The 173km fourth stage of UAE Tour was another for the sprinters.
A completely flat stage that started and finished in Dubai saw no opportunity for the windy conditions to split up the peloton.
The breakaway of two riders for the day never presented a threat to the peloton. The group coasted through the majority of the stage, but picked up speed within the last 30km and reached speeds of 50km/h in the last 10km.
The wide city roads in Dubai meant many teams could position themselves at the front, but the key was being in the top 10 at the last corner with 500m remaining. Our team worked well and were always close to the front in the last 5km, but we couldn’t manage to enter the corner in a favourable position. Jumbo Visma and Mitchelton Scott had the most riders leading that corner and Jumbo Visma’s Groenewegen won the race.
Franco Pellizotti: “Today was not a difficult stage, as it was only flat inside Dubai. All-day the riders were riding, let’s say slowly, as they were chasing only 2 riders from the breakaway. In the final, our riders were working well for Mark, but it was difficult. In this race, there are many strong sprinters, and we’ll try fighting with them on two more stages, while tomorrow is a stage for Wout or Rafa Valls, but that will be very difficult as well.”
Enrico Battaglin was one of the last men in the sprint train: “Yes it was a really big mess at the end, as we started going full gas from 10km to go, and at the end, it was really messy in the front. We tried to create the best train for Mark, but we’ll have to work on it to get it better. Tomorrow is a day for Wout, after yesterday he can try again and then we have two more sprint chances.”
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