UAE Tour 2019

February 24 - March 2, Al Hudayriat, UAE, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Patrick Fletcher

Live coverage of stage 3 of the UAE Tour, with a summit finish on Jebel Hafeet that will shake up the general classification.



  1. 14:03:04 GST

    Welcome to our live coverage of the UAE Tour. It's a big stage today, with a summit finish on Jebel Hafeet, which was a mainstay of the old Abu Dhabi Tour. Here at the all-new UAE Tour there are other climbing stages, so today won't be absolutely decisive but will nevertheless shape the overall complexion of the race. 

  2. 115km remaining from 179km

    14:08:20 GST

    As we pick up the action, the riders have covered 64 flat kilometres. There are four men in the break and it's déjà vu, with two apiece from Gazprom-RusVelo and Novo Nordisk - the only non-WorldTour teams in this peloton.


    It's nearly but not quite the same quartet as yesterday. Igor Baev and Stepan Kuriyanov are there again for Gazprom, and Charles Planet is there again for Novo Nordisk, Fabio Calabria being the fresh face up there for the team of diabetics. 


  3. 14:09:10 GST

    The four riders have a lead of 4:15 over the peloton, where Jumbo-Visma are setting the pace, with the red leader's jersey on the back of their main man Primoz Roglic. 


  4. 14:20:58 GST

    The pace has been raised in the peloton and the gap is down to three minutes.

  5. 14:25:06 GST

    Out in the exposed desert the threat of crosswinds is often high and although we don't have any echelons at this moment in time, we certainly did yesterday. The race eventually came back together for a bunch sprint, where Fernando Gaviria emerged victorious, but for a while it was fast and furious out there. You can catch up on the action with our stage report, which also contains photos and results. 


    UAE Tour: Gaviria wins stage 2


  6. 103km remaining from 179km

    14:28:20 GST

    The gap continues to fall, and is now down at two minutes. Jumbo-Visma lead the peloton. 


  7. 14:37:23 GST

    The gap has stabilised just above the two-minute mark. 


  8. 92km remaining from 179km

    14:53:36 GST

    It's all calm out there at the moment. Most of the stage is pan-flat and this is largely a procession to the foot of Jebel Hafeet ahead of one intense ramp test. 


    We've seen the climb before in the Abu Dhabi Tour, where Alejandro Valverde, Rui Costa, Tanel Kangert and Esteban Chaves have all been victorious. It's 10.8km long with an average gradient of 5.4%, but that's mitigated by easy sections near the bottom and top. There are steeper slopes, including double-digit gradients 3km from the finish. 


  9. 15:08:05 GST

    Want to hear an expert voice on what might unfold here and in the rest of the race? Well, here's how UAE Team Emirates' leader Dan Martin sees it.


    Dan Martin: Expect fireworks and tricky tactics in UAE Tour finale


  10. 15:09:37 GST

    The peloton has picked up the pace once more and the gap to the break is falling fast.


  11. 15:10:15 GST

    It looks like it's coming back together.


  12. 80km remaining from 179km

    15:10:47 GST

    And there we have it. With some 80km still to cover, the breakaway of the day has already been reeled in. All together.


  13. 15:12:53 GST

    The peloton head through a feed zone and the riders take on some supplies.


  14. 15:13:24 GST

    We will surely now see some fresh attacks and attempts to form a new breakaway. 


  15. 15:15:49 GST

     Susan jumping in for a short spell. The peloton is riding through the desert now --nice, if you like sand dunes.

  16. 15:20:31 GST

    They have just passed through the feed zone, and we hope we do not see anyone tossing their trash any old where. There are rules against that, and the fines for it have been increased.

    The rules will be strictly enforced this weekend in Belgium, it looks like. So lets think about the environment, ok?


  17. 15:26:05 GST

    No real rush or pressure at the moment. Jumbo is, of course, at the front, with Sunweb and Movistar behind them.

    Now we see Tom Dumoulin moving up amongst the team cars. We don't know why he was back there.


  18. 15:26:54 GST

    Marcel Kittel was also back there and now Richie Porte is making his way back to the field, too.


  19. 15:29:03 GST

    Dumoulin is up at the front again now but seems to have erred his way into the Lotto team instead of his Sunweb team.


  20. 15:36:18 GST

    Michael Valgren is looking forward to the Opening Weekend, and would sure like to repeat his win in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. But the Dimension Data rider knows that "It's so hard to win these Classics."


  21. 15:43:35 GST

    Just under 54 km to go, and the tempo has picked up slightly.


  22. 15:47:43 GST

    The field is short one rider today. Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin) was DNF yesterday. The German said he was not feeling well in Almeira and things were just getting worse. So the decision was made to stop, go home and get checked out.


  23. 15:49:57 GST

    25°C, virtually no wind at the moment, and 48km to go. Which means the action will start in about 37km.


  24. 15:53:30 GST

    Marcel Sieberg (Bahrain Merida) s in the front row of the field. He is easy to pick out, since he is about two heads taller than everyone else.


