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Stage 3 of the UAE Tour brings the peloton from Strata Manufacturing in Al Ain to the UAE Tour’s first summit finish atop Jebel Hafeet.

The final haul to Jebel Hafeet, 10.8km in length with an average gradient of 5.4%, will provoke some further changes to the general classification, where Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wears the red jersey. Before that sting in the tail, the peloton track an entirely flat route on the 166km stage. 

-150km

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen) attacked almost from the outset this morning and as we pick up the action after 16km, they have a lead of 3 minutes over a peloton that seems content to grant them some early leeway.

General classification after stage 2

1          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     4:00:05

2          João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep  0:00:05

3          Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep            0:00:18

4          Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma      0:00:33

5          Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:39

6          Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo           0:00:41

7          Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:45

8          David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma    0:00:46

9          Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep        0:00:47

10        Mattias Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo            0:00:48

11        Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious     0:00:50

12        Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates     0:00:54

13        Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep           0:00:55

14        Shane Archbold (NZl) Deceuninck-QuickStep         0:01:04

15        Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Cofidis       0:01:11

16        Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates            0:01:27

17        Emils Liepins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo  0:01:36

18        Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis        0:01:41

19        Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates     0:01:45

20        Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo  0:02:09

Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates squad have moved towards the head of the peloton but the pace is still gentle in these opening kilometres and the break's lead is now 3:35.

-145km

Break:

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen)

Peloton at 3:55

Filippo Ganna (Ineos) was, unsurprisingly, a clear winner in yesterday's short time trial, but behind the world champion, the general classification picture was adjusted further after the echelons on the opening day had already eliminated all bar 20 or so riders from the reckoning. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) enjoyed a solid outing, but Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is just 5 seconds back, while defending champion Adam Yates (Ineos) lies 5th at 39 seconds. 

"The most important is actually to have an advantage now. I'm in the defending position and he needs to attack," Pogacar said of Almeida. "t's easier to control than to have to make up time. But there are still five stages left and many things can happen. There are still possibilities of crosswinds like yesterday. Tomorrow it's the hardest mountain top finish. I hope for the best legs I can have." Read more from Pogacar here.

UAE Tour 2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

-136km

UAE Team Emirates continue to set the tempo at the head of the peloton, but there is no particular haste for now, and De Gendt and Gallopin's lead stands at 4:44.

Mathieu van der Poel and his Alpecin-Fenix squad withdrew from the UAE Tour before yesterday's time trial due to a confirmed COVID-19 case among their staff. Wielerflits reports that Van der Poel has already been given clearance to return to the Netherlands after returning two negative PCR tests, and he is now eyeing participation in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. Flanders Classics CEO Thomas Van Den Spiegel, needless to say, was receptive to the idea: "Although we are not a party in the discussion it is our belief that, if he is compliant with both UCI and our federations protocol, [Van der Poel] will be able to take a start." 

Van der Poel, Roy Jans, Jasper Philipsen, Kristian Sbaragli, Louis Vervaeke and three staff members were able to depart for Amsterdam after testing negative twice, but Jonas Rickaert and Gianni Vermeersch, who came in close contact with the infected staff member, must remain in quarantine in the UAE. Read more here.

UAE Tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)

-126km

Out in front, Gallopin and De Gendt continue to augment their advantage, which now stands at 5:23. At the rear of the peloton, Chris Froome drops back to pick up some bidons for his Israel Start-Up Nation teammates. 

Pogacar drops back to the team car and gets some lubricant applied to his cleats. After a polite 'thank you,' he's quickly back at the rear of the peloton, which is now 5:40 behind De Gendt and Gallopin.

-116km

Neo-professional Antonio Tiberi (Trek-Segafredo) crashed heavily in the finishing straight of yesterday's time trial and he has been forced to abandon the race after suffering a series of abrasions including a wound to his right knee. His team described the crash as "bizarre," with the youngster inexplicably losing control of his bike just metres from the line. Tiberi, who was junior time trial world champion in 2019, was in his first official race for Trek-Segafredo, though he lined out as a stagiaire at the tail end of last season. Read more here

Antonio Tiberi (Trek-Segafredo) before his crash at the UAE Tour

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-115km

Break:

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen)

Peloton at 5:57

The odds are against the success of any early break on a day like this, but De Gendt and Gallopin are battling gamely all the same. The experienced duo now has a buffer of more than 6 minutes on the peloton as they bowl along a seemingly interminable section of false flat along a wide and straight highway.  

