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UAE Tour Stage 4 - Live report

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-85km

As we pick up the action, Will Clarke (Trek-Segafredo) and Veljko Stojnic (Vini Zabù - KTM) are up the road with a lead of 2:15 over the peloton.

Just moments ago, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) was a faller in a low-speed crash in the peloton, but the Colombian has remounted and doesn't appear to be in any obvious distress.

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) were also held up in that incident, but they, too, have safely rejoined the peloton.

There were two non-starters today: Sefan De Bod and Jay Robert Thomson (NTT).

-77km

Veljko Stojnic (Vini Zabù – KTM) and Will Clarke (Trek-Segafredo) continue their endeavour out at the head of the race. Stojnic, a perennial attacker on this race, was the first man up the road this morning in the opening kilometres, and Clarke quickly followed. The peloton was content to grant them their freedom.

-73km

Clarke and Stojnic's lead is remaining steady at around 2:22 for the time being, with Jumbo-Visma, Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-QuickStep all keeping tabs on that buffer at the head of the peloton.

General classification after stage 3

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 12:30:02

2 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:07

3 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:01:35

4 David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:40

5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe

6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:06

7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates

8 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe

9 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis

10 Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team Ineos

11 Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:12

12 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling

13 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team 0:02:23

14 Stefan De Bod (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling

15 Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo

16 Victor De la Parte (Spa) CCC Team

17 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:48

18 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team

19 Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal

20 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Israel Start-Up Nation

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) seized control of this UAE Tour with a remarkable display on the summit finish at Jebel Hafeet yesterday. The gaps at the top have been measured in seconds in years past, but Yates finished over a minute clear of the on-form Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) after a startling lone attack. The race tackles Jebel Hafeet all over again tomorrow, with Pogacar pledging to go on the offensive in a bid to discommode Yates.

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) on the attack

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Adam Yates wasn't far behind the earlier crash, but the Briton had time to react and avoid the incident altogether. 

Chris Froome (Ineos) is due to train at altitude in South Africa after the UAE Tour before racing the Volta a Catalunya in March. This is his first race since his heavy crash at the Criterium du Dauphie last June, and there was little surprise when Froome was off the pace on Jebel Hafeet. "My job was done before we’d even got to the climb. I’m here to just start my season and to start racing. Yesterday was about that," Froome said. Read more here.

Chris Froome (Team Ineos)

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-64km

Caleb Ewan suffers a rear wheel puncture, but he gets a quick change and gives chase. The Australian has some cuts on his left elbow from his earlier crash, but he will hope those injuries don't affect him in today's seemingly ineluctable bunch sprint.

Ewan, incidentally, is not wearing the green jersey today despite leading the points classification. He wore a green jersey over his Lotto Soudal skinsuit at the start and in the neutralised zone, but he has since whipped it off as he doesn't want to sacrifice aerodynamics in the finale at Dubai City Walk.

-61km

The coalition of sprinters' teams is keeping the escapees' lead steady at around 2:12. Lotto Soudal's Remy Mertz currently sets the tempo.

Beyond the UAE Tour, this is a very busy week of racing. The UCI Track World Championships get underway in Berlin today, and one of the highlights could be provided by Filippo Ganna (Italy). There are rumours he might have the form to lower his individual pursuit world record below the 4-minute barrier. Stephen Farrand has more here.

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The best doubleheader on the calendar also takes place this week, as the Belgian season begins with the Opening Weekend of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Patrick Fletcher previews the action here.

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-56km

Break: 

Will Clarke (Trek-Segafredo) and Veljko Stojnic (Vini Zabù – KTM)

Peloton at 2:19

-50km

Into the final 50km for Clarke and Stojnic, who have a lead of 1:40 over the peloton.

-48km

Another crash in the peloton sees the Lotto Soudal duo of Adam Hansen and Steff Cras among the fallers. Hansen quickly remounts, but Cras is on his feet getting assessed by his team doctor on the roadside.

That crash served to split the peloton and Caleb Ewan was among those caught on the wrong side of the split, but it looks as though the bunch will reform almost as quickly as it broke up.

-45km

Break:

Will Clarke (Trek-Segafredo) and Veljko Stojnic (Vini Zabù – KTM)

Peloton at 0:43

There are some abrupt changes of direction in the finale and there is some wind around this afternoon, hence the increase in tension in the peloton as the sprinters' teams scramble for position near the front.

-41km

Clarke beats Stojnic in a keenly-contested intermediate sprint. Max Kanter (Sunweb) wins the sprint for third place in the peloton. 33 seconds the gap.

-37km

Stojnic sits up, his latest adventure off the front at an end. Will Clarke opts to press on alone, though his lead over the peloton is just 20 seconds.

-33km

Clarke presses on with a lead of 28 seconds over the peloton. The Australian surely knows he won't defy the fast men, but he is committed to his endeavour all the same.

Away from the UAE Tour, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) has decided to start his road season at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad this weekend, having previously planned to make his 2020 bow at Strade Bianche. The Belgian took the decision to offset the possibility of cancellations due to measures being taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Italy. "With Van Aert's start in the Omloop, we anticipate a possible cancellation of other races on his program," read a statement from Jumbo-Visma. Read more here.

Bianchi Zolder Pro Bike

(Image credit: Bianchi)

-29km

There has been a distinct cessation of hostilities in the peloton and Clarke's advantage has suddenly yawned out to 1:12 during this temporary truce. We can expect that to tumble again once the sprinters' teams begin to wind things up in the last 20km or so.