  25. 16:12:16 GST

    Jumbo-Visma are leading the peloton. With no breakaway to chase, it's a fairly relaxed procession to Jebel Hafeet.

  26. 16:17:07 GST

    Despite the late withdrawal of Chris Froome, there's absolutely no shortage of big names here, though it's probably too early in the season to draw too many conclusions from this. Still, Valverde, Nibali, Dumoulin, Porte, Martin, Roglic, Kwiatkowski are among a host of riders who'll be in amongst it today. 


  27. 16:20:28 GST

    There's also Ilnur Zakarin, Tejay Van Garderen, Louis Meintjes, Emmanuel Buchmann, Davide Formolo, Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Bauke Mollema, Gorka Izaguirre, Kenny Elissonde and young guns Bjorg Lambrecht, David Gaudu and James Knox. 


  28. 25km remaining from 179km

    16:21:08 GST

    25km to go now and we're just under 15km from the foot of Jebel Hafeet. The pace is starting to pick up. 


  29. 16:26:23 GST

    The pace has just shot up as riders fight for position ahead of the climb. There's an intermediate sprint coming up, too, which carries three bonus seconds for the first rider across the line. 


  30. 16:26:45 GST

    Bora and Lotto are the two teams drilling it on the front of the bunch.


  31. 16.5km remaining from 179km

    16:30:01 GST

    Lotto hit the front now, with Lambrecht in third position. The peloton is strung out now.


  32. 16:31:39 GST

    Adam Blythe is continuing the charge for Lotto on the approach to the sprint.


  33. 16:31:51 GST

    Bahrain take it up now


  34. 16:32:17 GST

    Gazprom are moving up Kurianov, who's been in the break the last two days.


  35. 16:32:51 GST

    Kurianov opens it up, he's trailed by Caruso from Bahrain.


  36. 16:34:15 GST

    Kurianov makes sure the black intermediate sprints jersey stays on his shoulders. Caruso, meanwhile, takes two bonus seconds in the general classification. Bahrain sprinter Phil Bauhaus was third across the line.

  37. 12.5km remaining from 179km

    16:34:27 GST

    Now the lead-out to the climb begins. 


  38. 16:34:43 GST

    Jumbo-Visma take control through Tony Martin.


  39. 16:35:00 GST

    Many of the sprinters have already said goodbye to the peloton.

  40. 16:35:47 GST

    The climb up Jebel Hafeet is 10.8km long with an average gardient of 5.4%. There are easy gradients at the bottom and top but harder stuff in the middle and double-digit stuff 3km from the top. 


  41. 11km remaining from 179km

    16:36:07 GST

    Here we go. Just 200m to go until the climb starts. Martin pulls off.


  42. 10.8km remaining from 179km

    16:36:24 GST

    Jos Van Emden leads the race onto the final climb.


  43. 16:37:25 GST

    Riders are quickly getting spat out as the main contenders come to the fore.


  44. 16:38:16 GST

    CCC, Movistar, and FDJ have riders up at the front setting the pace at the moment. 


  45. 16:39:21 GST

    Paddy Bevin is on the front and he's gapping the rest with his tempo.


  46. 16:39:39 GST

    Diego Ulissi lifts it behind and closes the gap. 


  47. 16:40:15 GST

    Bevin and Ulissi have a small lead over the rest and they're pulling away. 


  48. 8.6km remaining from 179km

    16:41:04 GST

    Jumbo-Visma set two men on the front of the main group to lift the pace. 


  49. 16:42:39 GST

    Bevin and Ulissi have 14 seconds as Bouwman and De Plus set the pace for Roglic behind.


  50. 16:43:28 GST

    Sunweb's Rob Power attacks from the main group now. 


  51. 16:44:10 GST

    Power makes it across to make it three at the head of the race. 


  52. 16:45:07 GST

    Power has bigger-name teammates behind in Tom Dumoulin and Wilco Kelderman, and Sunweb are looking to shake things up tactically here. 


  53. 16:45:15 GST

    Louis Meintjes is dropped.


  54. 16:45:24 GST

    Richie Porte is losing contact now, too.


  55. 16:46:12 GST

    Porte is slipping further back. 


  56. 16:46:35 GST

    Bouwman has pulled off and it's De Plus leading Roglic now. Dan Martin and Vincenzo Nibali are close at hand behind. 


  57. 6.5km remaining from 179km

    16:46:53 GST

    De Plus' pace-setting has brought the gap down to 8 seconds.


  58. 16:47:24 GST

    Bevin, Ulissi, and Power are caught. Big turn there from De Plus.


  59. 16:48:41 GST

    How long can De Plus keep this going? Roglic is sitting second wheel. We're just under 6km from the top.


  60. 16:49:35 GST

    The main group is down to around 30 riders.


  61. 16:49:42 GST

    Nibali is losing contact!


