I didn’t try to sprint a bit more. Of course, this is a bit of a surprise in my first WorldTour race. It’s a super special feeling.”

1. Jonas Vingegaard Jumbo-Visma 04:19:08
2. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @ 03
3. Adam Yates INEOS Grenadiers @ 03
4. Sergio Higuita EF Education-NIPPO @ 05
5. Joao Almeida Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 06
6. Nick Schultz Team BikeExchange @ 06
7. Sepp Kuss Jumbo-Visma @ 08
8. Wout Poels Bahrain Victorious @ 08
9. Ben Hermans Israel Start-Up Nation @ 08
10. Geoffrey Bouchard AG2R Citroën Team @ 08

42. Chris Froome @ 1.42
55. Mark Donovan @ 5.44
79. Fred Wright
126. Harry Tanfield
127. Alex Dowsett (in the days break)
129. Luke Rowe

1. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates 17:09:26
2. Adam Yates INEOS Grenadiers @ 45
3. Joao Almeida Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 01:12
4. Chris Harper Jumbo-Visma @ 01:54
5. Neilson Powless EF Education-NIPPO @ 01:56
6. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen Trek-Segafredo @ 02:47
7. Damiano Caruso Bahrain Victorious @ 02:49
8. Mattia Cattaneo Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 04:03
9. Ruben Fernandez Cofidis @ 04:23
10. Fausto Masnada Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 06:40



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