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UAE Tour stage 5 - Live coverage

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Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stager 5 of the UAE Tour.

As the Cyclingnews virtual blimp takes height, the riders are on their way north from the Fujairah International Marine Club towards Jebel Jais, the highest climb in the UAE at 1491 metres.

There are 150km left to race.

Before the mountain finish, the riders face a ride through the desert and over several gradual climbs. 

We have a brave, solo breakaway attempt by AG2R rider Mathias Frank. 

Giacomo Nizzolo was with him but has dropped back to the peloton, which is at 2:40.

The race is already into the spectacular rocky mountains but the stage  follows a valley route. 

The peloton is riding steady, aware that the mountain finish will create a hard finale.

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Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) extended his overall lead at the UAE Tour on stage 3, outfoxing Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) at the summit of Jefel Hafeet after surviving a string of blistering accelerations from the British climber.

With 10 bonus seconds for the stage win, Pogačar extended his overall lead to 43 seconds over Yates, with Almeida, who placed 6th on the stage, now third at 1:03. 

Pogacar wears the red leader's jersey and Yates will need to try to distance him early on the climb if he is to pull back 43 seconds.  

Adam Yates and Tadej Pogacar attacked on the Jebel Hafeet climb

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Frank is bravely pushing on alone out front. He is 3:20 ahead of the peloton.

On Wednesday Sam Bennett (DeceuninckQuickStep) won the sprint stage with a superb final move along the barriers.

Click below to read our full stage report and see our photo gallery.

UAE Tour: Sam Bennett wins stage 4

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) managed to hold off an impressive David Dekker (Jumbo-Visma) in the sprint

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

This video from Israel Start-Up Nation shows the weather is cloudy and cooler today. It is currently 25C, with cooler temperatures expected up at the finish. 

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Frank was first to the intermediate sprint but David Dekker (Jumbo-Visma) fought hard to win the sprint for second place in defence of his green jersey. 

David Dekker (Jumbo-Visma) took the green points jersey at the UAE Tour

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

-133km

Break:

Mathias Frank (AG2R-Citroen)

Peloton at 0:57

Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal) opens a small gap over the peloton and briefly looks as though he might bridge across to Frank, but the German is brought back swiftly. Meanwhile, Frank's advantage on the bunch has dropped to 32 seconds.  

-127km

A puncture for Davide Formolo (UAE-Team Emirates), but there is no particular urgency as the Italian gets a wheel change and rejoins the fray. After that brief injection of pace before and after the sprint, the intensity has dropped again in the peloton, and Frank's lead has nudged back out to one minute. 

UAE Team Emirates sit at the head of the peloton on behalf of Pogacar, and they are content to allow Frank augment his buffer all over again. The gap is back out to 1:45 with 123km to go. 

-120km

Andre Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) accelerates forcefully at the head of the peloton and he brings four riders with him, including teammates Omer Goldstein and Rick Zabel. The group opens a small gap but the bunch reacts swiftly to bring them back. The end result is that Frank's advantage has dropped all over again, and now stands at 41 seconds.

The general classification, incidentally, was as follows ahead of today's stage:

1          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     12:50:21

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          Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep            0:02:38

8          Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious    

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

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

And now it's déjà vu all over again at the head of the race. When the speed abates after the Greipel attack, Kluge again finds himself alone between Frank and the peloton. Frank's advantage, meanwhile, has stretched back out above one minute.

-116km

This time Kluge gets some reinforcements. Larry Warbasse (AG2R-Citroen), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka-Assos) have bridged across to him. This sextet immediately sets to work in pursuit of the lone leader Frank.

-113km

That sextet join Frank at the head of the race, and two more riders are also forging their way across to this break. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) and Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nartion) are about to join them in front.

-109km

Break:

Mathias Frank (AG2R-Citroen), Larry Warbasse (AG2R-Citroen), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka-Assos)

Peloton at 1:14

Luke Rowe and Andrey Amador take up the pacemaking at the head of the peloton for Ineos Grenadiers, 1:44 down on the leaders. Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates might well be content to allow this breakaway some leeway, but Adam Yates and Ineos want the stage win - and the time bonuses - to remain within reach.

-100km

With two riders apiece from Lotto Soudal, Israel Start-Up Nation and AG2R-Citroen, the escapees are collaborating very smoothly at the head of the race, and their advantage over the Ineos-led bunch is still growing. The gap currently stands at 2:43.

Today's finale at Jebel Jais doesn't appear as obviously selective as Jebel Hafeet, where Pogacar and Yates finished clear of the rest on Tuesday. The UAE Tour last visited Jebel Jais in 2019, with eventual overall winner Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) sprinting to victory at the summit from a splintering group of a dozen or so riders.  

