Tadej Pogacar maintained his lead in the UAE Tour by keeping closest challenger Adam Yates at bay in Thursday’s fifth stage, won by Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard. Reigning Tour de France champion Pogacar finished three seconds behind Vingegaard and just ahead of Briton Yates, who now sits 45 seconds behind the Slovene in the general classification. The road now seems clear for the UAE Emirates rider to claim the overall title on Saturday.
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“I’m glad I’ve retained the lead but I’ll stay focused in the next two days,” said Pogacar. “There are no more mountains, but I haven’t won the UAE Tour yet.”
To take the fifth stage, Vingegaard imitated his usual Jumbo-Visma team leader Primoz Roglic, who lost last year’s Tour de France to countryman Pogacar on the penultimate stage.
Vingegaard attacked at the highest point of the week-long race, at an altitude of 1,489 meters, just one kilometer from the finish to deny Kazakh Alexey Lutsenko.
Lutsenko’s dream of victory vanished 250 meters from the finish line in the rocky setting of the Hajar Mountains, very close to the border with Oman.
It was Vingegaard’s second success on the World Tour circuit after a stage of the 2019 Tour of Poland.
“It’s a very big victory for me, as I’m usually in the service of Primoz,” said the 24-year-old.
Friday’s penultimate stage is a 168-kilometer charge from Dubai to the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah.
|1||VINGEGAARD Jonas||Team Jumbo-Visma||4:19:08|
|2||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||0:03|
|3||YATES Adam||INEOS Grenadiers||0:03|
|4||HIGUITA Sergio||EF Education – Nippo||0:05|
|5||ALMEIDA João||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:06|
|6||SCHULTZ Nick||Team BikeExchange||0:06|
|7||KUSS Sepp||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:08|
|8||POELS Wout||Bahrain – Victorious||0:08|
|9||HERMANS Ben||Israel Start-Up Nation||0:08|
|10||BOUCHARD Geoffrey||AG2R Citroën Team||0:08|
|1||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||17:09:26|
|2||YATES Adam||INEOS Grenadiers||0:45|
|3||ALMEIDA João||Deceuninck – Quick Step||1:12|
|4||HARPER Chris||Team Jumbo-Visma||1:54|
|5||POWLESS Neilson||EF Education – Nippo||1:56|
|6||SKJELMOSE JENSEN Mattias||Trek – Segafredo||2:47|
|7||CARUSO Damiano||Bahrain – Victorious||2:49|
|8||CATTANEO Mattia||Deceuninck – Quick Step||4:03|
|9||FERNÁNDEZ Rubén||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||4:23|
|10||MASNADA Fausto||Deceuninck – Quick Step||6:40|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini