2021 UAE Tour, Race reports -

Pogacar wins the UAE Tour as Ewan nabs the final stage

Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) closed out the overall victory at the UAE Tour on Saturday, finishing safely in the pack as the seventh and final stage came down to a bunch kick at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater.

Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) took his first win of the season in the final stage, besting Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) in the final sprint.

Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers), who had bested Pogacar to win last year’s UAE Tour, was the only rider within a minute of him in the overall standings, finishing the race in second at 35 seconds back. João Almeida rounded out the overall podium at 1:02 down.

How it happened

Despite the flat profile, the final stage did feature some uncertainty for the GC battle as crosswinds in the desert helped split the peloton into echelons with some 60 km to go. Pogacar and Yates were both in the front group, with Almeida in a group of chasers.

The group of Pogacar and Yates caught the early break and opened a gap of around 30 seconds on those chasing, but the gap soon began to come down. Things came back together with around 45 km to go.

With a little over 40 km to go, Yates hit the deck hard. Although he sustained a cut to his face in the fall, he was able to remount and rejoin the pack.

As the sprinters’ teams geared up for the final kick, Deceuninck-Quick-Step surged to the front of the pack. Michael Morkov led into the finishing straight, but in the final sprint, Ewan came around to best Bennett for the win, his first of 2021. Bennett settled for second with Bauhaus in third.

Pogacar finished with the pack to wrap up the GC title.

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