Primoz Roglic wins at Jebel Jais in 2019.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

-90km

Break:

Mathias Frank (AG2R-Citroen), Larry Warbasse (AG2R-Citroen), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka-Assos)

Peloton at 2:20

Luke Rowe and Andrey Amador set the pace at the head of the peloton for Ineos, while delegations from Joao Almeida's Deceuninck-QuickStep and EF Education-Nippo sit behind them. 

The route of the 2021 Giro d'Italia was unveiled yesterday, and the course features a return to the strade bianche of Tuscany, the lesser-used Sutrio side of the Zoncolan and a fearsome tappone to Cortina with 5,700m of climbing that includes the Fedaia, Pordoi and Giau. A full route overview is here, while a closer look at some of the key stages is here.

Giro 2021 wide map for carousel

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

In the more immediate future, the Belgian season gets underway with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, followed by Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne the following day. Patrick Fletcher has picked out some of the riders to watch this Opening Weekend here

Classics

(Image credit: Getty)

-75km

Break:

Mathias Frank (AG2R-Citroen), Larry Warbasse (AG2R-Citroen), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka-Assos)

Peloton at 2:17

Amador and Rowe continue to lead the peloton on behalf of Yates, with the break's advantage steady at around the three-minute mark.

The day's final climb to Jebel Jais is long at 21.1km, but not as obviously difficult as Jabel Hafeet, with an average gradient of 5.4%. The toughest sections come nearer the summit, with the final 2.6km averaging 7.1% as the road climbs to just shy of 1500m above sea level.

-60km

The escapees Mathias Frank (AG2R-Citroen), Larry Warbasse (AG2R-Citroen), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka-Assos) have a lead of 3:32 over the peloton as they enter the final 60km of racing. 

Adam Yates is 43 seconds behind Pogacar in the overall standings, and he acknowledged at the start that the final climb might provide the terrain to make up that deficit. “On the last climb, Jabel Hafeet [on stage 3[, I tried pretty much everything to try to drop him, and it proved tricky… Today’s going to be a bit more difficult because the climb’s not as hard. It’s longer but it’s not as hard, so it’s easier to stay on the wheel.”

Adam Yates and Tadej Pogacar attacked on the Jebel Hafeet climb

(Image credit: Getty Images)

-50km

The escapees carry a lead of 3:11 over the peloton into the final 50km. Filippo Ganna has moved up to join Ineos' pace-making at the front, while Tadej Pogacar is tucked in behind his UAE Team Emirates companions a little further back.

Ineos continue to set the pace at the head of the bunch and their efforts are beginning to shave some seconds off the break's advantage. Despite the presence of men like Dowsett and De Gendt, it's hard to manage these escapees will amass enough of a buffer to hold off the chasers on the climb to Jebel Jais.

-43km

De Gendt clips away to win the intermediate sprint ahead of Omer Goldstein and Alex Dowsett. 

-40km

Filippo Ganna is dictating the pace at the head of the peloton, which trails the escapees by 2:17 as they enter the final 40km of racing. The climb to to the finish at Jebel Jais begins in a little under 20km.

While Tadej Pogacar and Adam Yates begin their Tour de France preparation here, Egan Bernal is continuing his build-up towards the Giro d'Italia in Europe. The Colombian began his season at Etoile de Besseges and the Tour de la Provence, and he was in Italy at the weekend to reconnoitre the Alpe di Mera summit finish ahead of this year's Giro. “It’s a race I’ve wanted to ride for a long time, since the first year I came to Italy to ride for the Androni team. I’m very happy to be riding it this year,” Bernal said in a video message at yesteday's presentation. Read more here.

BESSGES FRANCE FEBRUARY 05 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 51st toile de Bessges Tour du Gard 2021 Stage 3 a 1548km stage from Bessges to Bessges EDB2020 on February 05 2021 in Bessges France Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

-33km

Ganna's pace-making, meanwhile, is having the kind of impact you'd anticipate. The world time trial champion has helped chip a minute or so off the break's lead since taking the reins. The gap is now 2:07 with a little over 20 miles to go.

-31km

Break:

Mathias Frank (AG2R-Citroen), Larry Warbasse (AG2R-Citroen), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka-Assos)

Peloton at 2:03

The gap drops inside two minutes, with Ganna still in situ at the head of the peloton. UAE Team Emirates and the red jersey of Tadej Pogacar are tucked in behind Ganna and Amador, just ahead of the rest of the Ineos squad. 

Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is also posted towards the head of the peloton with plenty of teammates around him. The Portuguese rider is 1:03 off Pogacar and 20 seconds down on Yates' second place in the overall standings.

-22km

The road has been rising almost imperceptibly for the last 10km or so, but the climb proper is now close at hand. Ganna and Amador lead the bunch, 2:08 down on the break.