João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) looked to have picked up where he left off at last October's Giro d'Italia with a solid outing in yesterday's time trial. The Portuguese rider lies 5 seconds down on Pogacar ahead of today's summit finish at Jebel Hafeet, though he was decidedly guarded in his assessment of the road ahead yesterday. "We are in a good position for the first summit finish and we'll continue like this, taking it day by day and seeing where that leads us," said Almeida.

-105km

The peloton has come through the feed zone some 6:27 down on the escapees De Gendt and Gallopin. 

After the recent spate of cancellations and postponements, the sight of Thomas De Gendt off the front of a bike race brings a sense of normality to an unusual early season. Gallopin is a very willing collaborator with the Belgian here. Just as well: as Einer Rubio discovered on the Giro d'Italia last October, it doesn't pay to skip a turn when you're in a break with De Gendt.

de gendt giro d'italia stage 5 Camigliatello Silano

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-99km

Break:

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal)

Peloton at 6:37

The peloton spreads across the road as it enters a section of mild headwind. With almost 100km and a stiff final climb to go, there is no undue concern about the buffer currently enjoyed by Gallopin and De Gendt. 

Speaking before the start, Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) suggested that the wind could have an impact on today's stage, as it did on the opening day, when he finished as a part of a bunch that came home more than 8 minutes down. "It all depends on how the race pans out. On paper, it’s a flat day until the final climb but the wind is blowing and we could see echelons like the other day," said Froome, who was a low-key 83rd in yesterday's time trial. "I think there’ll be a lot of fighting for position early on and I don’t think it’ll be all about the final climb today - I think we’ll see some splits before that."

Chris Froome on the podium at the UAE Tour

(Image credit: Bettini Images)

Froome was also interviewed in today's Guardian, where he had little to say when asked about former Sky doctor and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman, who has been charged by UKAD with two violations of anti-doping rules. “I don’t know enough about the specifics of the case to comment. Are these questions in connection to Team Sky or British Cycling? I don’t know the answer so I don’t think it’s fair for me to comment on his case specifically. I don’t know the particulars," said Froome, who raced for both Sky and the British national team.

-91km

Filippo Ganna moves to the front and accelerates with real intent as the race swings into a section of crosswind. Ineos were present in numbers as they look to split the race. The peloton has held firm for now, but the tension has not diffused. The intensity has ratcheted up considerably in the last couple of kilometres.

-89km

Bora-Hansgrohe are the next team to try to splinter this bunch into echelons. Bahrain, Ineos and BikeExchnage are also present in numbers towards the front of the bunch, which is now 4:32 down on the two leaders.

A delegation from UAE Team Emirates is now near the front with Pogacar tucked safely among them. Despite the high speed and high tension, the peloton survives intact for the time being.

-87km

Break:

Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

Peloton at 4:06

The peloton fans across the road but a truce hasn't been called just yet. Meanwhile, Gallopin and De Gendt stick to their task out in front, though their lead has been cut notably in the last few kilometres, and has now dropped inside four minutes.

De Gendt and Gallopin hae averaged 40.6km through the opening half of today's stage. The pace remains brisk in the peloton behind, however, and the gap has dropped towards three minutes. 

The pace eases off slightly in the peloton, and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) avails of the opportunity to pick up some bidons. Today is about survival for the German, who should have a shot at a bunch finish tomorrow. Emanuel Buchmann is Bora's option for a stage win today, though both the German and Patrick Konrad are already out of the GC contest after missing the split on stage 1.  

This is Buchmann's first race of a season that is built around his Giro d'Italia debut. The route of the 2021 Giro will be presented tomorrow afternoon in Milan. The race gets underway in Turin on May 8 and there are some firm rumours about where the road goes from there, with the Zoncolan expected to return, but all will be revealed tomorrow. 

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann receives plenty of support on the Col du Tourmalet during stage 14 of the 2019 Tour de France

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-75km

After Ganna's attempt at forcing a split, the race has settled slightly, and the break's lead is steady for the time being at 3:20.

Situation

Break:

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen)

Peloton at 3:20

Israel Start-Up Nation hit the front of the peloton and begin to wind the pace up again. Ineos are also present in numbers on behalf of Adam Yates. The bunch isn't showing signs of splintering, but the surge shaves a chunk of seconds off Gallopin and De Gendt's lead.

-67km

De Gendt and Gallopin's lead is down to 2:15, with a little over 50km to go to the base of the climb to Jebel Hafeet.

João Almeida was asked beforehand if he thought the UAE Tour would now be a straight duel with Pogacar. "I think its more complicated than that," he said. "There can be wind, and there are good riders close like Adam Yates, my teammate Mattia Cattaneo. Damiano Caruso is also close, and anyone can have a bad day or bad luck."

