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UAE Tour stage 6 – Live coverage

UAE Tour stage 6

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Race preview: UAE Tour 2021

How to watch the 2021 UAE Tour – live TV and streaming

UAE Tour: Vingegaard wins stage 5


Chris Froome: I'm feeling better and better at the UAE Tour

Results

1         Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-QuickStep    03:32:23
2         Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
3         Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4         David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5         Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
6         Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka-Assos
7         Kaden Groves (Aus) Team BikeExchange
8         Andre Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
9         Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM
10       Michael Morkov (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep

General classification

1         Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates    20:41:49
2         Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:45
3         Joao 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

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the penultimate stage of the UAE Tour

The peloton are already underway on the pan-flat 165-kilometre stage, and the attacks have started.

155km to go

Six men have jumped away from the peloton early on. It looks like our break of the day has been established very quickly.

Tony Gallopin (AG2R Citroën), Alexey Lutsenko, Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech), Matthieu Ladagnous, Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), and Iñigo Elosegui (Movistar) are off the front.

Yesterday's stage 5 to the summit finish at Jebel Jais saw Jumbo-Visma's Jonas Vingegaard take victory as race leader Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) defended his lead with a second-placed finish.

Read our report on the action here.

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The breakaway are three minutes up the road already.

At 11:49 down on Pogačar, Sánchez is the best-placed rider on GC in the break.

140km to go

The gap is hovering at around 3:30 at the moment. Deceuninck-QuickStep are massed on the front of the peloton for their sprinter Sam Bennett, who has a good shot at victory today.

Thomas De Gendt, who wears the black intermediate sprints jersey, is also on the frotn of the peloton. His teammate Caleb Ewan is another favourite on today's stage.

There likely won't be too much drama on today's stage, which sees the riders head through Dubai, take on an out-and-back ride to the desert, and then turn back to the coast for the finish on the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah. The stage is totally pan-flat but the wind could be an obstacle.

One of the men who should be in contention at the finish is Jumbo-Visma man David Dekker. The neo-pro wears the points jersey today as he's second in the rankings behind race leader Pogačar. He's twice finished a runner-up so far in the race.

"Well for sure the jersey gives a lot of motivation. It gets you confident as well. It's nice to have it," he said at the start.

"Today with the wind it can be dangerous, but it will be the same preparation for the sprint as we did a few days ago."

JEBEL JAISON UNITED ARAB EMIRATES FEBRUARY 25 David Dekker of The Netherlands and Team JumboVisma Green Points Jersey during the 3rd UAE Tour 2021 Stage 5 a 170km stage from Fujairah Marine Club to Jebel Jaison 1489m First Hairpin 478m UAETour February 25 2021 in Jebel Jaison United Arab Emirates Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

David Dekker in action on stage 5 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

125km to go

The break's sdvantage holds steady at 3:30 – that's the most they'll get today as the sprinter's teams keep them on a tight leash.

Bora-Hansgrohe, Deceuninck-QuickStep, Qhubeka Assos, Lotto Soudal and Jumbo-Visma are all represented at the front, just ahead of UAE Team Emirates.

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Here's what Sam Bennett, who won stage 4, had to say at the stage start.

"I think the main thing is to make sure that you're there but we still want to keep 3 guys in the top 10. There's a little less pressure after getting the stage win but for sure we want another win.

"I think the main objective is to keep the guys in the top 10 and on the podium. Getting the win is something we want also. Hopefully we can get it right again but today I think the wind is going to have a big impact."

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) opted to sprint on the right of the road to find a way through

Bennett celebrates his stage 4 win (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Chris Froome: I'm feeling better and better at the UAE Tour

"All in all, it was a pretty good day for us," Froome said after stage 5. "For me personally, I feel better and better as the race goes on. I think I definitely need more of these race stages, but step by step things are hopefully coming together for me."

105km to go

3:45 for the breakaway at the moment. No change in situation so far.

Elia Viviani also spoke before the stage start. He's aiming for his first win with Cofidis today. 

"I won twice there. It's not an easy sprint – it's all about positioning with the wind coming from the sea, so it will be a sprint in one line on the right side. I look at the last two times I won and the time I lost, so we'll have a clear idea how to approach the finish.

"Here, all the best sprinters in the world and a lot of team organised. Israel Start-Up Nation do a really good job and haven't taken a result. Michael is always going a good job for Bennett and another good lead-out is Lotto Soudal.

"You can't just say one because in this mix you never know if you follow the right one or not. We'll do our own plan and then be careful to be in good position."

AL AIN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES FEBRUARY 23 Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy and Team Qhubeka Assos Elia Viviani of Italy and Team Cofidis during the 3rd UAE Tour 2021 Stage 3 a 166km stage from Al Ain Strata Manufacturing to Jebel Hafeet 1025m UAETour on February 23 2021 in Al Ain United Arab Emirates Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Vviviani (right) with fellow Italian Giacomo Nizzolo at the UAE Tour (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

95km to go

The break rolled through the first intermediate sprint of the day, and they're now into the final 100 kilometres of the stage, heading out of the city into the desert.

Florian Stork (Team DSM) has abandoned the race after being caught up in a crash caused by a traffic island. He was lying 12th overall.

Matteo Moschetti (Trek-Segafredo) has also been caught in a crash. He's back up and running but has road rash on his left hip.

88km to go

Out front, the break's gap is down to three minutes.

There's little to report back in the peloton as the riders head along a wide highway out of the city. They'll hit the second intermediate sprint in 16 kilometres.

72km to go

Moschetti has abandoned the race, we hear.

Up front, several teams – including EF, ISN, Jumbo and QuickStep – have suddenly piled on the pace in an attempt to create echelons in the peloton.

A sizeable group of riders has been tailed off the back, though we can't see if any big GC or sprint names are there. Fillippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) is among them, though.