-21km

Break:

Mathias Frank (AG2R-Citroen), Larry Warbasse (AG2R-Citroen), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka-Assos)

Peloton at 2:00

-21km

The break hits the base of the climb, and Alex Dowsett and Lasse Norman Hansen sit up shortly after the gradient begins to bite. Seven riders remain out in front: Frank, Lutsenko, De Gendt, Warbasse, Goldstein, Kluge and Colleoni.

-20km

Larry Warbasse is the next man to struggle at the back of the break, while Roger Kluge has also lost contact. De Gendt is the man forcing the pace in front. 

Five riders remain in front, with a lead of 1:55 over the bunch: De Gendt, Golstein, Colleoni, Frank and Lutsenko.

Filippo Ganna's day's work is done. The Italian swings over and now it's UAE Team Emirates who take over at the front, with Mikkel Bjerg setting the tempo.

-18.5km

The break's lead stretches out again to 2:30, which prompts a swift return to pace-making duties from Ineos Grenadiers. Brandon Rivera raises the speed a notch or three as soon as he takes over.

-18km

Break:

Mathias Frank (AG2R-Citroen),Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

Peloton at 2:11

Three riders now remain at the head of the race - Goldstein, De Gendt and Lutsenko - and their lead has been shaved back again to two minutes. Ineos' pace-making is also beginning to whittle down the peloton, with the non-climbers beginning to sit up and form a gruppetto with a shade under 18km still to come.

-17km

Alexey Lutsenko accelerates at the head of the race. De Gendt is straining every sinew to try to follow, but it looks as though the Kazakhstani is going clear alone. Goldstein, meanwhile, has been distanced. 

-16km

The Ineos pace-making is causing the gap to contract. The lone leader Lutsenko is 1:30 clear of the still sizable red jersey group, with De Gendt and Goldstein somewhere in between.

-15km

Rather surprisingly, Ivan Sosa (Ineos) has already been jettisoned from the back of the red jersey group after his shift on the front. Rivera and Daniel Martinez are left to  accompany Yates the rest of the way up the climb. 

Lutsenko, alone at the front, is still climbing in the big ring on these relatively shallow lower slopes. Rivera and Martinez sit on the front of the peloton, 1:28 behind. Adam Yates is latched onto Pogacar's wheel a little further back.

-14km

There are still 40 or more riders in the red jersey group, including all of the men occupying the top places in the overall standings. 1:23 the deficit to Lutsenko.

The peloton is picking off the remants of the break, with Frank and Colleoni the next riders to be swept up. Goldstein will be the next man to be reeled in. De Gendt is still somewhere between the bunch and the lone leader Lutsenko.

-13km

Lutsenko is still pedalling smoothly in the big ring, and nursing an advantage of 1:24 over the Ineos-led peloton of approximately 40 riders. 

-12km

Lutsenko is still holding firm out in front, with a lead of 1:23 over the peloton, where Rivera is still pushing the pace. Emanuel Buchmann is well placed with some Bora-Hansgrohe teammates for company. Pogacar sits in eighth place, with Yates eyeing his wheel from a couple of positions back.

Thomas De Gendt, meanwhile, has been swept up by the red jersey group. Lutsenko is now the only rider left out in front. 

-11km

Lutsenko's jersey is now flapping open and he's climbing out of the saddle more often, but he is still turning over his big ring to good effect and he still has 1:17 on the peloton.

-10km

Break:

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Premier Tech)

Peloton at 1:12

Rivera has put in a long, long shift on the front since Sosa was dropped. Dani Martinez is sitting on the youngster's wheel, while Adam Yates is a little further back in the peloton, tucked in behind the red jersey Pogacar.

Pogacar, incidentally. still has four UAE Team Emirates teammates for company on this climb, and they've been able to allow Ineos perform all of the pace-making so far to boot.  

-8km

Lutsenko and Rivera are breaking more or less even at the moment, and the gap has remained stable at around 1:10 for the last couple of kilometres. We can perhaps expect an increase in pace in the red jersey group once Martinez takes over.

Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma) is still sitting quite comfortably in this red jersey group. The Australian began the day in 4th overall, 1:43 behind Pogacar. 

-7km

Lutsenko maintains his buffer of 1:04 over a red jersey group still composed of 40 or so riders. Rivera rides on the front ahead of Martinez, but they are the only two Ineos riders left to tee up Yates ahead of the steeper upper slopes. Chris Froome, incidentally, is still in this group.

The gradient has yet to truly bite, mind, with Lutsenko and his pursuers still pedalling in the big ring. 1:01 the gap with 6.5km to go.