ABU DHABI UNITED ARAB EMIRATES FEBRUARY 21 Podium Joao Almeida of Portugal and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Black Intermediate Sprint Jersey Celebration during the 3rd UAE Tour 2021 Stage 1 a 176km stage from Al Dhafra Castle to Al Mirfa Mask Covid Safety Measures UAETour on February 21 2021 in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-59km

There has been a slight relenting of the pace in the peloton, and their deficit to the two escapees has stretched out once again. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen) now hold a buffer of 3:49. 

Defending champion Adam Yates (Ineos) didn’t sugarcoat his 39-second deficit to Pogacar in the overall standings. “It’s a lot. Everybody knew a TT like yesterday was a strongman’s course, so I was always going to lose time,” he said before the start, though he suggested that the GC frissons might not be limited to the two summit finishes. There’s unpredictably in the race with the wind.”

UAE Tour 2021 - 3rd Edition - Top Riders - Was Marina Circuit - 20/02/2021 - Adam Yates (GBR - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-54km

Pogacar and Ganna chat a few rows back from the head of the peloton, where the pace is relatively gentle for the time being. They are 4:12 down on the escapees.

The UAE Tour is not the only WorldTour action this week, with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad heralding the beginning of the Belgian season on Saturday. Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne follows on Sunday, the second instalment in the always eagerly anticipated Opening Weekend. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), returning to the cobbles after his crash at the Tour of Flanders last October, is among the leading contenders - and he might yet be joined by Mathieu van der Poel. Read a preview of the Opening Weekend here.

OUDENAARDE BELGIUM OCTOBER 18 Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep World Champion Jersey Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Team Jumbo Visma Mathieu Van Der Poel of The Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix Breakaway during the 104th Tour of Flanders 2020 Ronde van Vlaanderen Men Elite a 2433km race from Antwerpen to Oudenaarde RVV20 FlandersClassic on October 18 2020 in Oudenaarde Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

-48km

Break:

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen)

Peloton at 4:32

The climb of Jebel Hafeet is 10.8km in length with an average gradient of 5.4%, though that average is lowered considerably by the shallow opening and closing 1500m of the ascent. In between, there are a stiff 7km at an average of 8%, including ramps of 11%.

The UAE Tour climbed Jebel Hafeet twice last year. The first time out, Adam Yates put some 1:03 into Pogacar and 1:30 into Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) after attacking with 6km to go. Two days later, Pogacar outsprinted Yates and Lutsenko at the top.

-41km

Deceuninck-QuickStep mass to the front in anticipation of a change in direction, but the wind isn't strong enough to split the race. 4:10 the gap to the two escapees.

-39km

Into the final 40km for De Gendt and Gallopin, who have 4 minutes on the peloton. Qhubeka-Assos move up on behalf of Domenico Pozzovivo, while a delegation from Bahrain-Victorious is also active.

-35km

Break:

Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

Peloton at 3:50

Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-QuickStep are prominent at the head of the peloton, where the speed is beginning to pick up once again on the approach to the ascent of Jebel Hafeet. Gallopin and De Gendt's lead is down again to 3:17.

-27km

The silhouette of Jebel Hafeet is emerging from the haze on the horizon as the peloton hurtles past Al Ain Grand Mosque en route to the base of the final climb. Gallopin and De Gendt are 3:30 clear of the bunch and still collaborating well.

-24km

Movistar are among the active teams at the head of the peloton on the approach to Jebel Hafeet. Alejandro Valverde outsprinted Miguel Angel Lopez at the top of this climb in 2018 in the Abu Dhabi Tour and then beat Primoz Roglic to the top in the inaugural UAE Tour twelve months later. 

Vuelta Espana 2020 - 75th Edition - 8th stage Logrono - Alto de Moncalvillo 164 km - 28/10/2020 - Alejandro Valverde (ESP - Movistar Team) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2020

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-20km

Thomas De Gendt and Tony Gallopin enter the final 20km with a lead of 2:55 over the peloton. They will hit the base of the ascent to Jebel Hafeet with 10.5km to go.

There is an intermediate sprint with 13.5km to go, incidentally, with bonus seconds on offer. Gallopin and De Gendt led through the first intermediate sprint early in the stage, while Filippo Ganna snaffled up the remaining bonus second at the head of the bunch.

Israel Start-Up Nation, Jumbo-Visma and Movistar are among the teams visible at the head of the peloton as the pace rises another couple of notches on the run towards the base of the climb. 