Meanwhile, Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) has abandoned.

67km to go

Two minutes between the peloton and the break now.

It looks like there are around 30 riders in the chasing group. Deceuninck-QuickStep keep pushing on at the front of the peloton.

Bora-Hansgrohe and ISN are also up front.

It's hard to gauge exactly how strong the wind is here. There aren't many trees around in the desert...

61km to go

Gallopin leads the break through the second of the day's intermediate sprints. The peloton passes through 1:25 later, with the chasers a further 30 seconds back.

After the attempts to create splits and make time in the wind, the peloton has now dragged the break back to within a minute. Both peloton and chase group are back together now.

48km to go

The pace is still quite high in the peloton as they continue to gain time on the break. Bora, Trek, Quickstep, Jumbo all represented at the front.

Things have calmed down now. 50 seconds between break and peloton. The riders will be focussed on making the catch at the right time and then  getting organised for the sprint finish.

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The climbers will be looking forward to this one

35km to go

No rush to make the catch just yet. There's plenty of time for the sprinter's teams to get organiseed.

After his efforts today, AG2R man Tony Gallopin will take over the black intermediate sprints jersey from his ex-teammate Thomas De Gendt.

29km to go

It's almost over for the breakaway now. The gap is under 20 seconds and only getting smaller...

Jumbo, Bora, Ineos, QuickStep and Lotto are all represented at the front of the peloton.

25km to go

The breakaway riders sit up and are brought back by the peloton. That's that for the sextet.

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) is still doing a job on the front.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Gruzdev (Astana-Premier Tech) has gone on the attack.

20km to go

Gruzdev has 15 seconds on the peloton.

Lotto Soudal is right at the back of the peloton here. There's still some time to move up for the finish. 

Meanwhile, Gruzdev's advantage has fallen under 10 seconds in this headwind.

13km to go

Movistar have moved to the front of the peloton now. They don't have a top sprinter here though.

Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious), Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep), David Dekker (Jumbo-Visma), Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Luka Mezgec (Team BikeExchange), Cees Bol (Team DSM), Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos) are among the favourites to contest the finish today.

10km to go

Gruzdev has been caught, and now the peloton hit the final 10 kilometres of the stage.

The peloton head down a wide road in the city. Bahrain, Astana, QuickStep and Ineos are among the teams present at the front.

8km to go

Teams are jostling for position as they look to set up their trains for the finale.

Bahrain are to the right-hand side of the road, leading a smaller group including Lotto, while the bulk of the peloton is on the left with Bora and Ineos leading the way.

6km to go

A sudden crossover of sides of the road on the highway provokes a crash in the peloton, with a couple of riders hitting the deck at an inopportune time. The peloton dip down through a tunnel.

Viviani's lead out man Fabio Sabatini went down in that crash. Not great for the Cofidis sprinter.

4km to go

The peloton is strung out at the front now. It's Ineos leading the way with Bora and QuickStep also involved.

Filippo Ganna put in a big turn on the front.

3km to go

The peloton has switched from wide highways to tighter, two-lane roads on the Palm Jumeirah. It's a lot more hectic now.

Lots of jostling for position around a hairpin turn. Ineos still lead.

2km to go

BikeExchange and DSM move to the front.

BikeExchange take charge of the right-hand side of the road out of the wind. Qhubeka and ISN move some riders up there, too.

1km to go

Bahrain, Lotto and QuickStep also represented. It's busy up front.

Green jersey David Dekker barges Caleb Ewan for position. Bennett is in prime position though.

Mørkøv hits the front at the perfect time with Bennett in his wheel. Dekker, Ackermann, Viviani behind.

Bennett starts the sprint. Head to head against Dekker.

Viviani moves up in the final metres but it's all Bennett. The Irishman wins stage 6!

A Bora-Hansgrohe rider handed a perfect wheel to Mørkøv in that lead out. The Dane moved up with Bennett in perfect position and the sprinter just had to finish it off. He won by a bike length ahead of Viviani as Dekker faded to the line.

Ackermann took third behind Bennett and Viviani.

Here's what Bennett had to say after the finish.

"It feels amazing. Again, I wouldn't have done it without my teammates today.

"I really want [stage 7] and we'll for sure go for it again. It's always hard but we'll try again.

"I think the more sprints we do together, the better we're getting. It's becoming more second nature. It's just about repeating the same thing and making decisions in the final. We're really getting to know each other and we're pretty much nailing it at the minute.

Tadej Pogačar leads the GC by 45 seconds ahead of Adam Yates. João Almeida remains in third at 1:12. The overall standings should remain the same on tomorrow's final sprint stage, barring disaster.

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Here's the victory shot. Bennett ahead of Viviani.

UAE Tour 2021 - 3th Edition - 6th stage Deira Island - Palm Jumeirah 165 km - 25/02/2021 - Sam Bennett (IRL - Deceuninck - Quick-Step) - Elia Viviani (ITA - Cofidis) - Pascal Ackermann (GER - Bora - Hansgrohe) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Our brief report is up now, with a photo gallery and brief results. Check back soon for the full stage 6 report.

UAE Tour: Sam Bennett win stage 6

Dekker looks set to hang on to his green points jersey tomorrow if he can finish high up. For Bennett, it'll be all about adding victory number three, while Ackermann, Ewan and the rest of the sprinters will be looking to beat the Irishman.

Bennett celebrates his win on the podium

Sam Bennett of Deceuninck Quick Step celebrates on the podium after winning the sixth stage of the UAE Cycling Tour From Dubai Deira Islands to Dubai Palm Jumeriah on February 26 2021 Photo by Giuseppe CACACE AFP Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACEAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Image)

That's all for us today. Be sure to check back tomorrow for live coverage of stage 7.

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