-6km

Lutsenko enters the final 6km with a lead of one minute over the red jersey group, where Rivera is still setting the tempo. Pogacar still has Davide Formolo, Jan Polanc, Rafal Majka and Mikkel Bjerg for company.

-5km

Another kilometre ticked off for Lutsenko, who only lost a handful of seconds of his buffer over the last 1,000m. 56 seconds the gap.

-4.5km

Rivera swings over and now Daniel Martinez takes over at the front for Ineos after a brief dig from Ben Zwiehoff (Bora-Hansgrohe). 44 seconds the gap to Lutsenko.

-4km

The pace has stiffened on Martinez's watch. Chris Froome slips to the back of the group and loses contact. He waves to the television motorbike as he slips backwards.

-3.2km

Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) accelerates forcefully from the red jersey group and opens a gap of 15 metres or so...

-3km

Nibali sensed a brief lull and snatched the opportunity. Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) is trying to bridge across to the Italian, who is 21 seconds down on the lone leader Lutsenko.

Lutsenko is 16 seconds ahead of Nibali, who remains committed to his attack, while Vanhoucke is struggling to make up the ground to join him. 

-2km

Lutsenko leads into the final 2km with 17 seconds in hand on Nibali, who looks like he is about to be joined by Vanhoucke and Wout Poels. 

Joao Almeida accelerates in the red jersey group, and the Portugese rider's move does for Nibali, Poels et al, as Sepp Kuss reacts and drags the red jersey group up to them. 

-1km

Lutsenko carries a lead of 12 seconds into the final kilometre over a red jersey group of 30 riders or so, but Jonas Vingegaard attacks just shy of the flamme rouge... 

Lutsenko looks over his shoulder with 600 metres to go and he sees Jonas Vingegaard bridging across with intent. Almeida leads the red jersey group a little further behind... 

Vingegaard catches Lutsenko with just under 300 metres to go. He goes to the front and Lutsenko latches onto his wheel... Meanwhile, the red jersey group is breaking up behind...

Correction, it's Jonas Vingegaard who has bridged across to Lutsenko... He kicks for home with a little over 100m to go, and the Kazakhstani can't follow...

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) wins stage 5 of the UAE Tour.

Behind, Sergio Higuita accelerated forcefully in the final kilometre, bringing Pogacar and Yates with him. They came past the flagging Lutsenko within sight of the line, with Pogacar taking second on the stage, 3 seconds behind Vingegaard. Yates was third, while Higuita was a further two seconds back in fourth.

Joao Almeida took 5th on the stage at 6 seconds, just ahead of the impressive Nicholas Schultz (BikeExchange), who had attempted to forge across to Vingegaard and Lutsenko in that frantic last kilometre.

Result

1          Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Team Jumbo-Visma           04:19:08

2          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     00:00:03

3          Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers

4          Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education-Nippo     00:00:05

5          João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep  00:00:06

6          Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange

7          Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma          00:00:08

8          Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-Victorious

9          Ben Hermas (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation

10        Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R-Citroen

General classification

1          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     17:09:26

2          Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:45

3          João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep  00:01:12

4          Chris Harper (Aus) Team Jumbo-Visma       00:01:54

5          Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo           00:01:56

6          Mattias Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo            00:02:47

7          Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious     00:02:49

8          Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep                        00:04:03

9          Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis         00:04:23

10        Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep           00:06:40

Jonas Vingegaard (JUmbo-Visma) won on Jebel Jais at the UAE Tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) describes his victory: "I think I timed it quite well. I was thinking it was going a bit easy in the peloton at that point, they were slowing a bit down, and I was thinking maybe I can try. And then I saw him in front on the road. I think he did a last effort to keep me behind. Luckily for me I was able top catch and also to beat him in the sprint. I’m very, very happy. This is a big victory for me.

"It’s very, very big for me. it’s my first victory this season, I’m very proud of it. It’s the first victory of the season for the team. For me personally, it’s nice to show that I can be with the best. And also, I suffered a bit on the other day on the first climb so it’s nice for me to show that I have the level."

The 24-year-old Vingegaard is in his third season as a professional, and this is his second WorldTour win after he beat Pavel Sivakov, Jai Hindley and Sergio Higuita to the line in Kościelisko on the 2019 Tour de Pologne. The Dane made his Grand Tour debut last year, helping Primoz Roglic to overall victory at the Vuelta a España. España. "Of course, I’m still there to help Primoz every time I ride with him," he says. "He’s a fantastic rider and for sure he’s the captain of the team."

Tadej Pogacar won the sprint for second place to keep the overall lead

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) celebrates his win

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) made a late attack from the peloton on the climb to Jebel Jais

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alpecin-Fenix have announced that Gianni Vermeersch and Jonas Rickaert, the two riders who remained quaratined in the United Arab Emirates after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, have been given the green light to return to Belgium.

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

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