UAE Tour: Groenewegen wins mass sprint

Saturday's stage should result in a similar scenario with a flat finish and a bunch sprint expected before Sunday's finale on the Jebel Hafeet mountain

By AFP

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Riders cross the finish line to complete the fifth stage on Friday. — Supplied photo
Riders cross the finish line to complete the fifth stage on Friday. — Supplied photo

Published: Fri 24 Feb 2023, 8:19 PM

With many of the cycling world's best sprinters in the pack at the UAE Tour Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen threw down an early-season marker on Friday winning stage five of the UAE Tour.

Winds have scuppered some of the expected sprint finishing this week, but Friday's flat stage ended in a real mass bunch sprint, with the sprinters' teams enjoying the broad roads here.

In the sprint, Groenewegen overtook Irishman Sam Bennett and held off a late charge from Colombian Fernando Gaviria.

British veteran Mark Cavendish could only manage eighth in a field packed with pretenders, while Monday's winner Tim Merlier was fifth.

Speaking after the podium presentations, stage winner Dylan Groenewegen said: "There was a bit of wind out there today but not enough to split the peloton. I was a little bit far back in the run in to the sprint but my teammates found me and we got in a good position with 3km to go. They gave me a very good lead out and this is a nice win. I’m looking forward to doing it again tomorrow now."

Overall leader and world champion Remco Evenepoel stayed first and holds a narrow nine-second lead over Luke Plapp.

Red and White Jersey holder Remco Evenepoel said: "When the split in the bunch occurred in the last 20km, I was well positioned in the front. We knew today would be a bit hectic with the fast run-ins to the corners, and all the roundabouts. A race into a head wind is always hectic. I saw some crazy movements. But as for myself, I rode safely to the line and I'm really happy to extend my lead by two seconds, as every second could ultimately count in the battle for the Red Jersey."

Saturday's stage should result in a similar scenario with a flat finish and a bunch sprint expected before Sunday's finale on the Jebel Hafeet mountain.

STAGE RESULT

1 - Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco Alula), 170km in 3h57’07”, average speed 43.017km/h

2 - Fernando Gaviria (Movistar Team) s.t.

3 - Sam Bennett (Bora - Hansgrohe) s.t.

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1 - Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step)

2 - Lucas Plapp (Ineos Grenaders) at 9"

3 - Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) at 13"

OFFICIAL JERSEYS

Red Jersey, General Classification: Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step)

Green Jersey, Points Classification: Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step)

White Jersey, Young Rider Classification: Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step)

Black Jersey, Intermediate Sprint Classification: Edward Planckaert (Alpecin-Deceuninck)

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