-15km

Bahrain-Victorious have both Wout Poels and Jack Haig in action at the UAE Tour, and both riders will expect to be in the mix further up the climb this afternoon after solid displays at the Tour de la Provence. The team's best-placed man on GC, however, is Damiano Caruso, given that he made the split on stage 1. The Italian, who placed a fine 10th at last year's Tour de France, is making his seasonal debut here.

Groupama-FDJ wind up the pace on the front of the peloton, with Ineos and Bora also battling for position as they snake through a series of roundabouts on the approach to the climb - and the intermediate sprint. 1:50 the gap to the two leaders.

-13.5km

Gallopin leads De Gendt through the intermediate sprint at the head of the race. They have 1:35 in hand on the peloton.

It looks as though Michael Morkov led the peloton through the intermediate sprint. There was certainly no contest from the GC contenders for the remaining bonus - hardly surprising, given that they are just a couple of kilometres from making the transition from big to little ring at the base of Jebel Hafeet.

-11km

Break:

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-Citroen)

Peloton at 1:00

De Gendt sits up just as the two escapees reach the gentle preamble to Jebel Hafeet. Tony Gallopin is alone at the head of the race, with a lead of 50 seconds over the peloton. The Frenchman knows that he won't fend them off to the summit, but he is determined to finish his day-long effort with a flourish all the same. 

-10km

Gallopin climbs out of the saddle but seconds are tumbling off his advantage, while the peloton begins to shrink behind as the sprinters and non-climbers sit up.

De Gent is caught by the peloton, which is being led by Jan Polanc of UAE Team Emirates. 

-9.5km

Gallopin's advantage stands at 35 seconds over the peloton, which is down to 40 or so riders on these lower slopes. That group will shrink still further in a kilometre or so when the gradient stiffens further.

-9km

Gallopin is managing to set himself a steady tempo, but he can do little to fend off the chasers behind, who are 24 seconds back. Chris Froome, meanwhile, looks to be
struggling a little at the rear of the red jersey group.

UAE Team Emirates set the tempo at the head of the red jersey group, 15 seconds down on the lone leader Gallopin. The pace isn't too brisk just yet, given that European champion Giacomo Nizzolo is still holding the wheels in this group.

-8km

Tony Gallopin's adventure is over as he is caught by the UAE-led red jersey group. Rather more surprisingly, Alexey Lutsenko has been jettisoned out the back of this group.

There are 50 or so riders still in this red jersey group. UAE Team Emirates have Jan Polanc, Davide Formolo and Rafal Majka sitting at the front on behalf of the red jersey Pogacar. 

-7.5km

The pace looks to be too much for Alejandro Valverde, who drops back through the red jersey group and tries to hold on at the back.

-7km

UAE ride on the front, but there is a strong delegation from Ineos just behind, with Adam Yates and Ivan Sosa prominent.

Jan Polanc swings over, but UAE continue to set the tempo for Pogacar. Adam Yates, Joao Almeida, Sepp Kuss,Vincenzo Nibali and Neilson Powless are all well positioned near the front.

-6.5km

Chris Froome, struggling from the lower ramps of the climb, has been dropped from the red jersey group.

-6km

Formolo is the only rider left with Pogacar, and Ineos take over on the front. Yates has Sosa and Daniel Martinez for company.  

-5.5km

The Ineos surge has whittled down this front group to its bare bones. A strong turn from Daniel Martinez leaves fewer than 10 riders in contact, including Pogacar, Kuss, Uates, Almeida and Powless.

-5km

When Martinez swings over, Pogacar doesn't take up the slack. Instead, Sepp Kuss accelerates. Pogacar and Yates go with him, then Powless bridges across. Almeida, Buchmann and Sergio Higuita are a little further behind.

Yates comes to the front and lowers the pace, allowing Almeida, Buchmannn et al to bridge back up. Kuss kicks again shortly afterwards, and only Pogacar and Yates can go with him...

-4.5km

Yates, Pogacar and Kuss open a gap over a small group including Almeida, Buchmann, Powless and Higuita. This looks like the big move...

-4km

Adam Yates accelerates sharply, and only Pogacar can track his move. Kuss is distanced...

Yates kicks again and still Pogacar follows. The Almeida group, meanwhile, is now 20 seconds back.

-3km

Yates and Pogacar have almost half a minute on Kuss, who is just ahead of Higuita, Almeida, Kuss, Powless, Buchmann and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal). 

Almeida leads the chasing group, which contains Kuss, Powless, Vanhoucke, Higuita, Buchmann and Florian Stork (DSM).  They are 20 seconds or so behind the two leaders, Yates and Pogacar.

