Bora-Hansgrohe’s Irish rider Sam Bennett won the final stage of the UAE Tour, shooting ahead of UAE Team Emirates cyclist Fernando Gaviria heading to the line.
The final day in the Emirates saw riders take on the 145 kilometres between Dubai Safari Park and Dubai Walk, a flat parcours ideally suited to the sprinters.
Right from the get go, three riders escaped from the peloton and were able to distance themselves by more than 4:30 from the main field behind.
The race progressed in a relatively calm manner to the finish as the peloton did not appear to be in any particular hurry to reel in the leading trio. It was only in the latter part of the race that the escapees’ lead began to be whittled down.
In the last 10km, BORA – hansgrohe took over a large portion of the tempo setting, and the breakaway was caught not long afterwards. The teams of the sprinters, including BORA – hansgrohe, then began to jostle for position. After the last corner, in a fast-paced sprint finish in Dubai to cap off the final stage of the race, Caleb Ewan opened up his sprint, but was overtaken by Alexander Kristoff and Fernando Gaviria.
After an excellent lead-out by his teammates, Sam Bennett pushed past the sprinters in the final metres, crossing the line in first position to take his second win of the season, and his BORA – hansgrohe team claimed the overall team classification.
Bennett was full of appreciation for his team’s efforts to assist him in the final sprint, stating:
“Our lead-out train worked perfectly today. The guys supported me the whole day and helped me to save extra energy. On the last sprint stage, I didn’t have good legs in the finale, but today I felt very good. The field is full of top notch sprinters and to pick up a win against these guys is a great achievement. My win today gives me confidence heading into the next races, and I’m excited to see what I can do there.”
Ireland’s Dan Martin finished with a good 7th place overall in the UAE Tour, 1’11” behind the winner Primoz Roglic.
Stage 7 Result
1 Sam Bennett (IRL) Bora-hansgrohe 3h17’51”
2 Fernando Gaviria (COL) UAE Team Emirates s.t.
3 Caleb Ewan (AUS) Lotto-Soudal s.t.
Final General Classification
1 Primoz Roglic (SLO) Team Jumbo-Visma 26h27’29”
2 Alejandro Valverde (SPA) Movistar 31″
3 David Gaudu (FRA) Groupama-FDJ 44″
7 Dan Martin (IRL) UAE Team Emirates 1’11”