Bissegger upsets Ganna to take lead in UAE Tour

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates finishes fourth

Strong ride: Stefan Bissegger during the third stage. — Supplied photo
Strong ride: Stefan Bissegger during the third stage. — Supplied photo

By Team KT

Published: Wed 23 Feb 2022, 12:07 AM

A surprising runner up to Filippo Ganna in the individual time trial of the UAE Tour one year ago, Stefan Bissegger on Tuesday emerged as the winner of Stage 3 of the UAE Tour, organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

The Swiss rider recorded an average speed of 55.5kmph on the 9km course in Ajman Al Zorah region. He had a one second lead over the world champion at the halfway point and rode strongly on the way back despite the headwind. Third on Stage 3 was Dutch time trial champion Tom Dumoulin, who rode four seconds faster than defending champion Tadej Pogacar.

The race’s other GC contenders like Alexandr Vlasov and Adam Yates completed the race in eighth and twelfth position respectively. The Briton, who won the UAE Tour two years ago, has limited his deficit to Pogacar to just eleven seconds compared to thirty-four in the time trial last year. Bissegger is the new leader of the fourth edition of the UAE Tour ahead of the race’s first uphill finish at Jebel Jais on Wednesday.

Speaking seconds after the stage finish, Bissegger said: “I had a really good time trial today. I was pretty confident that I had good power and could do a good time. You never know in time trials how good your opponents are until the end though. I’m happy to race here as I had a rough winter recovering from a broken bone. For the moment I’m the leader in the GC, we’ll see about tomorrow.”

Later on, he added: “I had really good power today. I had good legs and I felt very strong. I’m very happy that I finished it off today. It’s the personal performance that really counts but it’s always nice to beat the world champion. I was scared that Ganna might beat my time and I’m happy that he didn’t. He’s one of the best in the world, both on the track and in the time trial. I kind of knew when I beat him by seven seconds that I should keep the best time. I’m delighted to start the season like this with a win, especially here in the UAE where I enjoyed racing last year. I’ve gained some power since.”

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