-2km

A third - or is that a fourth - long acceleration from Adam Yates. He tries to break Pogacar, but the Tour champion holds his rear wheel. Behind, the Almeida group has splintered. The Portuguese rider is third on the road with Vanhoucke and Poweless for company, 40 seconds down. Higuita, Buchmann and Stork are a little back, while Kuss, meanwhile, is just behind them, trying to pace his teammate Chris Harper. 

-1.5km

Pogacar refuses Yates' entreaties to come through and help set the pace. The Slovenian, perhaps stung from their duel here last year, is happy to follow the Briton. 

-1km

Yates leads Yates into the final kilometre. They have 40 seconds in hand on the Almeida group...

The gradient relents in the final kilometre... Pogacar sits on Yates' wheel but he looks like he's lining up an acceleration...

Pogacar kicks with a little under 400 metres or so to go. Yates follows but the Slovenian has the upper hand as they approach the line...

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 3 of the UAE Tour.

Adam Yates (Ineos) couldn't get back around Pogacar in the final metres, and he has to settle for second on the stage. He'll also move up to second overall behind Pogacar.

Sergio Higuita outsprints Buchmann, Vanhoucke and Almeida for third.

The impressive Florian Stork and Powless come home in 7th and 8th place. The rest of the race is coming home in small groups behind them.

Pogacar and Yates came home in the same time, and they put 48 seconds into Higuita, Buchmann, Vanhoucke and Almeida, while Stork and Powless followed at 54 seconds. Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma) took 9th on the stage after limiting his losses to a minute.  

Result

1          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     03:58:35

2          Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers

3          Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education-Nippo     00:00:48

4          Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe

5          Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal

6          João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep

7          Florian Stork (Ger) DSM        00:00:54

8          Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo

9          Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma      00:01:00

10        Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R-Citroen       00:01:09

General classification

1          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     07:58:30

2          Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:43

3          João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep  00:01:03

4          Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma      00:01:43

5          Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo           00:01:45

6          Mattias Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo            00:02:36

7          Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious     00:02:38

8          Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep                        00:02:39

9          Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis         00:03:32

10        Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep           00:04:47

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 3

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tadej Pogacar on his stage victory: "We wanted a win, we got one. It was a really tough day, kind of stressful because there was a small chance of echelons again but the team did a super, super good job. We stayed in the right spots in all the race and the guys drove me to the bottom of the climb really good and then set the pace. All I had to do was respond to attacks. It was super hard but I’m super happy to win."

Pogacar didn't come through to share the pace-making with Yates once they had dropped Almeida, but he acknowledged the significance of extending his lead over the Portuguese rider on GC. "It was important. When the gap grew, I wanted to keep the gap and I think Adam was thinking the same. In the end it’s super important that the gap is bigger," said Pogacar, who used his previous experience on Jebel Hafeet to good effect to outmanoeuvre Yates in the final 400 metres. "I knew exactly what I needed to do in the sprint. I started early because with the two corners, it’s hard for the guy behind to come past so it was an advantage to start the sprint first. It was super good."

Pogacar now has an overall lead of 43 seconds on Yates and 1:03 on Almeida. Chris Harper and Neilson Powless are the only other riders within two minutes on the general classification with four days remaining. The Slovenian’s position is commanding, but he insisted the race was not yet won. “No, there’s still four stages. Anything can happen,” he said. “There could be echelons and there’s still one more climb. It will be a hard battle until the end.”

Tadej Pogacar leads Adam Yates on the climb

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Adam Yates tried but failed to distance Tadej Pogacar on the climb

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) declared himself satisfied with his performance after placing 4th on the stage: "I had good legs and I am happy. Of course, I am not at my top level yet and it was my first race since month, therefore, the race rhythm isn’t really there yet, and it is hard when the pace is super high. I struggled a little at some point but recovered quite well and felt strong again at the end. It’s a pity we lost the race already at day one, but at least now we know that our winter preparation was good."

The chase group finishes stage 3 at the UAE Tour

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Result

1          Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     3:58:35

2          Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers

3          Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education-Nippo     0:00:48

4          Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 

5          Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal

6          João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 

7          Florian Stork (Ger) Team DSM          0:00:54

8          Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo          

9          Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma      0:01:00

10        Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën       0:01:09

General classification

1          Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     7:58:30

2          Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:43

3          João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep  0:01:03

4          Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma      0:01:43

5          Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo           0:01:45

6          Mattias Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo            0:02:36

7          Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious     0:02:38

8          Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep            0:02:39

9          Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis         0:03:32

10        Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep           0:04:47

A full report, results and pictures from today's stage are available here.

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