Yates retains lead as Pogacar wins UAE Tour fifth stage
Slovenian Tadej Pogacar produced a stunning final sprint on the top of Jebel Hafeet to win the 162km fifth stage of the UAE Tour on Thursday.
Pogacar, 21, edged Kazakh Alexey Lutsenko in a photo finish for the victory, in what was the Tour's second ascent of the mountain overlooking the desert city of Al Ain.
Briton Adam Yates finished third to retain the leader's jersey, now sitting 1min 01sec ahead of Pogacar in the overall standings, with Lutsenko a further 32sec adrift.
"It was an amazing win," said Pogacar.
"On the climb I tried to attack over five times but I saw Yates was strong so I played it smart and waited for the sprint.
"I started the sprint quite early because I knew the last corner was crucial. We took the corner side by side but I kept fighting and pushing until the line.
"I saw the gap in the last metres and I threw the bike and won in the end. The whole team worked perfectly today. This was my first big goal of the year and a home win for the team is really incredible."
Riders will tackle a flat 158km circuit from Al Ruwais to Al Mirfa in Abu Dhabi in Friday's sixth stage, a last showdown for the sprinters.
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE), 3hr 48min 53sec, 2. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ/AST) s.t., 3. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) s.t., 4. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) at 04sec, 5. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/CCC) 07, 6. Davide Formolo (ITA/UAE) 23, 7. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 23, 8. Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN) 24, 9. Victor de la Parte (ESP/CCC) 24, 10. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 27
Selected: 59. Chris Froome (GBR/INE) 5:00
Overall standings (after fifth of seven stages)
1. Adam Yates (GBR/Mitchelton) 20hr 35min 04sec, 2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE) at 1:01, 3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ/AST) 1:32, 4. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 1:48, 5. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 2:11, 6. Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN) 2:34, 7. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/CCC) 2:34, 8. Davide Formolo (ITA/UAE) 2:39, 9. Diego Ulissi (ITA/UAE) 2:47, 10. Victor de la Parte (ESP/CCC) 2:51
Selected: 12. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 3:15; 71. Chris Froome (GBR/INE) 19:45
© 2020 AFP