-25km

Will Clarke calls for a drink at the front. The Australian missed most of the second half of 2019 through injury and he is marking this comeback with a defiant display here. 1:30 the gap.

-22km

Clarke grinds on into a headwind, with a lead of 1:40 over a peloton that has yet to stir back to life. Remy Mertz (Lotto Soudal) is setting the tempo on behalf of Caleb Ewan.

Red jersey Adam Yates is surrounded by Mitchelton-Scott teammates near the head of the bunch, which is now 1:54 behind Will Clarke.

-20km

Into the final 20km and there is an impasse in the peloton. Nobody wants to take up the chase and Clarke's lead has stretched out to 2:10...

Remy Mertz swung off the front and the bunch spread across the road once he did. Deceuninck-QuickStep have since taken up the reins of pursuit on behalf of Sam Bennett. The sprinters' teams can't afford to argue too long over who picks up the bill, otherwise Clarke could pull off a remarkable heist.

-18km

Mattia Cattaneo and James Knox set the pace at the head of the bunch for Deceuninck-QuickStep, 2:01 down on the lone leader Will Clarke (Trek-Segafredo).

Clarke is grinding into a headwind and trying to manage his advantage, but the intensity is - finally - rising in the peloton behind him.

Situation

Break:

Will Clarke (Trek-Segafredo)

Peloton at 1:50

-15km

Deceuninck-QuickStep's pace-setting is making inroads into Will Clarke's lead, which now stands at 1:25.

-13km

Jumbo-Visma join Lotto Soudal and Deceuninck-QuickStep in contributing to the chase effort in the peloton. Clarke still holds a lead of 1:20 but the bunch is drawing inexorably closer.

-11km

Clarke's lead drops inside a minute. This has bee quite an effort from the Australian, but this headwind is taking its toll now. 45 seconds the gap.

-10km

Into the final 10km for Clarke, who has just 30 seconds in hand on a Deceuninck-QuickStep-led peloton.

-9km

Deceuninck-QuickStep are en masse at the front on behalf of Irish champion Sam Bennett. They are almost within touching distance of Will Clarke.

-8km

Will Clarke takes a swig from his bidon and looks over his shoulder. He keeps pedalling, refusing to yield to the inevitable, but he knows his adventure is at an end.

-7.5km

Will Clarke is finally caught by the peloton after a defiant showing in which he briefly threatened to tear up the script only for Deceuninck-QuickStep to restore order to affairs with 20km to go. Gruppo compatto.

-6km

Deceuninck-QuickStep are massed in front of Sam Bennett at the head of the peloton. Delegations from Sunweb and Bora-Hansgrohe are tucked in behind them.

-5km

It's still Deceuninck-QuickStep leading for Sam Bennett, but Lotto Soudal are moving up on behalf of Caleb Ewan.

-4km

James Knox (Deceuninck-QuickStep) sits on the front for Bennett, while the other sprinters' teams jostle for position just behind.

-3km

Jumbo-Visma have taken over at the head of the peloton, but trains from Deceuninck-QuickStep and Lotto Soudal are still visible.

-2.5km

A Bahrain-McLaren train battles to move Mark Cavendish up ahead of the denouement.

-2km

Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) leads the bunch into the last 2km. Pieter Serry is up there for Deceuninck-QuickStep.

-1.5km

Jumbo-Visma lead but the sprinters are surfing the wheels behind them as the bunch sweeps across this wide boulevard.

-1km

Stijn Steels leads into the final kilometre for Deceuninck-QuickStep but this looks set to be a chaotic sprint.

Mitchelton-Scott lead into the final right-hand turn...

Luka Mezgec leads out the sprint, but Shane Archbold is moving up...

Sam Bennett his the front from distance...

Dylan Groenewegen comes past, but Fernando Gaviria is closing...

Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) wins stage 4 of the UAE Tour.

Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) just ran out of road and had to settle for second place.

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was third ahead of Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep). Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) took 5th. 

Result

1 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 04:16:13

2 Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates

3 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe

4 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-QuickStep

5 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal

6 Kaden Groves (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott

7 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team

8 Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis

9 Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation

10 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb

 

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished safely in the peloton to retain the red jersey of overall leader.

General classification

1        Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott        16:46:15

2        Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates         0:01:07

3        Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team          0:01:35

4        David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ         0:01:40

5        Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe

6        Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis        0:02:05

7        Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:02:06

8        Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates

9        Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe

10       Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team Ineos

Dylan Groenewegen speaks: "This one is really nice, all the sprinters are here, including myself. the first day I was not in the best position to make the sprint, but we saw that the speed was really good. So today was a little bit different. In the last corner, I was in really good position and we took the win so that’s really nice.

"The team did a very good job in the last 3k. We made a move there. They did a really strong lead-out to bring me to the last corner. Then I was on the wheel of Bennett and, yeah, it was a good position."

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

That's Dylan Groenewegen's third win of the season after his brace of victories at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. The Dutchman will have a different kind of season in 2020, as he misses the Tour de France but makes debuts at both the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana. 

Before then, he will be in action at Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and the one-day Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dylan Groenewegen wins at the 2020 UAE Tour.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thanks for following our live coverage of the UAE Tour on Cyclingnews today. You can read a full report of today's action here. We'll be back with more tomorrow as the race scales Jebel Hafeet for the second time. 

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