Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) came close to abandoning the UAE Tour after crashing in the opening kilometres of stage 6. The Dutchman decided to stick with it and came close to victory, being beaten on the line by Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) at the top of Jebel Jais.
With lots of wind to deal with, the queen stage of the UAE Tour was a tense affair, and the tension showed early on with a crash occurring just a few kilometres after the flag dropped for racing. Dumoulin was one of those caught up in the incident, which also included world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Dumoulin hurt his leg in the commotion and spent the next hour toying with the idea of abandoning but chose to keep going. With 200 metres to go, Dumoulin had a dig for glory but was passed by Roglic before he made it to the line.
"I was in a crash after five kilometres and was almost quitting the race because I had a lot of problems with my leg. I overstretched it somehow in the crash," explained Dumoulin.
"I thought for about an hour about quitting. I thought it didn't make any sense any more to continue and then I got second at the end of the day. I knew the form was good, that's why I was also very disappointed when I crashed that it wasn't meant to be again, like last time. Luckily, I had a good go for it, but Roglic was too strong."
Though he lost out on the stage win, it was a good note for Dumoulin to end the GC battle on with just a sprint stage remaining. Dumoulin had been well in contention for victory after pushing Jumbo-Visma close in the team time trial on day one, but he suffered a bad day on the first summit finish of Jebel Hafeet.
He bounced back the following day with a short attack on the road to Hatta Dam, and his bonus seconds for second place on Jebel Jais were enough to move him up to sixth overall.
"At least I confirmed that my shape is good. I knew that beforehand, and yeah because of some reasons I was not very good at the other summit hill finish but now I was OK," he said.