  62. 16:49:57 GST

    Nibali has been dropped.


  63. 16:50:18 GST

    Knox and Evenepoel are still there for QuickStep.


  64. 16:50:32 GST

    Grmay dropped for Mitchelton-Scott. 

  65. 16:50:52 GST

    Evenepoel starts to lose contact now.


  66. 16:51:20 GST

    Nibali has already lost 30 seconds. Porte a whole lot more. 


  67. 16:52:06 GST

    Still De Plus leads the way, with Roglic in the wheel. Dan Martin is just behind. Gaudu is there for FDJ, his teammate Reichenbach having just peeled off. Tejay Van Garderen is up near the front too.


  68. 16:52:56 GST

    Sky have Kwiatkowski, Elissonde, and Moscon still up there. Kelderman and Dumoulin are a little further back. Valverde is still around, too.


  69. 16:53:05 GST

    Caruso loses contact.


  70. 16:53:20 GST

    And now De Plus pulls off! What a shift from the Belgian.


  71. 16:53:30 GST

    Roglic himself takes it up straight away!


  72. 16:53:38 GST

    He's trailed by Gaudu.


  73. 16:53:52 GST

    Mollema in trouble now, as is Gorka Izaguirre. 


  74. 16:54:03 GST

    Martin joins Roglic and Gaudu and we have a leading trio.


  75. 16:54:30 GST

    Buchmann sets off in pursuit. Kwiatkowski behind in a group of five or so. 

  76. 16:54:51 GST

    Moscon and Van Garderen start to slip away.


  77. 16:55:14 GST

    Buchmann makes it over to make it four at the head of affairs, along with Roglic, Martin, and Gaudu.


  78. 16:55:42 GST

    Dumoulin and Kelderman are with Valverde and Kwiatkowski in the second group. 


  79. 3.1km remaining from 179km

    16:56:04 GST

    Martin starting to suffer now as Roglic accelerates.


  80. 16:56:13 GST

    This is the steepest section now.


  81. 16:56:38 GST

    Zakarin leads the chase with Formolo and Valverde. Sunweb's duo lose ground. 


  82. 16:57:09 GST

    James Knox is still up there in the chase group. 


  83. 16:57:27 GST

    The four at the front are back together and they lead the chasers by 24 seconds 


  84. 16:57:40 GST

    Gaudu attacks! Roglic follows. Martin and Buchmann dropped.


  85. 16:57:54 GST

    Valverde attacks from the chase!


  86. 16:58:28 GST

    Valverde chases down Martin.


  87. 16:58:50 GST

    The world champion takes a breather in the wheel of his Ardennes rival. The gradients are easier now with 2km to go. 


  88. 16:59:03 GST

    Buchmann makes it back across to Roglic and Gaudu.


  89. 16:59:27 GST

    Formolo is alone as the third 'group' on the road. 


  90. 16:59:57 GST

    Zakarin attacks from the fourth group. Dumoulin is leading Kelderman but can't follow. Jan Hirt responds for Astana. 


  91. 17:00:22 GST

    12 seconds is the gap between the front three and Valverde/Martin. 


  92. 1km remaining from 179km

    17:00:52 GST

    Valverde attacks and drops Martin!


  93. 17:01:06 GST

    Just one kilometre to go and Valverde makes it across!


  94. 17:01:21 GST

    Valverde is the heavy favourite in a sprint for the line.


  95. 17:01:42 GST

    700 metres to go and Valverde sits in. They start to weave across the road.


  96. 17:02:07 GST

    The road dips downhill and soon there'll be a kick up and a tight turn into the finishing straight.


  97. 17:02:23 GST

    Buchmann, Valverde, Roglic, and Gaudu lead. It's between those four.


  98. 17:02:33 GST

    The road kicks up and Valverde accelerates!


  99. 17:02:46 GST

    Valverde comes through the turn in pole position...and takes it!


  100. 17:03:09 GST

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) wins stage 3 of the UAE Tour.


  101. 17:19:20 GST

    1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 04:44:50
    2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
    3 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
    4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:04
    5 Daniel Martin (Ire) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:12
    6 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:33
    7 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
    8 James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 00:00:35
    9 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
    10 Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana


  102. 17:20:32 GST

    General Classification after stage 3

    1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 09:38:05
    2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 00:00:14
    3 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:00:31
    4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:39
    5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb 00:00:47
    6 Daniel Martin (Ire) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:54
    7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb 00:00:57
    8 Victor de la Parte (Spa) CCC Team 00:01:05
    9 James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep 00:01:07
    10 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:01:08


  103. 17:30:48 GST

    Valverde speaks


    "It's my first victory of the year, and I was raelly keen to take it. It was hard, but I felt good. I did a good job of keeping sheltered because there was a lot of wind out there and I managed to get the victory.


    "It was difficult to follow Roglic. He went very early. I knew I had to bide my time and go at the same point I went last year, and that's what I did. It was very important to know the climb and have that reference from last year."

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